Forums / Political & Legal / stem cell

5 years 32 weeks ago, 7:01 PM

ssrs10

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stem cell

WASHINGTON -- From tiny embryonic cells to the large-scale physics of global warming, President Barack Obama urged researchers on Monday to follow science and not ideology as he abolished contentious Bush-era restraints on stem-cell research. "Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," Obama declared as he signed documents changing U.S. science policy and removing what some researchers have said were shackles on their work.

"It is about ensuring that scientific data is never distorted or concealed to serve a political agenda - and that we make scientific decisions based on facts, not ideology," Obama said.

Researchers said the new president's message was clear: Science, which once propelled men to the moon, again matters in American life.

President Barack Obama, right, salutes as he walks from Marine One helicopter on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Sunday, March 8, 2009 after he and his family returned from Camp David.

- Pablo Martinez Monsivais /AP Photo

In this Oct. 22, 2008 file photo, Theresa Gratsch, a Ph.D. research specialist, views nerve cells derived from human embryonic stem cells under a microscope at the University of Michigan Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Mich., Reversing an eight-year-old limit on potentially life-saving science, President Barack Obama is expected to lift restrictions Monday on taxpayer-funded research using embryonic stem cells.
President Barack Obama is applauded by members of Congress, and others, after signing an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo gives a thumbs-up prior to President Barack Obama signing an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama signs an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama talks with Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colo., right, after signing an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
President Barack Obama speaks prior to signing an Executive Order on stem cells and a Presidential Memorandum on scientific integrity, Monday, March 9, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.
Actor Christopher Reeve speaks in support of the Stem Cell Research Bill about to be signed into New Jersey law at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., on Jan 4, 2004. Reeve, paralyzed by a 1995 fall from a horse, has become an advocate for increased funding for research. President Barack Obama paid tribute to Reeve, who died in 2004, as he lifted the ban on federal funds for stem cell research, Monday, March 9, 2009.
Opponents saw it differently: a defeat for morality in the most basic questions of life and death.

"The action by the president today will, in effect, allow scientists to create their own guidelines without proper moral restraints," said Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said.

In a crowded ornate East Room, there were more scientists in the White House than Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science had seen in his 30 years in Washington. "More happy scientists than I've seen," he added.

The most immediate effect will allow federally funded researchers to use hundreds of new embryonic stem cell lines for promising, but still long-range research in hopes of creating better treatments, possibly even cures, for conditions ranging from diabetes to paralysis. Until now, those researchers had to limit themselves to just 21 stem cell lines created before August 2001, when President George W. Bush limited funding because of "fundamental questions about the beginnings of life and the ends of science."

Science, politics and religion have long intertwined and conflicted with each other. In his actions Monday, especially with the stem cell decision, Obama is emphasizing more the science than the religion, when compared with his predecessor, science policy experts say. But they acknowledged politics is still involved.

Don't expect stem cell cures or treatments anytime soon. One company this summer will begin the world's first study of a treatment using human embryonic stem cells, in people who recently suffered spinal cord injuries. Research institutions on Monday were gearing up to ask for more freely flowing federal money, and the National Institutes of Health was creating guidelines on how to hand it out and include ethical constraints. It will be months before the stem cell money flows; the average NIH stem cell grant is $1.5 million spread out over four years.

Scientists focused on a new sense of freedom.

"I think patients everywhere will be cheering us on, imploring us to work faster, harder and with all of our ability to find new treatments," said Harvard Stem Cell Institute co-director Doug Melton, father of two children with Type I diabetes that could possibly be treated with stem cells. "On a personal level, it is an enormous relief and a time for celebration. ... Science thrives when there is an open and collaborative exchange, not when there are artificial barriers, silos, constructed by the government."

Opponents framed their opposition mostly, but not exclusively, on morality grounds and the scientifically contested claims that adult stem cells work just as well.

Said Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America: "President Obama's order places the worst kind of politics above ethics politics driven by hype makes overblown promises, fuels the desperation of the suffering and financially benefits those seeking to strip morality from science."

In Congress, Reps. Diana De Gette, D-Colo., and Mike Castle, R-Del., said they would seek a quick vote on legislation to codify Obama's order in federal law, after failing twice in the past to overturn former President George W. Bush's restrictions. DeGette said she doesn't want stem cell research to become "a pingpong ball going back and forth between administrations."

But Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the Republican study committee, said the president's new policy would "force taxpayers to subsidize research that will destroy human embryos." De Gette and Castle said their legislation tries to minimize destruction of embryos.

Stem cells are typically derived from fertility clinic surplus, destined for destruction.

Obama also said the stem cell policy is designed so that it "never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction." Such cloning, he said, "is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society or any society."

In addition to the stem cell order, Obama issued a memo designed to ensure openness about scientific research and give whistleblower protection to scientists.

Promoting science "is about letting scientists like those here today do their jobs, free from manipulation or coercion, and listening to what they tell us, even when it's inconvenient - especially when it's inconvenient," Obama said.

Science and politics often conflict, said Granger Morgan, professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and a former science advisory board chairman for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Perhaps illustrated no more wildly than in 1897 when the Indiana legislature attempted to change the mathematical concept of pi to 3.2. Science should provide the facts that politicians use for their decisions, Morgan and Leshner said.

Many scientists and environmental activists complained that the Bush administration had censored and marginalized science. That's a perception that Bush science adviser John Marburger repeatedly called untrue and unfair.

In 2006, the White House edited out congressional testimony about public health effects of global warming by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. A 2003 EPA global warming document was edited by nonscientists at the White House. A NASA political appointee tried - and failed - to silence the agency's top climate scientist.

Former Surgeon General Richard Carmona resigned in 2006, complaining about White House interference on global health issues: "The problem with this approach is that in public health, as in democracy, there is nothing worse than ignoring science or marginalizing the voice of science for reasons driven by changing political winds."

Obama advisers contend that all has changed. The government has already put on hold rules about scientific input on endangered species, reinstating advice that had been excised during the Bush administration.

Public policy must "be guided by sound scientific advice," said Dr. Harold Varmus, the Nobel Prize-winning co-chairman of the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. The new memo Obama signed is "mainly a way of trying to prevent tampering with any advice," Varmus told MSNBC.

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5 years 32 weeks ago, 9:44 AM

Gunnin88

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right on

As far as lifting the ban on stem cell research. I think it's the best thing the POS has done for us so far.

01*20*2013 Obamas last day!
5 years 32 weeks ago, 9:18 PM

jack010203

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well that isnt saying much gunnin88 but I have to agree.

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5 years 32 weeks ago, 10:05 PM

fordvg

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This does not surprise me since our tax dollars are going for all kind of things that are WRONG!!!!!

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5 years 32 weeks ago, 10:17 PM

zx12rmike

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I don't think most of our friends here understand how the "research" is done and where they get the donors for research. I get sick to my stomach at the thought of what they are doing.

"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home" Thomas Jefferson
5 years 32 weeks ago, 12:09 PM

Gunnin88

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What

an aborted baby? Get over it. If this leads to the cure of cancer or other terrible things it will be well worth it. This is one of the stupid stances that republicans have that makes me sick. I am 90% Republican but this research is fucking stupid to ban. It more than likley will cure so many things.

01*20*2013 Obamas last day!
5 years 32 weeks ago, 10:39 PM

DEMO

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Not a Ban-

Bush did not ban the practice. We were doing stem cell research the whole time. My company was selling the products too. They just banned the federal funding of certain cell lines that were derived by aborting a fetus for the purpose of research. The cell lines that Bush banned were not too productive anyways and we could obtain them from cord blood samples. Bone Marrow yields better cells such as megakaryocytes and other Blastic cells that are stimulated to derive cell function with different protein catalysts.
Its not a big deal but very political. Its just a joke how the media makes a issue out of nothing for political gain........

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5 years 32 weeks ago, 2:06 AM

Anonymous

i concur

with Demo's response as i myself have done a bit research to better understand this topic.in my case,maybe thru this research they will someday cure asthma so that other people dont have to suffer.(i was born with bronchial asthma,not the i got it later or from smoking kind)

5 years 32 weeks ago, 12:16 PM

Gunnin88

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a little more

One more thing if you think the 1st stage an embrio is a human, you have a lot to learn. A human embrio in it's 1st stage can be ANYONE it has no traits, it has no feelings, it has no ditigushing traits. Furthermore that research is very small in comparison to the stem cells from the adult huma bone marrow. Heres a Winki with good inf:

Embryonic stem cells come from embryos. An embryo is the earliest stage of development of life. Medical researchers believe that embryonic stem cell research has the potential to significantly help people who have disabilities, failing body organs or other problems.

Many believe that embryonic stem cell research is bad. They see an embryo as a baby, a life, a person, and therefore it's wrong to use the cells for research because they believe it is killing an unborn child.

However there is now new development that make it unnecessary to use a stem cells from embryos but instead stem cells can be harvested from adult bone marrow. However, some still see hope in embryonic stem cell research and want to continue their research.

Humans live in what is known as "civilized society." It is necessary to have rules and to stay "civilized." Morals are amongst those rules, morals state killing is bad except for certain situations. There are many forms of killing; euthanasia, abortion, combat, etc. In each situation, there are many view points. Some argue that if they do not want to live anymore, their doctor should be allowed to painlessly end their life. Some believe that if they have been raped, they should be allowed an abortion. Troops believe that if their life is in danger, they should be allowed to use lethal force to end the threat.

In the case of embryotic stem cell research, those who oppose it may not take into account the millions of lives that could be saved. They may not even care because if they considered what good could come from killing then not only is the line very blurred on what kind of killing is wrong and what kind is right but the morals make them feel very 'bad' and no longer civilized and this is a large part of human beings.

01*20*2013 Obamas last day!

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