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Archive for the ‘research’ Category

Give Them Some Skin

Posted by thelamp on June 18, 2007

A high-five is in order for ethical scientists who continue to identify ways of advancing stem-cell research without destroying human embryos. The latest breakthrough was announced last week – ironically, on the same day that Congress voted to increase taxpayers’ funding for experiments on embryonic stem cells. Hold that thought!

There’s no reason to destroy any more human embryos in the quest to find cures that will save or improve lives. Scientists in Japan and the United States have now found a way to reprogram skin cells back to an embryonic state.

Although the experiments have involved only mice so far, this discovery could end the controversy that has caused Christians consternation over biomedical research for nearly a decade. In 1998, scientists first discovered how to generate human embryonic stem cells from embryos discarded by fertility clinics. Immediately, men and women who respect the sanctity of all human life objected to callously ending it in a laboratory petri dish.

Opposition to embryonic stem-cell research – mounted primarily by Christian activists – has served as a catalyst to the search for alternatives. If skin cells can mimic embryonic stem cells and perform the same function, there would be no need to continue down the dangerous, destructive path now tempting medical pioneers.

This development should sway people critical of President Bush’s promise to veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which Congress has sent to the White House for the president’s signature.

People who don’t place value on the developmental stage of life that occurs before birth have argued that protecting embryos from scientific experimentation is tantamount to denying life-saving therapy to the sick and dying. Yet, even the most passionate voices in the scientific community acknowledge that human embryonic stem-cell research is a long way from producing any practical therapies.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, CMC, Embryonic Stem Cell, Food/Health Related, human embryonic, medical research, Recent News & Events, research, Rod Parsley, Science, Stem cell debate, stem-cell research | Leave a Comment »

Adult Stem-Cell Research Takes a Hit

Posted by thelamp on March 12, 2007

The latest news about the research potential of adult stem cells is disappointing, but it doesn’t diminish the moral objections for the alternative sacrificing life through human embryonic stem-cell research.

Click here to urge Congress to fund ethical medical research.

A scientific panel is questioning the 2002 study that suggested adult stem cells might be as useful as human embryonic ones was flawed, and its conclusions may be wrong. This new perspective raises questions on two fronts.

For scientists, bone marrow as a potential source for stem cells is less promising. For Christians, the possibility of advancing medical cures through ethical research is diminished. This setback, however, must not become an excuse for forsaking like through the expansion of experimentation on human embryos.

Five years ago, research by Catherine Verfaillie at the University of Minnesota concluded that stem cells taken from the bone marrow of mice could grow into an array of biological tissues, including the brain, heart, ling and liver (click here to read the original research findings). Currently, only human embryonic stem cells are known to hold such regenerative capability. The scientist acknowledged flaws in parts of the study after inquiries from the British publication New Scientist, which publicized its qualms with the research in its Feb. 15 edition (click here to read the article).

A panel of experts commissioned by the university determined that the process used to identify tissue derived from the adult stem cells was “significantly flawed, and that the interpretations based on these data, expressed in the manuscript, are potentially incorrect.” The panel also noted that the error was attributed to mistakes, not falsifications.

Since Verfaillie’s study was published in 2002, other researchers have been unable to duplicate her results.

The scientific community is now wrestling with the overall impact this new information will have. CMC members should pray that scientists will return to the lab and continue fine tuning their work with adult stem cells. For some, the easy answer is to put the effort into embryonic stem-cell research.

Just because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done.

Certainly, Christians share the broader culture’s desire to treat people ailing with diseases and other conditions. No one would argue against improving the quality of life. In the case of embryonic stem-cell research, though, the ends do not justify the means. Bible believers must use their voice to call for moving forward without destroying embryos which, of course, are people.

The sanctity of life is not doled out in stages. It’s all inclusive from the moment of conception.

Experimenting with adult stem cells is not the only means of ethical medical research. This week, members of the medical community will conduct a Capitol Hill briefing on the use of cord blood to treat disease and disability and to call for full funding of the National Cord Blood Inventory (NCBI) program in the 2008 budget.

Three years ago Congress created the first national inventory to collect the needed units of blood and make them readily available. The legislation authorized collection of 150,000 units of cord blood, with a focus on genetic diversity that is expected to meet the needs of 90 percent of all patients. These units will be made available through an open registry that will link public cord blood banks nationwide to simplify a physician’s search for a blood match.

CMC applauds and encourages such medical advances.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, Cloning, CMC, Embryonic Stem Cell, Family Matters, Health related, Health Sciences & Medicine, medical research, Recent News & Events, research, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »