41 Responses

  1. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange March 8, 2009 at 8:48 pm | | Reply

    I don’t believe that there was a federal ban on embryonic stem cell research. There was a ban on federal FUNDING for that type of research tho. Private companies were more than welcome to fund and perform research on their own.

    While I agree that we need to conduct such research so we can just find out, I do object to the media often saying that the ban was on research, not funding. There is a big difference and indeed, such research has been taking place.

  2. Adam Kaye
    Adam Kaye March 8, 2009 at 9:27 pm | | Reply

    That may be true, but I can tell you, coming from an academic institution where a lot of this type of research originates, that a huuuuuge portion of the funding that goes towards a lab that would look at something like stem cells comes from the NIH. I don’t doubt that the private sector has been looking into stem cells, but this represents a BIG bolus of funding (no pun intended) for brilliant, dedicated, and driven scientists to cure disease.

  3. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange March 8, 2009 at 9:57 pm | | Reply


    I don’t disagree with you one bit, I was simply disagreeing with the statement that it was a ban on research.

  4. Scott Strange
    Scott Strange March 9, 2009 at 7:18 am | | Reply

    hehe, anytime… That will probably be the most work I do all week!

  5. Ray Mumme
    Ray Mumme March 9, 2009 at 8:32 am | | Reply

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  6. m
    m March 9, 2009 at 10:11 am | | Reply

    I believe that life begins at conception and an embryo is a human being. While no doubt that embryonic stem cell research will lead to lifesaving cures, it will also lead to life-robbing destruction of human embryos. ADULT stem cell research has already demonstrated as much –if not more— promise to find cures as embryonic research, so I don’t understand why there’s a need for embryonic research when it has serious moral and ethical issues and there’s an alternative available. It’s just not worth it to me. But then again I would never expect Obama to rule in favor of human life over an individual’s personal needs. “It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.” –Mother Teresa

  7. jules
    jules March 9, 2009 at 10:19 am | | Reply

    This only deflects and focusses research on embryonic stem cells. The more promising science in in adult stem cells. It is however, so much cooler to go after embryos. I for one, will stop my huge donations to JDRF if they focus on embryonic stem cells. I would favor a check off on tax forms that allow you to transfer some of your taxes to this folly. It’s morally reprehensible to force taxpayers to pay for this. It will be interesting to see what you have to say when all this research and all the money spent shows absolutely nothing. If there was potential, the private sector would have found it. The best thing you can do for diabetes is to favor strong policies to enhance the economy.

  8. jules
    jules March 9, 2009 at 10:29 am | | Reply

    M, Thanks for defending life. Just when I thought this site was too liberal to be objective (like a med blog should be). Amy used the word “joy” over this nonsense.

  9. Mary
    Mary March 9, 2009 at 11:20 am | | Reply

    Amy, I can’t believe you used the word “joy” to describe how you are feeling regarding destruction of human embryos. What type of individual would experience joy at the destruction of another human life (If it isn’t human what is it?) for the sake of saving your own life (sort of).

  10. Johnnie
    Johnnie March 9, 2009 at 11:28 am | | Reply

    Amy: As a type 1 diabetic, I am experiencing sorrow that you are experiencing such joy.

  11. MoonbatBane
    MoonbatBane March 9, 2009 at 11:37 am | | Reply

    The sole result of this change will be diversion of federal funding from politically boring adult stem cell reseach to politically useful (for the far left pro-abortion crowd) embryonic stem cell research. The biggest difference between these two is that adult stem cell research shows real potential and has led to some actual real-world treatments for real-world diseases (see, e.g., here:, while embryonic stem cell research mostly leads to horrific tumors and has led to ZERO real-world treatments. Therefore, while this change might be all feel-good, the result is going to be a negative for actual advancement of cures for diabetes and other diseases.

  12. Jonah
    Jonah March 9, 2009 at 11:41 am | | Reply

    Amy T:0bama’s and your lack of regard for the sanctity of human life is appalling. To you it’s expendable and a commodity to be exploited. I am stopping all donations to JDRF and will stop visiting this blog and the advertisers that support you.

