Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Promise of Embryonic Stem Cells

I can't tell you how many times I've watched the 60 Minutes piece I posted a few weeks ago. It has given me renewed hope they will find a cure for spinal cord injury and so many other diseases that will improve and even save lives! That doesn't even mention the idea they may be able to grow replacement tissue and organs for people who need them. It is fascinating!

In doing a little research on human embryonic stem cells, I came across this Position Statement on the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation website. Go to it by clicking here.

The highlight of the article for me is:

The Key Facts About Stem Cells

Stem cells are the building blocks of our bodies. They have the unique ability to turn into and regenerate the specialized cells that make up our tissues, bones and organs.
  • Adult type stem cells are found in the body tissues, including tissues in the bodies of adults and in discarded umbilical cords and placentas. Scientists have been conducting research with adult stem cells for over 50 years and have developed a number of medical therapies that use adult stem cells, such as bone marrow transplants to treat leukemia.
  • Embryonic stem cells are the new frontier in stem cell research. There are two basic sources of embryonic stem cells: leftover fertility clinic embryos that would otherwise be discarded and a process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT).
  • SCNT is a recent medical breakthrough that can use a patient's own cells and an unfertilized human egg to make embryonic stem cells that match the patient's genetic makeup. Embryonic stem cell research does not use or harm an embryo or fetus in a woman's uterus.
It truly is a fascinating read. Let me know what you think.

Later,

Mike

3 comments:

Earl Hipp said...

I think there should be a "going to the moon" type of national push to bring this life giving possibility to reality.

I'm Not Done Yet said...

Amen to that! I'm hoping something like that will happen after the first of the year.

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