Friday, January 02, 2009

Top Ignored Story of '08

Stemming the ESCR Tide

I happened to pick up a local newspaper, the Mansfield (Ohio) News-Journal, yesterday and it carried an ed op titled, "Ignored story may turn out to be biggest of 2008," by Ohio Supreme Court Judge Paul E Pfeifer. He discusses the top 10 news stories which the Associated Press identified for 2008. He talks in his op ed about a few that didn’t make it, but should have.

One in particular may be the most important of all. It was mentioned in passing this past November. I will quote an extensive excerpt from Judge Pfeiffer’s piece. You can read the entire article here.

“. . . (T)here was one story — from the world of medical science — that didn’t even gain honorable mention (to the AP Top 10 news stories of 2008). . . .

“The story involved a woman named Claudia Castillo, a 30-year-old mother of two from Barcelona, Spain. Castillo’s windpipe was badly damaged by long-term tuberculosis. Her left lung had collapsed and she faced the possibility of having the lung removed, a dangerous option that would have severely restricted her quality of life.

“But then her doctors decided upon a different, pioneering approach to Claudia’s problem: they grew a new windpipe using stem cells. The entire procedure, which included doctors working in three different countries — Spain, Italy and England — was almost too fantastic to believe.

“First, the doctors got a windpipe from an organ donor. That windpipe was used as a kind of scaffold upon which the stem cells would be placed and where they would be manipulated to grow a new windpipe.

“Of course, stem cell research has been a hot-button political topic for years because much of it has involved the use of embryonic stem cell tissue, which is typically derived from aborted fetuses. But in this procedure, doctors used ADULT stem cells to grow the new windpipe.

“And here’s the best part: the stem cells weren’t just from any adult but from Claudia’s own body. The doctors in England took a sample of Claudia’s bone marrow from her hip, and after millions of cells had been produced, injected various chemicals to induce the cells to turn into highly specialized cells that would create the new windpipe grown on the scaffolding provided by the donated one.

All of which is very good news, and not just because it avoids the ethical and moral implications that accompany embryonic stem cells. The truly great benefit here is that the new windpipe in Claudia’s throat contains her own DNA because it was constructed using her own stem cells. Thus, rejection by the body isn’t an issue as it is in typical organ transplants.

“By the time her story was published, in mid-November, Claudia was already home and, in her own words, “enjoying life and very happy that my illness has been cured.”

“While the early results are encouraging, the doctors and scientists involved cautioned that this is only a halting first step. But it’s a promising step, and some of the doctors voiced real optimism, saying that this technique might even be adapted to other organs. And another said that while it’s still years away, one day we may be able to produce organs in the laboratory using a patient’s own stem cells, without the need of donor organs to use as templates.

“So, as it stands, really significant advancement in growing new organs from stem cells that could cure many of our diseases is still well in the future, if it happens at all But if it does happen, this story — which was barely noticed amidst the political turmoil, economic upheaval and deadly natural disasters of 2008 — may end up being like the little ray of hope that flew out of the Pandora’s box of 2008 . . ."

What is disconcerting is the frenzied feeding of blatant misinformation regarding the need for embryonic stem cell research (EBSR) to the general public by the mainstream media, the political left, and greedy medical researchers on the hunt for federal funding. To date there have been zero, “0,” zilch, no successful treatments or cures for anything using embryonic stem cells (ESC). All successful treatments and/or cures have been through the use of ADULT stem cells. Yet, the mainstream media and their co-conspirators continue to lie and infer that it is “general” stem cells, when in reality it is specifically ADULT stem cells that work.

No private entity wants to fund useless, unproductive, needless research using embryonic stem cells, which requires the extinguishing of human life. What a foolish and wasteful policy. It almost seems that the secular humanist and leftists want to continue to cheapen and devalue human life and treat it as a commodity rather than sacred and precious. What the judge identified was just one of many successes using ADULT stem cells.

The only public funding that should be permitted or provided is that for ADULT stem cell research. Nothing should be provided for life-killing ESCR. The judge is right, this may and should turn out to be the biggest story of 2008.


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  2. You said, "No private entity wants to fund useless, unproductive, needless research using embryonic stem cells, which requires the extinguishing of human life."

    I agree and I'm against embryonic stem cell research, but private corporations tend to put their money in the same places that the government does. They give grants to university research programs which have already started researching a particular area, so that they don't have to spend as much to get what they want.