Archive for EMBRYONIC

A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Part 5 – The Magic of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky
romeo & juliet

romeo & juliet

A Six Part Series

by Don Margolis, Founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute – http://repairstemcells.org
A Grim Fairy Tale – Part 5

There are six reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick Americans.

Reason 5: induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)

There are many ways of creating embryonic-like stem cells good for lab research by using what our Institute heartily endorses – adult cells. Dr. Bernadine Healy calls iPSC “a blockbuster discovery made in 2007.” iPSC are created by reprogramming DNA from adult skin; therefore, they bypass the need for embryos or eggs. As such, they have the advantages of significantly lower costs, ease of production, genetic identity with the patient, and no ethical dilemmas. Even the most respected pioneers of embryonic stem cell research, Dr. James Thomson (U.S.) and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka (Japan), both of whom have our highest admiration, independently reached the conclusion in 2006 that it was preferable to re-direct research to development of induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC). But despite their heroic efforts, all the ESC profiteers care about is money, and the real money is in government funding, huge grants, and not one cure really expected.

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Reason 6: Follow the Money, not the Science

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A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Part 4 – Real Scientists Prefer to Research Adult Stem Cells

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky
romeo & juliet

romeo & juliet

A Six Part Series

by Don Margolis, Founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute – http://repairstemcells.org
A Grim Fairy Tale – Part 4

There are six reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick Americans.   

Reason 4: Real Scientists really prefer to research Adult Stem Cells.

It’s kind of the “Field of Dreams” branch of science based on the hypothesis that “if you build it, they will come.” How well does that work? Just ask ES Cell International (ESI), a company established in 2000 in Singapore, which was the most embryonic- stem-cell-friendly country in the world.

ESI built tremendous facilities and gave jobs to almost any Western ESC researcher who wanted one. But, in 2007, down hundreds of millions of dollars, they did what Wall Street did in 2000 – they chucked embryonics into the trash bin as “unworkable.”

Alan Colman, ESI’s chief executive at the time of its demise, reasoned that “the likelihood of having products in the clinic in the short term was vanishingly small” and admitted to “a tinge of disappointment.”

Or, just ask Dr. Colin McGuckin, until recently a professor of regenerative medicine at Newcastle University (U.K.) and one of Europe’s leading embryonic researchers. He left Newcastle for France where the research atmosphere is much more receptive to adult stem cell research. It was reported by Times Higher Education that when leaving, McGuckin claimed that “A vast amount of money in the UK from the Government has gone into embryonic stem-cell research with not one patient being treated [italics added], to the detriment of (research into) adult stem cells, which has been severely underfunded.”

Take the recent case in California, which had almost $300 million of stem cell funding to distribute, but no researcher worthy of receiving it. Not surprisingly, the money went to powerful and well-connected friends to build new facilities to “attract scientists.”   As Dr. Paul Joseph Goebbels might have said 75 years ago, “Once you have “them” believing the Big Lie, you can get away with anything.” In this case, sell “them” cures which will never come and give the money to your friends.

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Reason 5: induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)

A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Part 2&3 – Embryonic Stem Cells are bad medicine

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky
romeo & juliet

romeo & juliet

A Six Part Series

by Don Margolis, Founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute – http://repairstemcells.org
A Grim Fairy Tale – Part 2&3

There are six reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick Americans.

Reasons 2 & 3: Embryonic Stem Cells are bad medicine.

Actually, they’re very badmedicine. Nicholas Wade, the well-respected scientific reporter, editor and author who writes for the Science Times section of The New York Times, wrote in his article, “Rethink Stem Cells? Science Already Has,” the day after Obama’s announcement:   Embryonic stem cells have their drawbacks. They cause tumors and the adult stem cells derived from them may be rejected by the patient’s immune system. Furthermore, whatever disease process caused the patient’s tissue cells to die is likely to kill induced cells as well.

Causes cancer (reason 2).

Starts a war with your immune system (reason 3).

That’s really about as bad as it gets! And, to date there are a lot of guesses, but no successes, as to how to combat these inevitable results.   Recent studies at the Stanford University School of Medicine show that embryonic stem cells transplanted into mice were dead within ten days after inducing immune system rejection. That was actually the best news you can find about ESC. The mice didn’t die in that war, the cells did!

Dr. Bernadine Healy of US News and World Report, concluded just ten days ago that “the worst they [RSC] seem to do after infusion is die off without bringing the hoped-for benefit.” Maybe that’s not good medicine, but it certainly isn’t bad – or fatal. Gee-a medicine which can help the majority of those treated and not harm anyone? For sure, we have never heard of such a medicine before—not even aspirin—unless you include “an apple a day!”

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Reason 4: Real Scientists really prefer to research Adult Stem Cells.

A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Part 1 – There is NO NEED

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky
romeo & juliet
romeo & juliet
A Six Part Series
by Don Margolis, Founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute – http://repairstemcells.org
A Grim Fairy Tale – Part 1

There are six reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick Americans.

Reason 1: Quite frankly, there is no need.

