23 Responses

  1. Brent
    Brent July 20, 2006 at 12:57 pm | | Reply

    Amy,

    Love your blog; I read it every day since our daughter (14) was diagnosed in Feb.

    Now I don’t agree with everything that this or any other president says or does. But, what I think gets lost when people say ‘Bush vetoed Stem Cell Research’ is that he only vetoed the use of new embryos to create new embryonic stem cell lines.

    In fact, he has stated his support all along for non-embryonic stem cell research, like adult stem cells, umbilical stem cells, etc.

    It’s a shame that he doesn’t more explicitely state this because he alienates everyone when he doesn’t make the distinction.

    Maybe I’m splitting hairs …

    Keep up the great work here, but hey, we need more information on your progress with the CGMS!

    Thanks.

  2. GhettoJava
    GhettoJava July 20, 2006 at 4:11 pm | | Reply

    I know how you feel Amy, we’ll have to wait for a new administration for Embryonic Stem (ES) Cell research to really get the national funding it deserves. It’s not all doom and gloom though. Other nations are avidly pursuing this field of research and Scientists are coming up with novel ways to work around the political minefield. My favorite recent articles is about the possibility of “virgin” embryonic stem cells even though more research has to be done: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9447.html
    Love the blog, by the way. I need to keep mine up, later,
    GJ

  3. art-sweet
    art-sweet July 20, 2006 at 8:26 pm | | Reply

    Brent,

    Embryonic stem cells can develop in many different directions, unlike adult stem cells. Many of the current lines, from what I’ve read, are contaminated with mouse cells.

    Federal funding for new lines has the potential to open up whole new avenues of research.

    Am I disappointed? Heck, yes. Surprised? No, unfortunately.

  4. VineHill
    VineHill July 20, 2006 at 9:34 pm | | Reply

    Brent-

    You may have a point, but also don’t forget that what embryos don’t get used are tossed in the garbage. Doesn’t it make more sense to use it for the better of mankind, even if there is an aorta of a hope to cure Type 1? Remember, over 70% of US voters support the bill that Bush vetoed!!

    Amy-I agree with you completely on this. Thanks so much for your blog. I read (and look forward to) it every day since my daughter got diagnosed in Oct. 2005. It keeps us going. Can’t wait for a cure.

  5. Bernard Farrell
    Bernard Farrell July 21, 2006 at 3:05 am | | Reply

    Amy

    I got back from my camping vacation with the children to hear this terrible news. Can I suggest to your readers that they continue to let their congress and the President know how they feel about this?
    I’m most disappointed because of the potential for all sorts of diseases if new stem cell lines were made available.
    Bernard

  6. paul
    paul July 21, 2006 at 6:26 am | | Reply

    brent-

    bottom line, embryonic stem cells are far more useful than the other types. i’ll be damned if i give more value to a clump of cells on a petri dish than to a living, breathing, chronically suffering child. Just yesterday they announced that scientists were able to create mature T-cells from embryonic stem cells. This finding could result in treatments for AIDS and diabetes both. But no, an invisible mass of frozen, unused cells is better left to rot in a lab somewhere until it is discarded.

    If it’s really murder, then in-vitro fertilization itself is murder – dozens of embryos get thrown out for every implanted one!

    and as for the children made from leftover embryos bush paraded behind him while he made the announcement, I say that everyone who wants a child and who supported his veto should have to implant someone else’s discarded embryo until they’re all used up so that these heartless ‘murders’ can no longer occur. If it is murder of a human life, as Bush is insinuating, people should be prosecuted for IVF for all the embryos they kill in the process. The line that other stem cell lines are as useful as embryonic cells is a load of garbage and every scientist on the planet knows it- you’re exactly the person that this kind of BS line was intended to deceive, and clearly it worked.

    Apologies if you became the object of my frustration for a moment there, but it irks me to end that basic research is set back yet again.

  7. Reader
    Reader July 21, 2006 at 1:49 pm | | Reply

    The Govenor of Illinois has taken $5 Million from his state’s budget to put towards Embryonic Stem Cell Research! Whoo Hoo for him. A politician with courage.

  8. Julie
    Julie July 22, 2006 at 10:28 am | | Reply

    In addition to being a Type 1 diabetic, I also suffer from Meniere’s Disease. I agree with President Bush’s Veto. Diabetes is big business to drug companies and they have put their research dollars into adult stem cells. Auto-immune diseases show greatest potential with adult stem cells. Use of embryo’s is a very deep, moral concern for a large portion of tax payers and President Bush’s veto addresses these concerns in a careful way. Liberals try to make it sound like the President is opposed to stem cell research when it is a funding issue only.

  9. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 23, 2006 at 9:10 am | | Reply

    I don’t understand how laypersons and politicians are suddenly becoming scientific experts on deciding what kind of stem cells can be used and what can’t. My background is in biochemistry and microbiology, and as a person with T1 diabetes, I can say that limiting funding for any kind of research that has a potential is a silly idea. Then those people come back throwing political terms around. Let’s Face It; Religion has the major part to do with this decision. But we can continue to hide behind politics because people are uncomfortable in talking about religion putting a hold over politics, which both put a hold on science.

    As to the person talking about adult stem cells, you need to read on the viability of adult stem cells and how they are not useful after about 50 cell divisions. Adult stem cells cannot be cultured as nearly as long as embryonic cells, and do not provide renewed cell lines.

