Thursday, December 27, 2007
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
Critical Reading #1 discusses an article entitled "More travel overseas for stem cell therapy" which was published in the Detroit News on November 29, 2007.
Critical Reading #2 provides links to Michigan's legislation on human cloning and killing human embryos for research and provides a brief explanation of these laws.
Critical Reading #3 reviews an article entitled "Stem cell discovery might help state life-sci industry" which was published in the Ann Arbor Business Review on December 6, 2007.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Monday, December 3, 2007
James Thomson, the first to isolate human embryonic stem cells in 1998, said it best, "Isn't it great to start a field and then to end it?" These leading scientists have come full circle, admitting there is no future in embryonic stem cell research.
Read the articles linked below in their entirety:
Dolly Creator Prof. Ian Wilmut Shuns Cloning
New Stem Cell Method Could Ease Ethical Concerns
Man who helped start stem cell war may end it
Friday, November 30, 2007
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
In a recent editorial, the Michigan Daily claims opponents of killing human embryos for research are "running out of reasons." Sadly, this editorial never explained what Michigan's "draconian laws" are nor did it explain how these laws were hurting Michigan. It claims Michigan is falling behind in stem cell research and then provides no evidence for this claim.
The editorial asserts "there is no chance" that human embryos "destroyed" for their stem cells "would otherwise be allowed to mature into actual human beings." Besides incorrectly assuming human embryos aren't "actual" human beings, this statement ignores the growing number of human embryos who have been adopted by couples struggling with infertility. One such former embryo named Frank Geisen recently appeared with his parents who testified against changing Michigan's laws.
The editorial also inaccurately claims embryonic stem cells "are the most readily available, flexible and understood choice." Embryonic stem cells are not more readily available or understood than adult stem cells which are in every single one of our bodies and are currently being used to treat patients. Recent research into creating pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming skin cells (which are quite easy to obtain) shows those reprogrammed cells are just as flexible as embryonic stem cells.
The editorial is correct about one thing: the tide on this issue is turning. It's turning sharply away from those who think killing human embryos is the answer. Recently, voters in New Jersey turned down an effort to spend $450 million on embryonic stem cell research. On November 20, two sets of researchers revealed they created pluripotent stem cells by reprogramming adult cells. Pluripotency is the asset in embryonic stem cells which some researchers crave. Now researchers have a simple, ethical way of obtaining patient-specific pluripotent stem cells from patients without killing human embryos.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Students for Life of America also supplied Right to Life of Michigan with a transcript of Hodari's speech which they created.
Besides the numerous faulty statistical claims throughout the rambling, unstructured speech, Hodari noted that he performs abortions on women who are 20 weeks pregnant and their reason for abortion is because their boyfriend left them, he has performed 11 abortions on one woman who continually comes back to his clinic for abortions, says he doesn't wear a mask while performing abortions, washes his hands for less than a minute before performing an abortion and is proud he performs abortions.
Throughout the speech, Hodari continually discussed how rare abortion complications supposedly are. It should be noted that in 2004, a 15-year-old girl from Detroit named Tamiia Russell died after having an abortion at Hodari's Womancare abortion clinic in Southfield. Russell's death from abortion complications was never reported to the Michigan Department of Community Health and Hodari never mentioned Tamiia Russell during his speech.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Recently, the Michigan House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on bills that would overturn Michigan laws which prohibit the killing of human embryos for research. The central bill in the package, H.B. 4616, sponsored by Representative Andy Meisner, would also allow researchers to kill cloned human embryos for research.
Researchers from Japan and Wisconsin reported today that human skin cells have been reprogrammed to act like embryonic stem cells. This historic announcement ends the need to extract stem cells from human embryos or the need to clone human embryos for cells. The need for killing unique human embryos for research is over.
Right to Life of Michigan Legislative Director Ed Rivet said, "The days of killing embryos to harvest stem cells is over. It's time to put this unethical research and this irrelevant legislation on the scrap heap of history. We're ecstatic that the focus of research will now be on stem cell techniques that will bring breakthrough cures as quickly as possible."
Friday, November 16, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
In his essay, which he read on the radio, Lessenberry makes a number of false claims, including numerous false claims about Michigan's laws. He writes, "we can't do (embryonic stem cell research) at all in Michigan," "we have outlawed it totally," and wonders what could happen if "the University of Michigan's medical school were free to work on stem cell research."