What? Is this blasphemy? For years, we have read in newspapers and magazines, or heard about on TV special reports, that embryonic stem cells will allow us to live healthy and potentially endless lives. Are you saying this is not true? That we have been lied to?   You betcha! Science itself will destroy the illusion of embryonic stem cells, while adult stem cells, which we call Repair Stem Cells (RSC), are widely recognized as the most powerful medicine the world has ever seen, capable right now of treating over one hundred so-called “incurable” diseases and improving the quality of life of millions of patients.

Anthony Hollander, a professor of rheumatology and tissue engineering at the University of Bristol (U.K.) was clear about this issue: “With the [adult stem] cells we can really make a difference to patients’ lives, and we can do it now, not in ten year’s time as promised for embryonic stem cells.”

Even more to the point is Dr. Bernadine Healy, M.D., in her article in the March 4, 2009 U.S. News & World Reports: “There is a markedly diminished need for expanding these [embryonic stem] cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research. . . . Even as the future of embryonic stem cells has dimmed, adult stem cell research has scored major wins evident just in the past few months. . . . To date, most of the stem cell triumphs that the public hears about involve the infusion of adult stem cells.” [italics added] We wonder why “most” was used instead of “all.”

If you disagree, send us an ESC triumph on a human patient and we shall humbly apologize.

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Reasons 2 & 3: Embryonic Stem Cells are bad medicine.

A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Intro – The Romance is an Illusion

Posted in ALL ARTICLES with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky

Romeo & Juliet - A doomed love affair

romeo & juliet

A Six Part Series
by Don Margolis, Founder of the Repair Stem Cell Institute – http://repairstemcells.org
A Grim Fairy Tale – Intro

On Monday, 09 March 2009, President Barack Obama spoke the words that many had longed to hear: “Today . . . we will bring the change that so many scientists and researchers, doctors and innovators, patients and loved ones have hoped for, and fought for, these past eight years: We will lift the ban on federal funding for promising embryonic stem cell research.”

Sounds good, doesn’t it?   At last, those who are totally lost in the haze of Alzheimer’s Disease will be able to think for themselves again. Finally, the victims of spinal cord injuries will once more – in the words of Christopher Reeve – be able “to walk to the door to greet you.” Once and for all, diabetics will no longer have to fear incipient blindness and amputations. In the near future, cancer will be but a footnote in medical textbooks.

As President Obama said, there will come “a day when words like ‘terminal’ and ‘incurable’ are potentially retired from our vocabulary.”   We can compare this new-found bliss in the relationship between government and science to a young couple, once head-over-heels in love, unfortunately split apart by forces beyond their control, then after 8 years, finding each other, getting married, and living happily and healthily ever after into their golden years.

What could be better? This is great a great story. In fact, it’s a terrific story! And, it’s all possible because American scientists will finally be able to develop the much-publicized panacea of embryonic stem cell (ESC) treatment.

Sadly, though, it’s not so terrific for you and me. It’s Big Pharma and its collaborators in the super-lucrative medical industries that caught the bride’s bouquet with its fragrant, green-colored blossoms. You and I, on the other hand, we must share the bouquet made of blank paper, shot full of holes.   We are not Cinderella, and ESC is not our Prince Charming, come to awaken us to a sun-drenched world of everlasting health. ESC treatment is an illusion, a myth, a well-crafted Grim Fairy Tale.

There are six reasons why embryonic stem cells will never make it out of the lab and into the bodies of sick Americans.

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Reason 1: Quite frankly, there is no need.

OPINION – Embryonic stem cell research is a waste of money | StatesmanJournal.com | Statesman Journal

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 30, 2009 by David Granovsky

When you couch the argument as one in which we are looking for treatments only; this is a difficult position to argue against.

Embryonic stem cell research is a waste of money

March 30, 2009, Gayle Atteberry

President Obama’s recent decision to fund embryonic stem cell research with millions of taxpayer dollars is … completely unnecessary.

Embryonic stem cell research has a proven 100 percent failure rate.

Ten years of extensive research with embryonic stem cells in America and worldwide has produced not one human cure. Development of tumors in test animals has negated any progress made in animal trials…

http://www.statesmanjournal.com/article/20090330/OPINION/903300312/1049/OPINION

news: Stem cell pioneer Thomson’s lab achieves ‘fairly big milestone’

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, VICTORIES & SUCCESS STORIES with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by David Granovsky

This is not the first time that scientists have endowed differentiated cells like skin cells with the capacity to develop into any of the roughly 220 types of cells in the body, a process known as induced pluripotency. However, it is the first time that they have done so without using viruses, which can insert potentially harmful genes into the cells’ genetic material and trigger cancer. – http://cellnews-blog.blogspot.com/2009/03/new-way-to-make-stem-cells.html

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers in the lab of Jamie Thomson have made another stem cell breakthrough.

Stem cell pioneer Thomson’s lab achieves ‘fairly big milestone’

Todd Finkelmeyer — 3/27/2009 7:00 am

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers report they have found a way to further purify adult stem cells, taking scientists a step closer to the day when such stem cells could potentially be used to treat people with chronic ailments.

