Archive for OBAMA

Will Controversial Stem Cell Rider Derail Senate Budget vote?

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 2, 2009 by David Granovsky

Sen. Steve Ogden, a Republican from Texas, has potentially derailed not only government funding for embryonic stem cell research, but also has a attempted to derail President Obama's $3.6 trillion budget

Will Controversial Stem Cell Rider Derail Senate Budget vote?

Thursday, 02 Apr 2009

Jacksonville – Sen. Steve Ogden, a Republican from Texas, has potentially derailed not only government funding for embryonic stem cell research, but also has a attempted to derail President Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget. The rider states “No funds appropriated under this act shall be used in conjunction with or to support research which involves the destruction of a human embryo.”

The rider was passed by the Senate Finance Committee 6-5, with some members absent. The Senate is debating the budget and as of the time of this writing there is not news on whether it has passed with the addition of the stem cell rider.

President Obama had reversed George W. Bush’s executive order banning embryonic stem cell research. The controversial medical research involves using stem cells from embryos donated by parents who had In Vitro Fertilization and has extra embryos which otherwise would be destroyed. For many parents, donating these embryos to science makes them feel good. Others actually pay to have the embryos frozen forever, or allow them to be “adopted” by others for IVF.

Stem cells based medical research, including adult stem cells as well as embryonic stem cells are thought to hold the potential to treat or cure many diseases including Deafness, Paralysis, Diabetes, and Crohn’s Disease. When President Obama reversed Bush’s executive order, the NIH (National Institutes of Health) was given 120 days to come up with a set of guidelines for any Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. Since these guidelines are not yet completed, no new embryonic stem cell research is specifically marked for funding in this year’s budget and this budget rider would make it impossible for any of the health agencies to make further determination of with funds allocated in this years budget.

Some of the issues the National Institute of Health will consider when writing guidelines for the use of embryonic stem cells in research are making sure the parents who donate embryos sign informed consent forms to show that they understand and approve of the research methodology. It is speculated that there may be additional language added to the guidelines restricting any embryos used to the products on fertility treatments. As well, it is expected that there be some separation set up between doctors who do fertility treatments and doctors who do stem cell research, to limit any conflict of interest.

Many in the medical and patient advocacy communities are very concerned that the budget will pass with this rider slipped in by a largely absent subcommittee. It is speculated that Sen. Ogden, who is said to be in his last term in office, is attempting to derail the Democrat’s budget vote by adding this controversial rider.

http://www.healthjackal.com/science/2009/04/02/will-controversial-stem-cell-rider-derail-senate-budget-vote/

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World’s Leading Scientists Meet to Examine Barriers for Stem Cell Therapies to Cure Spinal Cord Injury

Posted in ALL ARTICLES, STEM CELLS IN THE NEWS with tags , , , , , , , , on April 1, 2009 by David Granovsky

spinal-cord

World’s Leading Scientists Meet to Examine Barriers for Stem Cell Therapies to Cure Spinal Cord Injury

Following President Barack Obama’s decision to lift the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, medical and scientific experts will converge at the University of Georgia to discuss how recent advances in stem cell research can be translated into cures for spinal cord injuries.

The second Spinal Cord Workshop, a program of the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation, will be held on Saturday, April 4 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Paul D. Coverdell Center for Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Every year close to 11,000 people sustain spinal cord injuries in the United States, while more than 200,000 Americans live each day with a disability caused by them.

“Because spinal cord injury usually occurs in otherwise healthy, young adults, it is an especially attractive candidate for a cure for stem cell therapy,” said Ann Kiessling, director of the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation. “The big question is whether a ‘moon shot’ approach will produce a cure, or if there is still too much basic science yet unknown.”

The workshop is hosted by UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center. Additional support is provided by the UGA Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, and Millipore, Inc.

“The University of Georgia is fortunate to team up with the Bedford Foundation to host these leading experts in spinal cord therapies to discuss and develop new paths forward for spinal cord injuries,” said Steven Stice, director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center. “In addition, Georgia’s recent legislation aimed at restricting stem cell research makes this workshop an especially timely one.”

