Skip to comments.Not with a bang but a whimper: What ever happened to the stem cell wars?
Posted on 11/03/2015 5:44:51 AM PST by wagglebee
It’s time for scientists and bioethicists to establish a Embryonic Stem Cell Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
It all seems so long ago now. But from 2002 to 2008 they barnstormed, fibbed, exaggerated, hyped, and caricatured to get government funding so that they could play God with human embryos. It was a brutal battle in which truth came second. "People need a fairy tale," said Ronald D.G. McKay, a leading stem cell scientist, in 2004.
The claims made for the near-miraculous potential of human embryonic stem cells were extraordinary. Celebrities and scientists spoke with the breathless enthusiasm normally associated with crystal medicine or ayurvedic medicine. Here are some, harvested at random:
If we cannot become Titans using our own stem-cell resources, perhaps we can resist the onslaught of time's vulture by transplanting pluripotent cells derived from early embryos to supplement our own waning supplies of stem cells. -- Nadia Rosenthal, in the New England Journal of Medicine, 2003.
“Science has presented us with a hope called stem-cell research, which may provide our scientists with answers that have so long been beyond our grasp. I just don’t see how we can turn our backs on this, there are just so many diseases that can be cured, or at least helped. We have lost so much time already, and I just really can’t bear to lose any more.” – Former First Lady Nancy Reagan
Personally, I can’t think of a greater affirmation of the culture of life than to advance the fight against disease by increasing federal funding for biomedical research. Equally crucial is to remove undue restrictions on important paths forward, including embryonic stem cell research. America is about optimism, about promise, about always moving forward. The idea of rejecting one of the most promising areas of research is shortsighted. – Michael J. Fox, Founder, Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research
It is difficult to estimate just how damaging the current restrictions have been to the field to date, but if the current restrictions are not eventually lifted, patients will suffer needlessly. – James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to ban research on, and the use of, medical treatments derived from embryonic stem cells. This bill is short-sighted and has the potential to put many critical future advances in medicine beyond the reach of patients in the United States.” – Jeffrey Drazen, Editor, New England Journal of Medicine
Foes of embryo research were called troglodytes and religious fundamentalists; they were frauds waging war on genuine science. Their scientific credentials were questioned. They were accused of being callous and indifferent to the suffering of patients with chronic illness.
And yet they were right. Not one person has been cured with embryonic stem cells. Not one.
The controversy ran out of steam almost immediately after Japanese researcher Shinya Yamanaka developed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) in 2007, a feat for which he was later awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine. His cells apparently have all the potential of embryonic cells without the ethical baggage. Leading scientists quietly stopped working with hES cells and moved to the new cells.
Nonetheless, some scientists still insisted that hES cells were the gold standard; destructive embryo research would always be essential for the advancement of science.
Now, in the concluding act of the stem cell wars, a paper in Nature Biotechnology has suggested that iPS cells and hES cells are functionally equivalent – effectively meaning that there is no need to destroy embryos either for research or for therapies. If it is true – and it needs to be confirmed by other researchers – it is the stem cell equivalent of receiving the surrender of the last Japanese soldier on some remote island in the Philippines. Whether or not the findings of Konrad Hochedlinger and colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston are correct, the war is over.
However, a news report in Science of this finding has attracted not one single comment. This attitude is thoroughly dishonourable. All those eminent journal editors, journalists, scientists, bioethicists, and politicians who insisted that destructive embryo research was vital were wrong. Will there be no apology?
Michael Cook is editor of MercatorNet.
And yet they were right. Not one person has been cured with embryonic stem cells. Not one.
And this is why the left simply stopped talking about it.
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For me, it culminated when Michael J. Fox used his disease to work against a Republican up for election (and Republicans in general) on the basis that Fetal Stem cell research could help him, Christopher Reeves, et al. Totally disingenuous lies. He even bragged how he didn’t take his meds so he’d shake and tremor when being interviewed.
The truth is that they could never produce any valid and documented results that indicated ONLY fetal stem cells could do what they were implying.
Today, we are left with their public abandonment of it because they (Planned Parenthood) was/is(?) making a bundle off murdered baby research (that probably includes stem cells, to boot).
I don’t think the war has gone away; it is just furtively covert now, hiding among the billions of baby butchering dollars that Planned Parenthood amasses.
It’s all about the kickbacks to the researchers and universities. There are just too many of these issues to keep track of. We can’t win all of them. If they Nazis were smart, instead of blitzkrieg, they would have started 6 million little fires. Then watched their enemies scurry about trying to put them out. The problem is we have an enemy within.
Not defending embryonic stem cell research but his reasoning is flawed. All those people would say it was vital at the time but now an alternative has been developed.
Why not ask former Missouri US Senator Jim Talent. Republicans in SW Missouri abandoned him over a stem cell remark he made while in office.
Not even when those hellspawn who advocated and participated in genocidal murder-by-abortion are tried, convicted, sentenced, and hanged for their crimes against humanity.
Science took over. Too many issues with donated cells of any kinds (rejection,etc), embryo stem cells are too unstable.
All the medical advances were only moving forward using a person’s own stem cells.
Now the only research being done with embryos is forced. For example, I want funding for my stem cell project embryos aren’t my focus but if I use embryos, I can get funding from California’s stem cell initiative program, etc.
But the description of adult stem cells as “an alternative” is also a lie, because embryonic stem cells have been shown to be universally unstable for use in therapies. The ONLY viable stem cell approach that has been demonstrated is through adult stem cells.
Therefore, it is not “an alternative”, because embryonic stem cells are not viable.
i think its partly because it morphed into what we all said it would think planned parenthood parts selling
It’s amazing to me that the lust and desire to kill unborn babies was justified by this scenario. And many Democrat “Christians” we knew told us we were old outdated fundamentalists that weren’t as progressive as Jesus Christ. One couple told my wife and I “If you’re so strong against abortion, we aren’t you adopting all those poor babies who would have no families after they were born?” So now we were at fault for those women who were pregnant. Such hatred and bigotry we endured from many friends who soon became ex-friends. They’re hatred was just too much for us. They saw us as too rigid in our laws and Jesus was full of grace and would forgive those who have abortions. Now we are being bombarded because we don’t like gay marriage. We are told by many of these same “Christians” that Jesus would eat with sinners and would hang out with sinners. So I asked one of them, why don’t they hang out on the gay areas of San Francisco, and she said “Well, I accept them, and that’s enough”.
There is no longer any gray area between believers and those who reject God in this country anymore. Pastors who are gay and living with their partners lead churches, and the church leadership are filled with divorced people who are even now cheater on their 2nd and 3rd spouses. Youth leaders teach the young to embrace “diversity of gays and other religions” in order to find what God they want to follow. Sermons are filled with earthly and fleshly promises if they believe, like God is some kind of Genie in a bottle. And then our President tells us homosexuality is moral and those who are against it are immoral.
This all started when we disobeyed the first commandment, and denied God. Then be built idols, disobeyed our parents, lusted after the flesh and worldly things, lied and stole, and coveted. Abortion is just a symptom of a greater issue. And so is this stem cell issue, a symptom of a greater sin
Michael answers his own question in the third sentence.
As long as the gravy train keeps running we will never hear about stem cell research. If the funding should ever begin slowing down, the "war" will re-escalate.
NASA has that act down pat with their "OMG! There might have been life on Mars! We need more funding to find out for sure!" routine.
No, it was because they coudl get no further traction so they moved on to the next crisis.
Remembers Alinskly? “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag”...
Thank you for posting this. Interesting read.
Here in Illinois our governor by executive order, no votes,set up a stem cell research laboratory.
Millions of state funds!
Once saw a listing of the board of directors and their pay $$$; after that nothing?
They were going to cure male pattern baldness and...
Yes, we still pay interest on the borrowed money.
And yes, Blago is still in prison.
Where he should be for this crime; the other stuff, not so much.
Actually, we still have dedicated Nazis, in the US and all over the globe. And they are keeping the little fires going. When their friends the Muzzies gain control, they will blossom again and bear fruit.
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