A team of scientists working in the laboratory of Jamie Thomson found a way to reprogram skin cells to an embryonic-like state without leaving behind genetic remnants, which can interfere with basic research by leading to mutations. The UW-Madison researchers are believed to be the first to accomplish this feat, which was reported in Thursday’s online edition of the journal Science.

“It’s a fairly big milestone,” said Thomson, a professor in the UW School of Medicine and Public Health who also is the director of regenerative biology for the Morgridge Institute for Research. “But we also have to keep it in perspective, because we still have a long way to go in this field.”

The study was led by UW-Madison geneticist Junying Yu.

Thomson was the first to successfully culture human embryonic stem cells in 1998. These cells are highly valued because they can turn into any cell of the body. But using them is controversial, as days-old embryos are killed in the process, which social conservatives view as morally reprehensible.

In 2007, Thomson and Yu then co-discovered a way to “reprogram” ordinary skin cells by slipping genes inside them to return these cells to an embryonic-like state. These induced pluripotent stem cells, known as iPS cells, also appear to have the ability to transform into any cell of the body.

Although that 2007 discovery was ground-breaking and exciting, Thomson said the technique used to turn back the clock in these skin cells and convert them to an embryonic-like state was “fatally flawed.” That’s because engineered viruses were used to insert several exotic genes into the cell nucleus, which switched on the reprogramming process. But this genetic baggage could lead to mutations that would crop up and skew basic research.

This extra genetic material also posed health risks to those potentially receiving therapeutic treatment. For example, there would be little benefit to receiving iPS stem cell treatment to cure an ailment if there was a good chance mutations in these cells might trigger cancer.

Rather than using a virus to carry the reprogrammed genes into adult stem cells, the new method developed by the UW-Madison researchers uses a plasmid, a circle of DNA, and cells from the foreskins of newborns. Thomson explained that these plasmids carry all the necessary transgenes, but don’t integrate into the host DNA. According to the Science report, the plasmids replicate, and after they do their job of reprogramming, they can be weeded out — leaving the iPS cells free of any genetic debris which could cause problems.

“This discovery is sort of like the holy grail of being able to convert normal adult cells into iPS cells,” said Jeremy Berg, director of the National Institute of Health’s National Institute of Geneal Medical Sciences. “It’s an incremental advance in the sense that a lot of work still needs to be done, but it’s a significant step forward in really creating the tools that people need to develop iPS cells.”

Scientists hope that, some day, they will be able to control the metamorphosis of stem cells to develop replacement tissue to treat a range of ailments, from Alzheimer’s, diabetes and Parkinson’s, to those paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury.

“There’s still room for improvement and we’ll have to make this system even more efficient,” said Berg. “But it’s certainly a full step forward. And as one looks toward the long-term future of actually using iPS cells in therapy, I think the concerns about the previous methods would have been quite profound, whereas this gets around many of those concerns.”

Although most stem cell researchers are hopeful that these skin cells which are reprogrammed into iPS cells can someday replace the use of embryonic stem cells, most agree a great deal of testing still must be done to prove that these iPS cells measure up to the embryonic ones, which are often referred to as the “gold standard” in this field of science.

“Now we have to compare embryonic stem cells in really excruciating detail to see if they’re different at all from these new cells,” said Thomson. “And right now they’re looking very similar. But we hadn’t spent a lot of time on this, because we knew they were flawed and that this would only be temporary. So now we’re going to examine these iPS cells in great detail to see how different they are from embryonic cells. And if they are different, are those differences clinically significant? And that will take some time to work out.”

If these iPS cells do, indeed, perform just like embryonic stem cells, these discoveries could help end the moral debate that sometimes surrounds this science, as using embryonic stem cells would no longer be necessary.

“And if these new cells do end up being the equivalent of embryonic stem cells, then all the work we’ve done on embryonic stem cells directly applies to them, and that’s good,” said Thomson. “But we still have a long way to go.”

Thomson said iPS cells could be especially valuable because they give researchers the ability to individualize treatments by using a patient’s own genetic material.

“And for experimental work, that’s really important,” said Thomson. “Say you want to test a drug on heart cells. You could make a whole lot of different cell lines that genetically match the population — because we already know that drugs respond differently depending on genetic background. And if you can do that ahead of time, you can test how different heart drugs will impact different people. With the (embryonic stem cells), you never had control over that.”

Additionally, iPS cells could be used to study a particular disease. If a person has Parkinson’s, for example, cells could be taken from that person and reverted to iPS cells. Researchers could then observe how that disease unfolds in a lab dish.

“So this is all very exciting,” said Thomson. “But, again, this discovery is just another step in one of many more to come. It’s a long process.”

But a process that is moving along quickly.

“This field is moving at a pretty breakneck pace,” said Berg. “The number of discoveries that are coming is fast and furious. Multiple groups are working very hard and the advances keep coming.”

via news: Stem cell pioneer Thomson’s lab achieves ‘fairly big milestone’.