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LJWorld.com weblogs Lawrence in the News

KU takes no stand on Mo. stem cells

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¢ As faith organizations, celebrities and medical groups take positions over the stem-cell amendment on the Missouri ballot, the Kansas University Medical Center is steering clear of the debate, the [Johnson County Sun][1] reports.Amy Jordan-Wooden, director of public affairs at the University of Kansas Medical Center, said the organization takes no position on Amendment 2. She said the center has created a Web site with extensive information about stem cell research to educate the public.Dr. Barbara Atkinson, executive vice chancellor, KUMC and executive dean, School of Medicine, said stem cell research has been politicized."At the University of Kansas Medical Center, we are very supportive of the efforts to use both mature and early stem cells in research to find new treatments and cures for disease," she said. "Both mature and early stem cells offer extraordinary potential for cures."¢ The University of Minnesota is preparing lab space for one of KU's best-known researchers, [Minnesota Daily][2] reports. Gunda Georg, a cancer researcher, is moving to Minnesota to lead the medicinal chemistry department.Loralee Wederstrom, AHC's director of capital planning said the timing is "a miracle."Wederstrom said the building's planning was accelerated and broken into phases to accommodate Georg's moving schedule.Georg, who's currently at the University of Kansas, is coming to the University of Minnesota to lead the medicinal chemistry department in the College of Pharmacy, according to the AHC's Web site. Her research largely focuses on analyzing chemical compounds and computer data to discover drugs that could treat diseases such as cancer or Alzheimer's. [1]: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=17407825&BRD=1459&PAG=461&dept_id=506062&rfi=6 [2]: http://www.mndaily.com/articles/2006/11/02/69688

Comments

Brian_Gillin 7 years, 5 months ago

Human embryonic stem cell research has ONLY been going on for 8 YEARS.

Adult stem cell research has been going on for over 50 YEARS.

HMMMM.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that one is going to be ahead of the other.

This is precisely why embryonic stem cell research should be federally funded. The National Institute of Health by far is the most powerful engine to power science ever created by humans. It should be supporting embryonic stem cell research.

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oldgoof 7 years, 5 months ago

Parkay: "Embryonic stem cell research has produced nothing except scandals, frauds, embezzlements, and tax increases... " .. Goof: Total hogwash. As someone who has a loved one with Parkinsons, I have read a great deal about this issue. Adult stem-cells are as different from embryonic as night and day. .. There are tens of thousands of fertilized ova sitting around the nation on ice as we speak which have absolutely no chance of becoming embryos. The vast majority of these will be thrown away as trash. What is the ethical imperative which prevents this 'waste stream' from being utilized to alleviate suffering of human beings. .. When the anti-stem cell community starts to protest and eliminate current medical fertility practices, I will have some intellectual respect for their position, but not before. .. And KU should have their little research pinkies smacked for having cojones about the size of capers on an issue of such centrality to the future of medical research. I thought we gave people tenure and structured these organizations to protect their ability to express controversial political opinions, especially those central to their stated mission of medical research. What next? Walk away from the Science v. ID debate because it has "become politicized?" Give me a break.

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oldgoof 7 years, 5 months ago

Informed: Thanks for my chuckle of the day.

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Ray Parker 7 years, 5 months ago

Embryonic stem cell research has produced nothing except scandals, frauds, embezzlements, and tax increases. It has never cured anything, and is proven to be unsafe for human trials for decades to come, if ever. ESCR is unethical and immoral, because a living, developing multi-celled human being is destroyed to obtain the embryonic stem cells, which the tiny person was manufactured by in vitro fertilization (IVF) or somatic cell nuclear transfer (a euphemism for human cloning). Adult stem cell research, including umbilical cord blood stem cells obtained by ethical informed consent from live births, has produced dozens of cures and beneficial treatments for human diseases and injuries, including recently a new successful treatment for Parkinson's disease, as well as treatments for paralyzing spinal cord injury and sickle cell anemia, and many other conditions. There are dozens more promising treatments already in research and testing. This is where investing our tax money will pay off in sustaining and improving human life.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

I love this issue, and I'll tell you why. It's forces everyone to ask about human life at the embryo level, not just the fetal level. With that, hearts and minds are slowly changing so that more and more Americans will take a stand against abortion.

Many may (sadly) conceed the human embryo issue, but how can they then look at a fetus with arms and legs and a brain and a heartbeat as jus a mass of tissue that can be dismembered and suctioned out of its mother?

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Norma Jeane Baker 7 years, 5 months ago

OK, maybe KU Med takes no stand, but I'm sure the Commission will take a stand on this.

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jrlii 7 years, 5 months ago

An unimplanted embryo is not a person. Period.

After implantation, I recon they start gaining rights, though they may be evicted as squatters by the owner of the uterus 'till they gain squatters' rights after 26 weeks, and have the right to be brought to term (according to Roe v. Wade.)

