The Embryonic Stem Cell Slant

Despite all the hype we’ve heard about embryonic stem cells, so far, they’ve meant about as much to medical science as Paris Hilton has meant to chastity. Not a single disease or medical advance has ever come as a result of research with embryonic stem cells. On the other hand, adult stem cells have shown incredible promise and despite what you may have heard, appear to be superior to embryonic stem cells in almost every way.

But, the one thing that embryonic stem cells have going for them that adult stem cells don’t is an army of liberals trying to push them for political reasons. So, for example, when there is an enormous medical break through using adult stem cells, like this one, this is the sort of coverage it gets from the press:

“Diabetics using stem-cell therapy have been able to stop taking insulin injections for the first time, after their bodies started to produce the hormone naturally again.

In a breakthrough trial, 15 young patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes were given drugs to suppress their immune systems followed by transfusions of stem cells drawn from their own blood.

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…All but two of the volunteers in the trial, details of which are published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), do not need daily insulin injections up to three years after stopping their treatment regimes.

…The findings were released to reporters yesterday as the future of US stem-cell research was being debated in Washington.

Previous studies have suggested that stem-cell therapies offer huge potential to treat a variety of diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neuron disease. A study by British scientists in November also reported that stem-cell injections could repair organ damage in heart attack victims.

But research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush.

…They enrolled Brazilian diabetics aged between 14 and 31 who had been diagnosed within the previous six weeks. After stem cells had been harvested from their blood, they then underwent a mild form of chemotherapy to eliminate the white blood cells causing damage to the pancreas. They were then given transfusions of their own stem cells to help rebuild their immune systems.

Richard Burt, a co-author of the study from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, said that 14 of the 15 patients were insulin-free for some time following the treatment. Eleven of those were able to dispense with supplemental insulin immediately following the infusion of stem cells and have not had recourse to synthetic insulin since then, he said.”

The words “adult stem cells” were never used, even once in this article, although that’s exactly what was used to make this break-through. However, this was included in the article,

“But research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush.”

So even when an enormous medical advance is made using adult stem cells, it has to be twisted around to pitch embryonic stem cells, which have been proven to be useless so far, because that’s the only way it can be used to help push the left’s political agenda.

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