Skip to comments.Stem Cells: Dr. Oz on 'Oprah'
Posted on 04/06/2009 8:45:52 PM PDT by Coleus
Heres Josh Brahm explaining this Oprah spot, in which Dr. Oz comes out against embryonic stem-cell research on scientific grounds (Warning: In it he handles, pokes and slices a real human brain).
Catholics remember sadly that Michael J. Fox was a huge proponent of clone-and-kill stem-cell research. How ironic that President Obama, who claims to want to follow science is funding precisely the kind of research that the medical community is abandoning. See Josh Brahms essay 9 Things the Media Messed Up About the Obama Stem Cell Story.
On the Oprah show, Dr. Mehmet Oz handles the brain of a 50-year-old male (a member of our studio audience, he jokes) explains where Parkinsons disease damage lies, and how stem-cell therapy is supposed to work, regenerating brain tissue. Then, he announces: Now, Im going to say something thats going to be a bit provocative.
I think, Oprah, the stem-cell debate is dead, and Ill tell you why.
Oprah looks on with a certain horror (she knows the political ramifications) as he explains: The problem with embryonic stem cells is that embryonic stem cells come from embryos, like all of us were made from embryos. And those cells can become any cell in the body. But its very hard to control them, and so they can become cancer.
He then explains the advances in pluripotent stem cells (he doesnt use their name) that have been made in recent years. He defends his scientific credentials by saying he believes the right-to-life fight (he doesnt call it that) over stem cells has slowed down research. But he says that, within single digit years moral, adult stem cell therapy (he doesnt call it that either) will find a cure for Parkinsons. Whether thats true or TV hype or not, Im not sure. See Brahms commentary in the video.
Heres how Tim Drake reported the new developments in the Register:
The big news of the past two years is that we have other sources of pluripotent stem cells that do not involve human embryos, said Legionary Father Thomas Berg. Recently, researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles were able to create motor neurons using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, which are embryonic-like cells reverted to a pluripotent state from their adult state. Such cells could hold promise for treating such diseases as ALS (Lou Gehrigs Disease).
British and Canadian teams have recently honed the process for making pluripotent iPS cells. According to a report in Nature, the cells are reprogrammed by inserting four genes, which are removed once the process is complete, thus making it even more likely that soon these cells could be safely used for human therapeutic applications. Earlier attempts at creating iPS cells, though promising, had the drawback of leaving genetic alterations in the cells which, if transplanted into human subjects, could cause tumor formation or genetic abnormalities.
Recent inroads, however, pioneered by the Medical Research Council Center for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, do not use viruses to transport the genes. Rather, an electronic shock opens a temporary gate in the cell membrane, allowing the DNA fragment to pass through. We have found a highly efficient and safe way to create new cells for the human body which avoids the challenge of immune rejection, said Andras Nagy, a scientist at the University of Toronto who is leading the research work on the technique.
Such advances also avoid the numerous moral and scientific problems that plague embryonic stem-cell research.
Obamas executive order not only rescinds former President George W. Bushs limits on embryonic stem-cell research, but also rescinds the previous orders explicit required funding for alternative methods, such as iPS.
I'm stunned beyond words. Oprah is going to make Dr. Oz sit in the uncomfy chair for going off the reservation. Oprah doesn't frequently let guests contradict her, let alone her hand-picked doctor.
Embryonic stem cell research was pretty much just a phase. It does continue today, but way, way more in animal models than in humans. The research is aimed towards unraveling the biochemical and morphological changes in cells as they age, in comparison to the earliest cells in the body.
New therapies will continue to be developed. But they will be based on adult stem cells - using your own stem cells. Each and every one of us has tons of them. But for some reason, they are not “turned on”, the way we need them to be to repair body abnormalities.
Jay Sekulow played the clip on his radio show.
I’m going to write an editor’s letter about it.
It was promoted largely because the embryo has been devalued in the minds of many people by IVF and by abortion on demand.
You summed it up nicely.
At first I thought the look on Fox's face was shame over his participation in forcing this research. Then, it occurred to me, he may have undergone the procedure Oz was talking about causing cancer.
Thanks so much for posting this - I would have missed the story entirely if you hadn’t.
I have somewhat of a hobby following the various research results.
Thought about going in to medicine and research years ago, but chose computers instead.
No malpractice suits!
i didn’t know he has a radio show, is there a link? I’ve been watching him on the 700 club for years.
Apparently someone has missed all the "Terminator" movies. When the machines take over you are going to be in big trouble. You think lawyers are tough how about robot lawyers.
Sekulow is on at noon. aclj.org has replays and stations listed where you can listen.
Is he pro-life, just intellectually honest or both? I hadn’t heard he was pro-life. (I doubt Oprah would have a pro-life doctor as a regular on her show.) He may just be pragmatic, but I’ll take it.
Everyone must remember this about the embryonic stem cell issue: it’s not about “cures”, it’s about not assigning any human value to the unborn.
Same with the abortion issue - it’s not about keeping abortions legal, it’s about keeping abortions already performed and participated in guilt free.
Most vehement “pro-aborts” are really “had-aborts” who know what they did and spend the rest of their lives justifying it.
I understand that, for many, the stem cell issue is about dehumanizing the embryo. However, there are many misguided people who really are buying into embryonic stem cell research for “cures.”
Beyond that, I think it is a good thing when people like Dr. Oz are intellectually honest. One doesn’t have to be “pro-life” to recognize the danger and folly of embryonic stem cell research.
If we can use a medical argument, in addition to the human life argument, I’m all for it. And I think if Dr. Oz isn’t pro-life (and I really don’t have a clue as to whether he is or not), it lends more credibility to the medical argument against this experimentation.
Oprah is going to make Dr. Oz sit in the uncomfy chair for going off the reservation. >>
I bet he got a big tongue lashing after the show. Little does she know is that Muslims are pro-life.