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Agnostick 7 years, 5 months ago

CENTER FOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH Progress Medical Center, Suite 200 Anytown, USA 12345-6789

EMBRYO CONSENT AND RELEASE FORM

The invitro fertilization (IVF) process often results in a number of fertilized eggs that will not be implanted in the woman's uterus. Knowing this, what would you like done with any extra embryos that may result from your IVF procedure? (Check one)

__ Please humanely destroy them

__ Please donate them to a stem cell research facility

__ We would like to discuss the cryogenic preservation process, for future use.


Signature


Date


Signature


Date

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Souki 7 years, 5 months ago

Stem cells from aborted fetuses are not valuable for research -- any more than my own stem cells would be. Whether from an aborted fetus or from me, those stem cells would be ADULT stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. Once tissues begin to differentiate, the only stem cells left in them are adult stem cells.

Godot, as for your scenario of creating, gestating, and killing clones to harvest their organs, I can't see this happening. Even if someone successfully copied a living human being to make an embryo, found some woman willing to be implanted with that embryo and carry it to term or nearly to term, then surrender her parental rights to the resulting baby, the baby would still be a human being, no more subject to being killed to harvest its organs than any baby born yesterday.

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Godot 7 years, 5 months ago

" If women are going to get abortions anyway... why not let the cells be used? The problem is that people think this condones abortion."

hmmmmm. Conceive, abort, then donate the dead fetus to science so they can grow more embryos from it, all for the common good.

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Godot 7 years, 5 months ago

galfromku, my understanding is that the embryos used for embryonic stem cell research are un-implanted embryos created by in-vitro fertilization.

Early stem cells, as you refer to them, from cord blood have previously been referred to in the media as cord blood stem cells.

What is the official KUMC definition of early stem cell?

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galfromku 7 years, 5 months ago

although even the stem cells from aborted babies are valuable for research because the newer the stem cell is.... the more it can still be "grown" into the manner it is needed. If women are going to get abortions anyway... why not let the cells be used? The problem is that people think this condones abortion.

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galfromku 7 years, 5 months ago

early stem cells can also be cells from a umbilical cord that is usually thrown away after the birth of a child. People don't realize that and mistake that for "growing a fetus" in a petrie dish. Mature stem cells are cells from a paticular part of a person... for instance... a liver cell will ALWAYS be a liver cell. A new cell (that has not developed into anything specific) can multiply itself and grow to just about anything and therefore it is more precious and valuable than a mature one. The problem is when people don't understand and think that infanct cells are only from aborted babies WHICH IS NOT TRUE !

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Godot 7 years, 5 months ago

mom_of_three, be even more of a visionary regarding using embryos to cure the ills of others. Take this out several years. What if your loved one needed a liver. No donated livers were available. You learn that you had access to a liver that was created by cloning, and growing, an "early" human, nameless, parentless, without a history, and all that it required to obtain the liver was to harvest it.

Harvesting would kill the clone, but, at the same time would make many other organs available to other ill humans.

Would you do it?

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mom_of_three 7 years, 5 months ago

Mature= adult, new=embryonic.

What I want to know is for all those people who oppose it - What if a cure is found for a disease which one of their loved ones suffer with? If embryonic stem cells or mature stem cells were used to find the cure, would you use the cure, even though you were against using stem cells for research?

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The_Original_Bob 7 years, 5 months ago

Setting - Probably yes. It's a politicized statement that was neutered. It probably took hours to craft by lawyers, physicians, and leadership at the hospital.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 5 months ago

"...we are very supportive of the efforts to use both mature and early stem cells in research..."

I honestly do not know what she means by "early" stem cells. Is this the same as human embryos?

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missmagoo 7 years, 5 months ago

but overall, scientists say that through stem cell research, we will be closer to a cure for parkinsons, cancer, spinal cord injuries, strokes, etc.

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missmagoo 7 years, 5 months ago

well here's my understanding of stem cells and its controversy...

stem cells renew themselves through processes like cell division and become different types of cells. stem cells can be studied with one of two kinds: adult stem cells or embryonic (a third is CBE but this is still in the works). when cells renew and split, they can form into new cells that contain properties of say cancer or parkinson's. so, scientists want to be able to study these cells to determine why this happens; they want to find a way to replace a damaged or diseased cell.

the biggest controversy lies with the embryonic stem cell research. essentially, the scientist takes an embryo and implants it in a peatrie dish to study the cell growth. that presents the conflict of 'when is the embryo become a fetus' and so on. scientists argue that they are not creating life, but rather they are studying the cells in a peatrie dish. also, the issue with all stem cells is that it is cloning or the potential for cloning because the embryos most likely come from left over embryos or clone embryos in a labratory. so basically, it is all an issue of human life....

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Teapot9 7 years, 5 months ago

can someone much smarter than I, explain how stem cells work and why?

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