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Was America right to ban stem cell research?

Posted by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:29 AM
  • 72 Replies

(source)

Edinburgh scientists use 3D printing to produce stem cells

A 3D printing technique that produces clusters of stem cells could speed up progress towards creating artificial organs, Edinburgh scientists have claimed.

In the more immediate future it could be used to generate biopsy-like tissue samples for drug testing.

The technique relies on an adjustable "microvalve" to build up layers of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs).

It has been developed by scientists at Heriot Watt University.

Those involved in the research said it could pave the way for specially created organs, which might eliminate the need for organ donation.

3D printing technology has been increasingly used in numerous industries, ranging from creating clothes, architectural models and even chocolate treats.

Scientists have long been experimenting with the 3D printing of cells and blood vessels, building up tissue structure layer by layer with artificial cells.

Dr Will Shu, from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, said: "We found that the valve-based printing is gentle enough to maintain high stem cell viability, accurate enough to produce spheroids of uniform size, and most importantly, the printed hESCs maintained their pluripotency - the ability to differentiate into any other cell type."


Animal-free testing

Embryonic stem cells, which originate from early stage embryos, are blank slates with the potential to become any type of tissue in the body.

In the long term, the new printing technique could pave the way for hESCs being incorporated into transplant-ready laboratory-made organs and tissues, said the researchers.

The 3D structures will also enable scientists to create more accurate human tissue models for drug testing.

Cloning technology can produce embryonic stem cells, or cells with ESC properties, containing a patient's own genetic programming.

Artificial tissue and organs made from the cells could be implanted into the patient from which they are derived without triggering a dangerous immune response.

Jason King, business development manager of stem cell biotech company Roslin Cellab, which took part in the research, said: "Normally laboratory grown cells grow in 2D but some cell types have been printed in 3D.

"However, up to now, human stem cell cultures have been too sensitive to manipulate in this way.

"This is a scientific development which we hope and believe will have immensely valuable long-term implications for reliable, animal-free, drug testing, and, in the longer term, to provide organs for transplant on demand, without the need for donation and without the problems of immune suppression and potential organ rejection."

The research is published in the journal Biofabrication.

by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 4:29 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Carpy
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:16 AM
2 moms liked this

I didn't know they did.

Clairwil
by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 6:49 AM

For 8 years, under Bush, stem cell research in America came effectively to a dead halt.

Quoting Carpy:

I didn't know they did.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mr. Obama signed an executive order expected to set in motion increased research that supporters believe could uncover cures for serious ailments from diabetes to paralysis.

Mr. Obama's action, before a packed East Room audience, reverses former President George W. Bush's policy on stem cell research by undoing a 2001 directive that banned federal funding for research into stem lines created after that date.

Mr. Bush limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision. He argued he was defending human life because days-old embryos - although typically from fertility clinics and already destined for destruction - are destroyed to create the stem cell lines.

The Obama order reverses that without addressing a separate legislative ban, which precludes any federal money paying for the development of stem cell lines. The legislation, however, does not prevent funds for research on those lines created without federal funding.

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:04 AM
6 moms liked this

Bush was the first to fund it and the ban was just for further federal funding, not an outright ban.  Private research can take place all day every day.

Quoting Clairwil:

For 8 years, under Bush, stem cell research in America came effectively to a dead halt.

Quoting Carpy:

I didn't know they did.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mr. Obama signed an executive order expected to set in motion increased research that supporters believe could uncover cures for serious ailments from diabetes to paralysis.

Mr. Obama's action, before a packed East Room audience, reverses former President George W. Bush's policy on stem cell research by undoing a 2001 directive that banned federal funding for research into stem lines created after that date.

Mr. Bush limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision. He argued he was defending human life because days-old embryos - although typically from fertility clinics and already destined for destruction - are destroyed to create the stem cell lines.

The Obama order reverses that without addressing a separate legislative ban, which precludes any federal money paying for the development of stem cell lines. The legislation, however, does not prevent funds for research on those lines created without federal funding.