  13. Lucifer
    Lucifer March 9, 2009 at 12:00 pm | | Reply

    Amy: This is certainly wonderful news and I am as joyful as you are. There is even more potential in actual aborted fetuses. The pancreas from an aborted fetus contains actual beta cells that can be directly transplanted into anyone with no autoimmune reaction. Isn’t that a wonderful thought? Obama will certainly be open to full funding of this under his healthcare plan. Maybe you could get the ball rolling on this too. Bless you for doing this.

  14. Lou
    Lou March 9, 2009 at 12:17 pm | | Reply

    Stem cell research on embryonic babies has never produced positive results. It is an abomination to slaughter babies and use their bodies for research.
    I am certain every instance of embryonic stem cell research will continue to produce new forms of cancer. This is research into the development of disease. Adult stem cell research has yielded hunderds of cures.
    As a diabetic I am disgusted with the selfishness of sick people who desire the death of babies in the arrogant hope that those sacrifices will alleviate their suffering. May their pain be doubled and doubled again.

  15. Chris
    Chris March 9, 2009 at 12:33 pm | | Reply

    Johnnie: As a person with type 1 for nearly 40 years I too am sad about this. The JDRF have filled so many heads with empty hope that I have never given a dime to them. What a sad day this is.

  16. T
    T March 9, 2009 at 12:39 pm | | Reply

    It always amazes me that those opposed to stem cell research are not actively against abortion. Embryonic stem cells are not coming from babies, but from embryos. Aborted “babies” actually have a chance at life.

    For those who wish to pull funds from JDRF, that is just sad. JDRF supports stem cell research, yes, but they are so much more than that. For those with Type 1 diabetes and on an insulin pump, you have JDRF to thank for it. The artificial pancreas project, linking the pump and the CGM, well that’s JDRF as well. Insurance coverage for the CGM, yup, JDRF has a big hand in that as well. I would be willing to bet that those of you against the research would be some of the first in line should a cure be found.

    I do not support abortion, but I do support research if it means a cure. I will continue to support JDRF in their quest to find that cure.

  17. MomofTypeIkid
    MomofTypeIkid March 9, 2009 at 12:44 pm | | Reply

    As the mom of a child who has had Type I diabetes for almost 12 years, I am so grateful to President Obama for signing the executive order today. I feel like my frustration and anger over the last eight years has been lifted and I have hope that now even more avenues of research are open that will find a cure for my son.
    The one remaining frustration is that opponents of ESC do not seem to realize that the embryos in question must be donated by the parents who created them and would have been thrown away otherwise. When an embryo is thrown away, it dies. It seems a terrible waste of the incredible potential that those embryos have to help other living human beings who are here and who are suffering each day.

  18. Chris
    Chris March 9, 2009 at 12:50 pm | | Reply

    T:I certainly will not be waiting in line for embryonic stem cells. Could you please provide proof that JDRF is responsible for the development of the insulin pump? I dont think the major manufacturers of insulin pumps will agree with you. Donating to JDRF is a waste of time and effort.

  19. A
    A March 9, 2009 at 1:10 pm | | Reply

    As the mother of twin boys living with diabetes, I am thrilled about the Executive order signed by President Obama today and I look forward to legislation passing. Presidnet Bush’s veto was to throw the embryo in the trash vs helping those in the land of the living. The legislation was very clear that this is not creating embryos for research…these are embryos coming from IVF that people want to use for stem cell to help millions of people instead of throwing them away. JDRF have done a wonderful job leading the way on this iniciative as well as many areas of research. Today is a day to celebrate!

  20. Jules
    Jules March 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm | | Reply

    I don’t think there will ever be a consensus on the definition of embryo, fetus, and baby. But I believe it’s factual to say that they are all separate and identifiable human life. There is no law preventing destruction of any of these and they can be used any way that is wanted…except cloning. I wish Amy would point to some successes in using embryonic stem cells to support her ‘joy”.

