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  • ShannonLeee

    I am guessing that this is a more efficient process than iPSCs. I dont really see the advantage over ips.

  • petew

    Shannon Leee,

    I had to google IPSC in order to understand your reference to these types of stem cells. I take it that most researchers feel that using skin cells plus a donors own DNA can circumvent any ethical dilemmas, but, I don’t think such ethical problems should have really been any impediment towards using ordinary Embryonic stem cells to begin with.

    My own reasoning is firstly, that an undifferentiated bunch of cells with no discriminating differences between each different cell, would not even represent skin, muscle, bones, or neurons, etc.,etc. And, although they represent the beginning of a biological process, because they are amorphous cells, they can hardly be considered to represent an individual entity which would normally be composed of the many different cells associated with various human organs. This bunch of cells, could not feel pain, anxiety, or fear—including fear of death, and without a complex nervous system, they certainly would not be able to think like a real and unique human individual. So, how can we consider it murder to terminate what is normally just the beginning of a process, and, that could only potentially produce a specific individual?

    I also think that the potential value for using ESCs to prevent or cure various types of intellectually puzzling human illnesses (Alzheimer’s) in particular, far outweighs any moral hesitations to end the primitive process that a small number of undifferentiated cells might pose—especially since the female eggs would have been destroyed when their use for research ended anyway.

    Although I recognize the feeling that such primitive embryos may have special meaning to many people, to me it is no different than conventional forms of birth control, such as the pill, which function by preventing a fertilized ovary from beginning its journey—again ending or preventing a process of life, but not an actual individual human being. The same goes for “the day after pill” which would not really do anything but prevent that same life process from continuing.

    We desperately need stem cell research, but, perhaps we should reconsider our moral viewpoints on such an issue and, be willing to bend a bit in regards to the ethical concerns about terminating these kinds of life processes. If the personal DNA taken from embryo’s can be produced from skin cells, can be as effective as ordinary Embryonic cells—thereby producing fruitful research, then more power to that method! but, even so, we could also confront our ethical feelings about Embryonic types, which are nowhere near being thinking, and breathing human being to begin with! I don’t mean to offend anyone—this is just my personal opinion!

  • ShannonLeee

    Thanks for your response P.
    Ipsc can be almost any type of cell, typically skin cells. They can be knocked back to an embryonic state also. Ethics completely aside. I stil see no adv of these cells over ipsc. They should be functionally the same.

  • rudi

    This process still uses human egg embryos.
    http://planetsave.com/2013/05/18/medical-breakthrough-patient-specific-embryonic-stem-cells-achieved-by-cloning/

    But the technique requires the destruction of embryos in order to derive the ESCs that can then be made to ‘differentiate’ into any other type of cell (e.g., heart cells, liver cells, neurons, etc.).

    As I read this, the new method is specific to a patient, yet still destroys embryos.

  • slamfu

    So? Use them. These are not fertilized eggs harvested from a pregnant woman’s uterus lining. The idea of holding back this research because of ignorant religious beliefs is the very reason why we don’t make laws based on religion. Stupid, self absorbed people that aren’t satisfied with merely policing their own behavior as they should, are holding back the most exciting and potential rich area of medical research in decades, possibly ever. It makes me sick.

  • slamfu

    Oh and the good Cardinal Sean O’Malley can shut his pie hole and go back to making a mockery of Jesus’s teachings and life.

  • ShannonLeee

    People will move forward with these cells, that is no doubt. I think a non immuno ESC is still the cell type of the future, when we finally develop one.. People that have a problem with them can go ahead and not get treated. Their choice. Of course, when faced with death, people typically have a change of heart on these things.

  • KP

    I enjoyed this article.

    ShannonLeee, much appreaciated comments. I would love to see you share more in an article. Fascinating stuff. If you already have, let me (us) know. Thanks.

  • ShannonLeee

    KP, my wife is really the expert (I’m the business guy). I learn through osmosis 🙂 We work with embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, and some adult stem cells. We are in the cardiovascular area, so adult stem cells are not that interesting, at least not long-term.

    I will look for an open access review and post a link.

  • KP

    Incredibly interesting knowledge — and team you make.

  • ShannonLeee

    Uuuhhhhhh
    The validity of the study is now being called into question.

    http://retractionwatch.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/cell-reviewing-allegations-of-image-reuse-in-human-embryonic-stem-cell-cloning-paper/

    This is not good

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