Streams

Stem Cell Stimulus

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Susan Solomon, CEO and co-founder of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, and Michael Christman, president and CEO of the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, talk about the impact federally funded stem cell research may have on the New York/New Jersey area.

Guests:

Michael Christman and Susan Solomon

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Comments [18]

Josh from Brooklyn

Ed, you might think its immoral. That's your choice. I for one do not think its immoral, and that the benefits of these cells are unmeasurable. What gives you the right to dictate to me your feelings? We disagree, fine, I have no problem with that. But you don't have the right to tell me what I can't and cannot do. You don't want to use stem cells, that's your right. Buts also my right to use them and you have no right to tell me I can't. I'm not telling you to do anything. Don't tell me, that's called oppression.

Mar. 11 2009 09:16 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, N.Y.

Yes, these embryos will mostly be discarded eventually, hopefully with respect since they are human beings.
But lets look at a rape. The child born from a rape should not exist, since the rape should not have taken place. But we would not kill it.
Similary, the embryos from IVF should not exist since the IVF should not have taken place. But they do exist, and we can't kill them.

Mar. 11 2009 08:09 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, N.Y.

Adult stem cells are really very good - have been used now in an MS trial, and they're not as difficult to get. They are better that embryonic ones since they are not as powerful -the embryonic ones (see recent Israeli spinal surgery) tend to grow into tumors.
The embryo is alive, and is a human being, and to kill it is evil.
IVF is also very immoral, in part because it produces embryos that will be discarded.
I don't understand what this has to do with freezing adult human beings. If someone dies and wants to be frozen, that seems OK, he or she is not being killed.
I'm against the death penalty as unnecessary, but it's not necessarily immoral.
Of course we have to have compassion on all human life, but here is one place where it is being threatened directly and needs protection.
Please look into the results of adult stem cell research - we could make banks of umbilical cord blood in hospitals, adult stem cells have already treated many people. They can now get them from skin cells. They are real stem cells, which is how our adult bodies regenerate from injuries.
Scientists only say that they want to explore all possiblities. But there are always limits to protect human beings when science involves human experimentation.

Mar. 11 2009 08:06 AM
Denise from Long Island

i heard someone say, "what about the right to life for the living that are disabled". to me, that is a profound statement. my family has been touched with a very serious disability - my brother has a nerve degeneration that has only affected 6 males in the u.s. my brothers disease has deeply affeced the family dynamic as well as the unfortunate state that my brother lives. my mother used to say that he is a normal person trapped in this deteriorating body. how sad. i believe that, unless people, a family, is/are touched by an unfortunate situation like this one or other disabilities, they cannot grasp the impact it has on them and the family. although stem cell research falls in the catagory of a moral issue, it gives families and patients hope. what about the living that are disabled? should they be forgotten or tossed aside? and, what if someone close to those that oppose stem cell research, needed a cure for a disability one day??

Mar. 10 2009 11:48 AM
hjs from 11211

jeff
you might know the catholic church and other anti choice groups are also opposed to IVF. this doesn't make the talking points cause it's way out of touch of where the mainstream is

Mar. 10 2009 11:31 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

Can't be squeamish about science, it is not connected to religion or emotion.

Mar. 10 2009 11:21 AM
Norman from Hell's Kitchen

He's trying to say that when you have a heart attack, and the heart muscle is damaged, they can use stem cells to grow new heart muscle.

Mar. 10 2009 11:21 AM
Jeff from Midtown

I have noticed that while many anti-abortion groups are quick to condemn the destruction of discarded embryos for use in embryonic stem cell research, they are much less inclined to (at least publicly) condemn the destruction of excess embryos created in the ordinary course of IVF treatment.

Mar. 10 2009 11:20 AM
the truth from Atlanta/New York

It only sounds barbaric, it is a very necessary process.

Although, I am not sure why we want to embark on this when the scientific community has not yet found a cure for cancer!

Mar. 10 2009 11:19 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

I wonder how many people would be alive today if Bush hadn’t put his religion before the rest of us. How many people would be walking instead of in wheelchairs had science not been hobbled for the past eight years? How many people would be enjoying their lives instead of suffering? We’ll never know.

Mar. 10 2009 11:16 AM
hjs from 11211

ed
don't take the cure, i want it

Mar. 10 2009 11:13 AM
John Bell from Brooklyn

As for Ed's contention [1] that the embryos in question are human lives, I wonder what his policy is regarding freezing actual, living human beings? Can I freeze my dying uncle until one of these frozen embryos grows up and cures cancer? Is that possible? Would that offend anyone's dogmatic sensibilities? If embryonic stem cell research does eventually provide a cure for cancer, will its opponents deny themselves treatment on moral grounds?

Eat plenty of veggies, Ed, and pray you never have to freeze your uncle or deny yourself treatment.

Mar. 10 2009 10:56 AM
hjs from 11211

up with science!!
or welcome to the 21st century

Mar. 10 2009 10:42 AM
Norman from Hell's Kitchen

As I understand it, embryonic stem cells can be used to figure out cancer treatments in ways that adult stem cells can't.

Embryonic stem cells differentiate into mature cells. Leukemia cells are blood cells that are supposed to differentiate into mature cells, but don't. Cancer cells are undifferentiated cells.

Cancer researchers want to study embryonic stem cells to figure out how they differentiate. If they knew how normal cells differentiate, and could figure out how cancer cells differentiate, they might be able to figure out how to make cancer cells differentiate -- and cure the cancer. There are some drugs that do that.

Could you ask your guest if that's right?

Mar. 10 2009 10:01 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

I'd like to comment if I may. First, I have a question for Ed at #1. Are you pro-death penalty? I only ask because most of the people I've come into contact with who are "pro-life" support executions. These embryos are not viable and being created just to be experimented on. These are dead embryos that are just going to be thrown into the trash anyway. Why not learn something from them? Would you deny someone a possible cure for cancer because you'd rather throw something away? Are you against human drug trials too?

Now, to my knowledge, embryonic stem cells are still developing and can be much more explored for research then adult cells which have aleady formed characteristics. The possibilities of what it in an umbilical cord are bascially endless and greatly outstrip adult cells.

Mar. 10 2009 09:34 AM
Norman from Hell's Kitchen

I'd like your guest to answer that question.

What can you learn from embryonic stem cell research that you can't learn from adult stem cells?

Mar. 10 2009 09:23 AM
Phoebe from NJ

Ed: The reality of the situation is, there are many embryos created for fertilization and they are currently being treated as medical waste. These embryos can be used in the development of new therapeutics to strengthen and affirm the lives of humans already living. Surely this is a better use for them? I would also note that those who have compassion for the embryo seldom have compassion for human life following birth.

Mar. 10 2009 08:44 AM
Ed Helmrich from Larchmont, NY

There are still many of us who believe that this is a human life, from the moment of conception on. So, when they destroy an embryo for research, they are killing a human being, a very evil act.
And adult stem cells are giving very good results, there's no reason for doing this.

i.e. It's blood money.

Mar. 10 2009 07:58 AM

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