  10. Julie
    Julie July 24, 2006 at 10:51 am | | Reply

    I, too am a biologist (environmental) and have researched the embryonic stem cell issue. Funding of research using human embryos is indeed a moral issue. This goes beyond the realm of religion. It has become a political issue just as abortion has. Many taxpayers object strongly to the use of their tax dollars to support research using human embryos. There is no movement to ban the research altogether. Having deep concerns about the eventual creation of nascent embryos and then the use of them in laboratory experiments is an important issue worthy of close scrutiny. Also,the tendency of implanted ESC’s to produce malignant tumors is being hidden in the popular press and in blogs such as this. This is a moral dilemma worthy of great caution. The failure of liberals to understand this is amazing to me.

  11. AmyT
    AmyT July 24, 2006 at 1:25 pm | | Reply

    Oooh, boy, are we wading into the political quagmire here. Yuck. I happen to support embryonic stem cell research; others don’t (which I find just as amazing — for reasons at least as sound). So, on with the show… and no more finger-pointing, please.

  12. Julie
    Julie July 24, 2006 at 5:40 pm | | Reply

    I support scientists being allowed to conduct research on unused embryos. I don’t support federal dollars being used to fund the research. Seems fair to me. Based on recent research, it looks like we’ll be able to use stem cells from baby teeth and federal funding will be a moot point. Then we’ll all be happy.

  13. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 25, 2006 at 12:04 am | | Reply

    I just find it interesting that a “scientist” throws around the word “liberal” in their discussion. A scientist should use the scientific method, using scientific facts, rather than politics and religion.

  14. Julie
    Julie July 25, 2006 at 7:03 am | | Reply

    Scientists are moral creatures too. It’s well known that the political affiliations have lined up as usual in this debate. Liberals support federal funding of embryonic stem cell research while conservatives do not. So just because I am a scientist does not mean I cannot use the “liberal” term in my discussion/opinion. The funding issue isn’t really a scientific one but a moral one anyway.

  15. daniel duffy
    daniel duffy July 25, 2006 at 1:30 pm | | Reply

    My 16 year old son is a Type I diabetic (diagnosed two years ago after Thanksgiving). I also support the President’s veto,not just for moral reasons (I am pro-life and do not believe that some should be sacrificed – even if they going to be thrown away, die, anyway), but also for practical reasons.

    It’s only been briefly mentioned so far but all potential ESC cures (of which ther are none, unlike ASC) will involve the inplantation of foreign tissue. This tissue will trigger an auto-immune response which can only be managed with immunosuppresent drugs – just like any other organ transplant. In other words, ESC cures for diabetes will be no dfferent than a current pancreatic or beta cell transplants – and with the same results. The dirty little secret of organ transplants is that the recipients only live on average another 5 years before an opportunistic disease takes them due to their weakened immune system. After my son was diagnosed, I asked our endocrinologist about transplants and was told he was better off taking insulin.

    ASC, OTOH, have no immune problems when they are taken from the recipient. While not perfectly pluripotent, ASC has shown themselves to be strongly mulitpotent with the most recent breakthrough being fat cells being turned into muscle cells. ASC also has a strong record of actual cures and therapies, bone marrow transplants being the most obvious example.

    Since we have finite resources for research, our first rule should be to reinforce success. ASC has shown success and promise, while ESC has resulted in nothing of value and the promise of immunological hurdles that may be imposible to overcome. Money and time spent on ESC will be a blind alley taking us further from a cure, not closer.

  16. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 25, 2006 at 11:01 pm | | Reply

    I agree with you, Julie, in that we should not let someone else’s “moral” decisions of limiting stem cell research should also limit the desire of persons with Type 1 diabetes that are looking for a cure.

    Just because I think that your car polutes the environment more than my car, and therefore your car should be required to pay more money for gasoline is not a good enough reason.

    I hope you stand at the back of the line when a cure for Type 1 diabetes is found. You may enjoy living and paying for Type 1 diabetes, but I want out — FAST.

    Non-scientists placing limits on research hurts those who need it most.

    Thanks for hurting the people with Type 1 diabetes that don’t like it.

  17. daniel duffy
    daniel duffy July 26, 2006 at 4:05 am | | Reply

    So Jason, are you saying there should be no moral limits on scientific research? Was Dr. Menegele’s “research” on children legitimate?

  18. Julie
    Julie July 26, 2006 at 7:35 am | | Reply

    Jason, I can assure you that I will not stand in line at all if a cure requires the destruction of a human embryo. Frankly, I find Type 1 diabetes to be a fairly easy disease to control. Compared to my profound hearing loss and severe vertigo from another autoimmune disease, it’s a cakewalk.

  19. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 26, 2006 at 9:06 pm | | Reply

    Daniel,
    I might misunderstand you, but you’re equating finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes the same as Dr. Menegele’s “research”? Slow down, I’m confused!

    Julie,
    I’m glad you find Type 1 easy to control, but don’t let that get in the way of research for others.

  20. daniel duffy
    daniel duffy July 27, 2006 at 4:10 am | | Reply

    Jason, You missed the point completely. My question is: do you believe that scientific research in principle should have NO moral limiations whatsoever? My example of Mengele merely provided an example of the consequences of such a belief.

  21. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 27, 2006 at 7:08 pm | | Reply

    danny,
    I’m sorry that you missed my point, as I am remaining on topic with stem cell research. If you want to debate scientific research “limiations” (is that like a lime?), I’m sure Google can assist in pointing you to the proper soapbox.

  22. daniel duffy
    daniel duffy July 28, 2006 at 9:22 am | | Reply

    Jason,

    Let me repeat. Are you against any moral or ethical limitations on scientific research?

  23. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk July 31, 2006 at 4:52 am | | Reply

    Danny,
    I’m sorry (well, not really) that you desire to turn this into a non-diabetes soapbox for your illogical debate. I am not a master debater as you seem to be over stem cell research as it relates to the original thread.

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