Clairwil
by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:11 AM
Quoting Carpy:

the ban was just for further federal funding, not an outright ban.

I don't mind if you want to call it a limited ban rather than an outright ban; or even if you want to say it wasn't a "ban" at all.

I'm not really interested in what we call it.  I'm interested in whether it was the right thing to do.

Do you still agree with what Bush did, now it is starting to become clear just what sort of miracles were delayed for years by his actions?

Carpy
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:12 AM
5 moms liked this

Yes, I do.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Carpy:

the ban was just for further federal funding, not an outright ban.

I don't mind if you want to call it a limited ban rather than an outright ban; or even if you want to say it wasn't a "ban" at all.

I'm not really interested in what we call it.  I'm interested in whether it was the right thing to do.

Do you agree with what Bush did?



Clairwil
by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:16 AM
Quoting Carpy:
Quoting Clairwil:

Do you agree with what Bush did?

Yes, I do.

Is that for pragmatic reasons (such as objecting to all federal funding of basic science research, no matter which area it is in) ?

Or is that for the same moral reasons that were behind his decision to target stem cell reseach in particular?


(PS  Sorry, you replied to my reply while I was still editing it.  My fault.)

jakesmom323
by on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:18 AM
Stem cell research is amazing and could help so many people, but if you open the door to cloning cells, it will open many other doors. It goes against religious organizations, political and social control. When the gov feels like they can't control it, they ban it. There is always someone out there that will take it too far.
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Carpy
by Platinum Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 7:30 AM
7 moms liked this

I have never stated that I have an issue with science.  I have an issue with moral decay and killing unborn babies.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Carpy:
Quoting Clairwil:

Do you agree with what Bush did?

Yes, I do.

Is that for pragmatic reasons (such as objecting to all federal funding of basic science research, no matter which area it is in) ?

Or is that for the same moral reasons that were behind his decision to target stem cell reseach in particular?


(PS  Sorry, you replied to my reply while I was still editing it.  My fault.)


PamR
by Gold Member on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:00 AM
2 moms liked this



Quoting Carpy:

I have never stated that I have an issue with science.  I have an issue with moral decay and killing unborn babies.

Quoting Clairwil:

Quoting Carpy:
Quoting Clairwil:

Do you agree with what Bush did?

Yes, I do.

Is that for pragmatic reasons (such as objecting to all federal funding of basic science research, no matter which area it is in) ?

Or is that for the same moral reasons that were behind his decision to target stem cell reseach in particular?


(PS  Sorry, you replied to my reply while I was still editing it.  My fault.)


How does  stem cell research equal moral decay?

Embryonic stem cells lines come from embryos produced by IVF that are left unused and will be discarded.  Couples either choose to discard their embryos or allow them to be adopted.  If they aren't adopted, they will be destroyed by defrosting.  So is that more moral than to use them to potentially find ways of treating diseases that currently have no cure?


jcrew6
by Jenney on Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:15 AM
2 moms liked this

Thank you. 

Quoting Carpy:

Bush was the first to fund it and the ban was just for further federal funding, not an outright ban.  Private research can take place all day every day.

Quoting Clairwil:

For 8 years, under Bush, stem cell research in America came effectively to a dead halt.

Quoting Carpy:

I didn't know they did.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mr. Obama signed an executive order expected to set in motion increased research that supporters believe could uncover cures for serious ailments from diabetes to paralysis.

Mr. Obama's action, before a packed East Room audience, reverses former President George W. Bush's policy on stem cell research by undoing a 2001 directive that banned federal funding for research into stem lines created after that date.

Mr. Bush limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision. He argued he was defending human life because days-old embryos - although typically from fertility clinics and already destined for destruction - are destroyed to create the stem cell lines.

The Obama order reverses that without addressing a separate legislative ban, which precludes any federal money paying for the development of stem cell lines. The legislation, however, does not prevent funds for research on those lines created without federal funding.




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