Created in 1996, the Bedford Stem Cell Research Foundation is a Massachusetts-based public charity and biomedical institute that exists to conduct stem cell and related research for diseases and conditions that currently have no cure.

The Regenerative Bioscience Center brings UGA’s expertise, resources and accomplishments in human embryonic stem cell research under one umbrella, while contributing to the University’s educational and outreach missions with student research experiences and public lectures, symposia, and workshops communicating the benefits and risks of regenerative bioscience.

The event serves as a follow-up to the inaugural Spinal Cord Workshop held at UGA in March 2008, titled “Spinal Cord Injury: What Are The Barriers To Cure?”

Workshop faculty this year include:
Hans Keirstead, Ph.D, associate professor of anatomy and neurobiology, University of California at Irvine, Reeve-Irvine Research Center; Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of neurology, molecular biology and immunology, and director, John Hopkins Transverse Myelitis Center; John W. McDonald, M.D., Ph.D., director, International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, Kennedy Krieger Institute; Steven L. Stice, Ph.D., professor, GRA Eminent Scholar, director of the Regenerative Bioscience Center at the University of Georgia and CSO, Aruna Biomedical Inc; Keith Tansey, M.D., Ph.D., director, Spinal Cord Injury Research, Shepherd Center; Scott Wittemore, Ph.D., professor and vice chairman for research, Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Louisville; Wise Young, M.D., Ph.D., professor and chair, Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience, Rutgers University, and director, W.M. Keck Center for Collaborative Neuroscience.

Registration information for the 2009 workshop, as well as video from the 2008 workshop talks, is available online at: http://www.spinalcordworkshop.org

via PR-USA.net – World’s Leading Scientists Meet to Examine Barriers for Stem Cell Therapies to Cure Spinal Cord Inju.

A Grim Fairy Tale – America’s Doomed Love Affair with Embryonic Stem Cell Research – Part 6 – Follow the Money, Not the Science

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 6

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

Reason 6: Follow the Money, not the Science

There is just no way that anyone can make money, in the long run, from the disaster known as embryonics. Sure, in the short run there can be some old boy network exchanges of cash between funders and research facility executives, but once the word got out that embryonic stem cells can cause cancer or destroy immune systems, the money train was diverted, as seen by Geron (GERN) stock: $75 in 2000, $1.95 in 2008 until Wall Street, seeing Obama about to win, started its own profiteering, ripping off investors to the tune of $43,000,000.   See “Geron Marches On” in our March 5 Special Newsletter:

http://repairstemcells.org/CMSModules/Newsletters/CMSPages/GetNewsletterIssue.aspx?issueId=8

The dead end research of embryonics protects the huge profit margins of Big Medicine’s profitable drugs, no matter how deadly (Vioxx et al); profitable medical machines, no matter how toxic (drug eluding stents); profitable tests no matter the risk (mammograms); and profitable hospitalizations, no matter how useless (too numerous to mention). Support for the real cure of RSC could ravage those profits. Small wonder that the money and their controlled media have been attacking the only stem cells that actually work, calling RSC “snake oil.”

As Sharon Begley points out in her recent Newsweek article, “Doctors have long resisted having science guide their practice.” Add to that the list of science-resisting profiteers: pharmaceutical companies, medical device makers, health insurance companies and health management organizations, and it becomes much clearer why ESCs, which will never cure anything and affect profits, have been heavily promoted, while RSCs, which can diminish the current outrageous profits, have been heavily disparaged.   Just another reason why the American Medical System has been proven the worst in the developed world. See “Why Not the Best” at:

http://www.commonwealthfund.org/Content/Publications/Fund-Reports/2008/Jul/Why-Not-the-Best–Results-from-the-National-Scorecard-on-U-S–Health-System-Performance–2008.aspx

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.

Click here for:

Reason 6: Follow the Money, not the Science

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.

Click here for:

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!”

Click here for:

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.

Click here for:

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