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Stem Cell Research

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by OldManDave, Mar 4, 1999.

  1. OldManDave

    OldManDave Fossil Bouncer Emeritus Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

    Feb 26, 1999
    Lafayette, IN
    OK...[blushing] I am about to reveal a wee bit of ignorance...I have reviewed the interview feedback page. There I saw several references to questions on 'stem cell research.' Please correct me if I am wrong; but is this where undifferentiated human cells are grown in hosts/cultures for eventual use as organ replacement?

    I would greatly appreciate if someone would either e-mail the answer to me...or leave it here.

    'Old Man Dave'

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  3. NickCVM

    NickCVM Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Dec 27, 1998
    Nashville, TN
    Hey Dave
    There is a lot of research going on out there with stem cells. Two very important areas are particulary represented: 1-nerve growth/spinal cord injury/grey&white matter (if you have stem cells and you stimulate them with the right growth factors, at the right time and in the right order then they would grow into differenciated nerve cells (variable)).
    2-Angiogenesis (growth of new vasculature).
    If you want to now any specifics feel free to email me.

  4. acute

    acute Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    i have read many topics about treatment of beta thalssemia major

    by doing BMT(bone marrow transplantation).. based on :collecting

    healthy stem cells from the bone marrow and transplant it in the

    pt. bone >>to be diff. into healthy RBCs.

    stem cells could also be collected from umbalical cord ..
  5. LaurieB

    LaurieB 10+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2003
  6. Chrisobean

    Chrisobean The Killer Bean 7+ Year Member

    i think the major issue with stem cell research is the way of harvesting the cells. the best cells come from embryos, and there is also debate about what to do with frozen embryos that were created by IVF for some couples who dont want any more kids. everyone (i think) agrees that stem cells will be a huge turning point in medical research, but the question is how to get them. i think the president signed a law stating that the only stem cells which can be used for research are current cell lines, and no more embryos can be used for that purpose. or something like that.
  7. Tezzie

    Tezzie b*witched 7+ Year Member

    Sep 8, 2003
    I went to too many interviews (20+). It come up at about 6 or 8.

    In a few it was supposed to be political.

    Google it - there are plenty of news articles out there. Noone is going to ask "tell me about stem cell research" but rather "what do you think of G.Ws approach to stem cell research - do you think it's right or wrong and what should he change?".
  8. TTSD

    TTSD Sexually Deprived 7+ Year Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Outside your orifice
    The problem with stem cell research is pretty much the same question as asking whether or not abortion is correct.. unless they're asking about the inherent benefits of a particular line of stem cell research.

    The problem lies, as Chrisobean said, with the way stem cells are harvested. Now, I have no problem if it comes from aborted embryos. I am neither condoning or flipping out over abortions, but if you're going to abort it anyhow, at least it should go to a good cause, a like a medical school cadaver.

    Though if you have problems with stem cell research, I suggest you look up : Fetal Brain Grafts. That would probably drive some activists to violent action if it was actively performed here in the states. You may also want to bring up the point that if we're not doing stem cell research, that puts us at a very huge disadvantage to other countries such as China, and even Mexico.

    As for the actual research itself. The OP was correct that it deals with undifferentiated cells, though I think more specifically with cells that have the ability to form colonies and continuously divide as opposed to limited progenitor cells (though the latter would still be a viable source of stem cell investigation).

    It's not just for organs, though you hear all the big things are associated with organ repair, such as that one surgeon who shoved a bunch of stem cells into someone's heart in the hope that it would make the patients heart repair itself. There is a lot of interest in neural applications. Especially after finding out the brain does a limited amount of neurogenesis itself, and the spinal cord as well. It's a big topic.
  9. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    So first off, only embryonic stem cells (ES cells) are controversial since an embryo must be sacrificed to get those cells. ES cells are more plastic and useful in treatment at this point. Adult stem cells are much much less plastic, though there are some initial studies that indicate they might be able to transdifferentiate into stem cells for other lineages (ie hematopoeitic stem cells --> regenerate neurons).

    The ES cells that Bush approved for federal research are useless in human trials, they have been grown on mouse feeders and thus are unsafe. They are also useless in that a lot of these cultures have been around for several generations and are starting to lose their native characters.

    So there really is no trick around it at this point, to get good ES cells to use in trials you have to sacrifice a human embryo. Actually, there is one trick. A.C.T. is a company that has been able to use parthenogenesis to produce stem cells. This would avoid some of the criticisms (since such an embryo will be unable to come to term due to chromosomal issues).

    Ultimately, like many bioethical concerns, it seems more likely that it will be resolved by science rather than ethicists (with solutions like parthenogenesis to generate stem cells, etc).
  10. tugbug

    tugbug Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    A member of the Bush team spoke on NPR a few weeks ago about the parthenogenic production of stem cells... said that there was no way the technology would be acceptable to the administration... and therefore no way it would be funded. These arent even fertilized cells, so whats the problem. This stuff isnt voodoo.

    I live in Kentucky which has become increasingly conservative politically over the last 10 yrs. We just elected our first Repub gov. and the state houses are now split 50/50 rep/dem... there is already talk of banning, and I quote, "All" stem cell research in the state. They are apparently tacking it on to a bill that makes thinking a capital offense.... geesh. Whats even harder to believe is that the new Governor is an MD.
  11. lola

    lola Bovine Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    OldManDave, shame on you ;)!
    as others have said, it's the whole source of the stem cells (embryos) that is the controversy rather than the actual research.
    i can't believe a state would want to banish all stem cell research. that is nuts! my dad's life was saved by stem cells (his own), so i know firsthand their potential to do wonders.
  12. jlee9531

    jlee9531 J,A,S 10+ Year Member

    Nov 25, 2002
    how efficient is the parthogenic reproduction of stem cells...and do you know how its generally done gleevec? i didnt know there was a company that figured out how to do that. wow.
  13. tugbug

    tugbug Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    The parthenogenic cells ive read about are created by stimulating oocytes (unfertilized) to grow and divide. I dont know about the efficiency or effectiveness of the method... but Id guess its limited at this point since it is pretty new.

    Also, I hope its too crazy for a state to ban stem cell research... and the people suggesting it are not necessarily political leaders. They are hopeful zealots that have been encouraged by the more conservative leadership here in KY that have apparently been given some indication that their cause might be a winner now.
  14. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    That Bush team member is a moron then. Parthenogenesis is simply adding chemicals to an egg to trick it into dividing because it thinks its been fertilized. In the case of ACT, they simply replaced the egg nucleus with that from a somatic cell donor, and then added chemicals to start fertilization.

    You might as well sue people for masturbating. That'll cover our multitrillion dollar debt pretty quickly.

  15. Gleevec

    Gleevec Peter, those are Cheerios 7+ Year Member

    Nov 24, 2002
    Advanced Cell Technologies does it, there is an article in Science from a bit back that talks about it.

    A lot of the tech is proprietary, but we did some parthenogenesis in zebrafish in class, and that involved adding some signaling factors, changing the pH of the media, and zapping the egg with electricity.

    I think ACT found just the right mix of chemicals to do it.

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