  21. Janet
    Janet March 9, 2009 at 1:22 pm | | Reply

    A: There is no congressional approval needed for your leader’s executive order. Trillions of dollars can now be spent on this without anyone raising objections. Evidence is leaning towards this being a complete waste. So don’t get your hopes up like Amy has.

  22. Jezzie
    Jezzie March 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm | | Reply

    There’s an old saying..”follow the money.” The private sector money is going to adult stem cell research not embryonic. This is just another example of “Bush Derangement Syndrome” and the Obama administration is focusing all of it’s energy in undoing all of President Bush’s executive orders. Meanwhile the economy continues to tank which, by the way, will have a bigger impact on diabetes than Obama’s pork spending on research the private sector has already discredited. I’m putting my money on adult stem cell research. Since this blog is coming out of San Francisco, I can understand it’s liberal slant and I’m not offended at all by Amy’s joy. In fact I predicted it.

  23. Nick
    Nick March 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm | | Reply

    Washington, DC — President Barack Obama may win applause from some in the scientific community for his expected decision on Monday to overturn President Bush’s limits on embryonic stem cell research funding. But some scientists say the controversial research is no longer the hot prospect for patients.

    Bernadine Healy, the former head of the National institutes of Health and the American Red Cross says the remarkable advances of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) are beginning to subsume embryonic stem cells.

    She wrote in U.S News and World Report that IPSC and adult stem cell research successes have “diminished” the prospect that ESCR is the future of regenerative medicine.

    “Even for strong backers of embryonic stem cell research, [Obama's decision] is no longer as self-evident as it was, because there is markedly diminished need for expanding these cell lines for either patient therapy or basic research,” Healy explains.

    “In fact, during the first six weeks of Obama’s term, several events reinforced the notion that embryonic stem cells, once thought to hold the cure for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes, are obsolete,” she adds.

    She points to the news in February that embryonic stem cells injected into a patient in Israel caused disabling if not deadly tumors.

    Healy says that the news should cause Obama to instruct the Food and Drug Administration to “take another look” at its decision to approve a trial sponsored by the biotech firm Geron to use embryonic stem cells in a clinical trial involving human patients.

    “The FDA should now be compelled to take another look: Are eight to 10 patients enough, or one year of monitoring sufficient, to assess safety?” she asks.

    While embryonic stem cells are no further along in providing real help to patients, there are ethical alternatives, that don’t involve the destruction of human life, that are ready to go or quite close.

    “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. These advances involve human stem cells that are not derived from human embryos,” Healy says.

    “In fact, adult stem cells, which occur in small quantities in organs throughout the body for natural growth and repair, have become stars despite great skepticism early on. Though this is a more difficult task, scientists have learned to coax them to mature into many cell types, like brain and heart cells, in the laboratory,” she adds.

    According to Healy, patients who want the best hope for cures should look to adult stem cells rather than their embryonic counterparts.

    “To date, most of the stem cell triumphs that the public hears about involve the infusion of adult stem cells. We’ve just recently seen separate research reports of patients with spinal cord injury and multiple sclerosis benefiting from adult stem cell therapy,” she writes. “These cells have the advantage of being the patient’s natural own. They do not have the awesome but dangerous quality of eternal life characteristic of embryonic stem cells.”

    Healy also says the iPS cells that have been the latest buzz are also outpacing embryonic ones.

    “Already these reprogrammed cells have eclipsed the value of those harvested from embryos,” she explains, “because of significantly lower cost, ease of production, and genetic identity with the patient.”

    “They also bring unique application to medical and pharmaceutical research, because cells cultivated from patients with certain diseases readily become laboratory models for developing and testing therapy. That iPS cells overcome ethical concerns about creating and sacrificing embryos is an added plus,” she continues.

    Healy concludes that Obama and people who support his decision ought to be careful to understand that his move isn’t really the best for patients.

    “Obama stands for transparency, and it’s important for him to make sure the public understands his decision, including that all stem cells are not the same or created equally,” she concludes.

