spinning science 7.26.2005

Study Will Test Stem Cell Therapy on Human Hearts
A clinical trial to test the safety of treating heart attack damage with stem cells is about to get underway, after a study showed that the therapy helped in pigs.

Two patients have been enrolled so far at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and a total of 48 are expected to take part across the country, said Joshua M. Hare, who is leading the study.

The process uses adult stem cells taken from bone marrow. These mesenchymal cells have been shown to give rise to a variety of cell types. Although they do not have the potential to develop into as many cell types as embryonic stem cells, using them avoids the controversy over taking cells from a human embryo.

Oh, what a twisted web we weave!

The above hilited section makes it sound like adult stem cells were used even though they are not as effective as embryonic stem cells in order to avoid a controversy with the eeeeeevil republicans, who would rather have people die of heart disease than give up their precious--and anti-scientific--pro-life position.

Nevermind the fact that we don't understand embryonic stem cells, the fact that they "do not have the potential to develop into as many cell types"--yet seem to develop into heart tissue just fine, thank you, and the all-important fact that there are no rejection problems with adult stem cells taken from the same person they are injected into. Because, you see, it doesn't matter if there are valid scientific reasons to prefer adult stem cells. We've been constantly told that embryonic stem cells are somehow better, so the only valid reason the press can see for using adult stem cells is the controversy, not the science--which most people in the press wouldn't understand if it was wrapped around a dead fish and then used to beat them to death.

And nevermind the fact that the reason why federal funding for embryonic stem cells is all-important is because corporations--who are completely free to fund embryonic stem cell research--haven't bothered, because they see far more promise and far less complications in using adult stem cells. Federal funding for scientific research is normally a concern only when the field being researched is not well understood or is fairly risky.

posted by William Woody at 8:24 AM

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A moderate conservative living in the left coast, surrounded by the sureal, wonders if there is a sane life living amongst those who have lost touch with reality.

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