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KU takes no stand on Mo. stem cells


¢ 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


galfromku 11 years, 6 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 !

Janet Lowther 11 years, 6 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.)

Bradley Kemp 11 years, 6 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.

Godot 11 years, 6 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?

oldgoof 11 years, 6 months ago

Informed: Thanks for my chuckle of the day.

mom_of_three 11 years, 6 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?

missmagoo 11 years, 6 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....

Godot 11 years, 6 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.

SettingTheRecordStraight 11 years, 6 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?

missmagoo 11 years, 6 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.

Teapot9 11 years, 6 months ago

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

oldgoof 11 years, 6 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.

galfromku 11 years, 6 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.

Godot 11 years, 6 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?

SettingTheRecordStraight 11 years, 6 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?

Brian_Gillin 11 years, 6 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.


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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