    Ok Amy…sorry to take away your joy for today…

  24. Dan
    Dan March 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm | | Reply

    An 8 year moratorium due to Bush attempting in a psychopathic manner to be a moral entrepreneur. Protect life, but send others to their death with a fictional war.

    Stem cell therapy will save lives, and will cure and treat diseases that are void of recovery and relief.

    Embryonic stem cells, the ones with the most potential benefit, are pluripotent and have plasticity.. They are from 5 day old embryos remaining from IVF. These embryos contain about 100 cells. The 20 cells in the core of this embryo is where the stem cells are obtained.

    It’s therapeutic cloning that occurs with stem cell based therapy, and not cloning as other perceive it to be due to fear instilled into the public by those opposed to this new innovation.

    Stem Cell therapy is the advent of regenerative medicine. Health care replacement injected. Others will not suffer because of this,

    Dan Abshear

  25. Nick
    Nick March 9, 2009 at 3:08 pm | | Reply

    Dan Abshear: You too are also a sufferer of BDS. I think it was entirely reasonable for President Bush to restrict funding using tax payer $$ to existing embryonic stem cell lines. How in the world is that psychopathic? He was only doing what the majority wanted him to do. Guess what? It turned out he was right. It wasn’t necessary to go beyond the existing stem cell lines. Now your guy, Obama, is funding new and unnecessary embryonic stem cell lines. I’m assuming thats what the majority wants.

  26. Ann Evans
    Ann Evans March 9, 2009 at 3:19 pm | | Reply

    I am greatful that the lines can now be extended. The current few that are in use for federal funding, have no genetic diversity. The current ones are contaminanted with mouse feeder cells and will never be used for therapeutic cures. Also we need to remember that the funding is only for blastocytes leftover from IVF that are already slated to be destroyed. These are ones that will never go on to be a human life. That has already been determined. I believe it is a higher morality to let them go to provide life saving cures for those with chronic disease. Those that a currently living have value also. The restrictions have also cut back on the number of students choosing research as a career.

  27. Ann Evans
    Ann Evans March 9, 2009 at 3:25 pm | | Reply

    Also, adut stem cells are not a substitute. The only reason they have been able to do what they can is by what was discovered with ESCs. Researchers have currently ESCs that can produce insulin. It will take many years, if at all, to see if the adult stem cells can do what we already have ESCs doing. If you have someone with a chronic disease that is going to be debilitated in 10 years, the compassionate choice would be to go down both paths. Sorry, but the adult stem cell research still requires ECS’s has they are the gold standard to see if the procedure worked!

  28. Lauren
    Lauren March 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm | | Reply

    To the many people above who object to embryonic stem cell research because it extinguishes what you believe to be “human life:” How do you feel about fertility clinics? Those clinics destroy and discard tons of embryos daily. They even create “extra” embryos as back-up for couples who may want them someday. If you believe life starts at conception, why don’t you march against ferility clinics? Why don’t you demand that fertility treatments that involve creation and destruction of embroys be outlawed? I haven’t heard a peep about that issue. It’s a little hypocritical to oppose stem cell research, which can potentially benefit many, yet support the destruction of embryos through fertility treatments, which benefit … who? One or two people?

    As a future healthcare provider, I support stem cell research. I believe in helping the people who actually exist and are suffering. I don’t get it when people claim to be on the side of “life,” yet don’t care what happens to human beings AFTER they are born.

    If every embryo, every fetus, is so precious, why don’t anti-choice people adopt unwanted babies, and fund preschool, day care, education, and health care for children? Or do these little angels cease to be so precious when they take their first breath and can no longer be a wedge issue? Let’s stop the hypocrisy.

    Thank God it’s a new day in America and we have a president who actually believes in the reality of science.

  29. Nick
    Nick March 9, 2009 at 5:04 pm | | Reply

    Lauren: I don’t understand your logic at all. All pro-choice people would be happy to adopt…in fact there aren’t enough. What does funding pre-schools, and day care have to do with anything? You too, have major BDS.

  30. Nick
    Nick March 9, 2009 at 5:05 pm | | Reply

    I am making a copy of all these rants so that maybe in a couple of years all of you Obamabots can discuss the cure.

  31. Lauren
    Lauren March 9, 2009 at 7:04 pm | | Reply

    My point is: if conservatives claim to be against stem cell research because human life is sacred and precious, why do they not support policies that contribute to children’s well-being AFTER the children are born? An embryo is somehow holy to conservatives, yet they oppose universal health care for children. The hypocrisy is incredible. Oh, and how about those fertility clinics and the embryos that are destroyed there? That poses no problem, but stem cell research does?

    I am a future physician and a type 1 diabetic myself. My greatest hope is that stem cell research will help people with more devastating conditions than mine — patients with ALS, spinal cord injuries, and Parkinson’s. It’s important to move forward and do all we can in these areas of research.

    As for “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” here’s my own definition: those who voted for Bush and supported his policies are indeed deranged. If you want to call those of us who believe in science “liberal,” that’s fine with me. Liberal is another word for “rational.”

  32. Nick
    Nick March 9, 2009 at 7:49 pm | | Reply

    Lauren: I am a scientist and not a liberal. How can that be? Funny how everyone I know thinks Liberal means “irrational”. I guess its a matter of perspective. Good luck to you on your practice. May Obama be a continual source of prayer and inspiration to you.

  33. » JDRF on Stem Cell Research Boost: An Interview with Larry Soler - DiabetesMine: the all things diabetes blog

    [...] Stem Cell Research Finally Unleashed! (Follow it via JDRF’s New Twitter) [...]

  34. Redmond R
    Redmond R March 10, 2009 at 5:17 am | | Reply

    Amy: Your interview with Larry was weird. Diabetics… read this mornings WSJ for an alternative objective and clearer view of this.

  35. Junior Brooks
    Junior Brooks March 10, 2009 at 5:26 am | | Reply

    Yesterday’s executive order on fetal stem-cell research was all about politics and nothing about science. It had nothing at all to do with compassion or curing disease, it was just some cheap thrill in the undying abortion debate.

    Fetal stem cells are a surrogate for the abortion issue. There being precious little either side of the abortion debate can fight about right now, fetal stem cells have served as a substitute issue. George W. Bush signed the fetal stem-cell funding limits to appease folks in the anti-abortion crowd, and Barack H. Obama lifted the ban to appease folks in the pro-abortion crowd.

    And yesterday’s cock-a-doodle-dooing about science winning out over politics and philosophy was pure bull crud. Liberal support for fetal stem-cell research is about sticking it to pro-life people. Period. It has nothing to do with science, it has nothing to do with new treatments, it has everything to do with politics. Save your money and don’t donate to JDRF.

  36. lance
    lance March 10, 2009 at 8:04 am | | Reply

    AMY: This may explain the reason you got so many posts. Your article was posted on a Libertarian website:

  37. Paul
    Paul March 10, 2009 at 11:08 am | | Reply

    Man, after reading al of these posts I am really confused. I am a conservative, I guess one that is more to the center, I didn’t vote for Obama and I’m for ESC research. Where do I fit in? This past election both candidates were for ESC research so this was going to happen either way. Also a majority of Americans are also for ESC research. Our country is drowning in high health care costs. I think it would be a sound fiscal policy to invest in research that will cure cure diseases rather than treat them. I think Polio is probably the last disease that has been cured. We as a country can’t afford these diseases anymore so we have to cure them.

  38. Nikki
    Nikki March 10, 2009 at 11:55 am | | Reply

    I cannot believe all of these comments!! People are so rude.

    Amy- Your blog is fantastic…don’t let them get to you.

    BTW- on someone posted that we only want a cure so we can eat chocolate…oh and you know live normally.

    Such a perfect, yet, disappointing day.

  39. Laura
    Laura March 10, 2009 at 8:23 pm | | Reply

    To the commenter with the child with type 1…so now you can release your anger???? Hate to tell you but your anger is going to refire when you wake up and realize that a cure is still a long, long way away. Stem cell does not equal a cure. You may need anger management but don’t hold your breath waiting for a cure.

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