Below is the text of a message I left on Lessenberry's blog pointing him to numerous web pages which clearly show that embryonic stem cell research is not illegal in Michigan and has been going on for a number of years.
The University of Michigan is "free to work on stem cell research."
Researchers at the University of Michigan are working on human embryonic stem cells right now and have been doing so for a number of years. They even received a 3-year federal grant for more than $2 million dollars (around $750,000 a year for 3 years) for this research in 2003.
The University of Michigan has a policy statement on which human embryonic stem cells they use.
The University also has a question and answer on embryonic stem cell research which notes:
"What kinds of human embryonic stem cells can be used in U-M research?
U-M research studies funded by the National Institutes of Health or other federal funding agencies are restricted to existing stem cell lines, created before August 9, 2001, and listed on the NIH Human Embryonic Stem Cell Registry. Privately funded U-M research studies can be conducted with new cell lines not listed in the NIH registry, as long as they meet the conditions outlined in the university's official policy statement..."
The University of Michigan even has a Michigan Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research.
So it seems that the University of Michigan is "free to work on stem cell research" and has been doing so for quite some time. What they're preventing from doing is killing human embryos for research or attempting to create cloned human embryos through somatic cell nuclear transfer. Why does Jack Lessenberry act like Michigan law prevents researchers from using embryonic stem cells when it is clear as can be that they do use embryonic stem cells?
Unfortunately, numerous journalists in Michigan have failed to properly research what is legal and illegal in Michigan and have too often been misled by proponents of cloning and killing human embryos.
Monday, November 5, 2007
The Oct. 28 Press featured an article on embryonic stem cell research, Michigan's prolife laws and economic growth ("Money vs. morality"). While I believe it was fair in letting both sides air their views, a few items should be addressed.
Cloning is not "the transplant of DNA from an individual into an embryo." Human cloning is an attempt to create a cloned human embryo using a technique called somatic cell nuclear transfer where the nucleus of an individual's cell is removed and placed into an egg whose nucleus has been removed. This is the same technique used to create Dolly the sheep. Some researchers hope to create cloned human embryos and then kill them for their stem cells. They euphemistically call this "therapeutic cloning."
Sean Morrison, director of the U-M Center for Stem Cell Biology and one of the founders of OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, seems to insinuate that Michigan's law preventing human cloning and the killing of human embryos for research played a role in OncoMed's moving to California. OncoMed's Web site doesn't indicate their research involves killing human embryos or human cloning but rather trying to find ways to kill certain stem cells in adults which lead to cancer. This type of research isn't illegal in Michigan. It seems the more likely reason why OncoMed's investors wanted to move to California was because all of their investors are either based in California or have offices there.
Meanwhile, Krohn took his auto insurance company to court after they refused to reimburse the $51,000 in costs and claimed the procedure was experimental and not “reasonably necessary” according to Michigan's no-fault laws. A Lenawee County Circuit Court jury decided in Krohn's favor on November 2, 2007.
For more information, click here.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
One of the patients, Matthew Damm, was born with thalassemia requiring a transfusion every few weeks starting when he was 6 weeks old. He also had a needle inserted in his stomach to extract excess iron from his body, almost every night. Matthew underwent a transplant of stem cells from his baby sister's umbilical cord two years ago. Today Matt is an energetic 7 year old who knows that his little sister Hannah saved his life.
The biggest drawback to eliminating this difficult disease is finding enough cord blood donors to provide the wide range of tissue matches necessary. Michigan passed a law last year that would establish a network of cord blood stem cell banks as well as increase public awareness as to the benefits of donating cord blood at birth, however due to our fiscal crisis it is not funded.
For more information, click here.
Friday, October 19, 2007
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures is a pro-embryonic stem cell research organization which is working to overturn Michigan's prolife laws which prohibit human cloning and killing human embryos for research by promoting embryonic stem cell research. Their web site was taken down for weeks in the fall of 2006 after Right to Life of Michigan issued a press release noting false and plagiarized information on their web site.
For more information on stem cell research, please visit www.stemcellresearchcures.com.
Friday, October 12, 2007
LifeFacts - Adult stem cells restore function to paralyzed patients while media blackout of success continues
For more information, click here.
Tuesday, October 9, 2007
The Embryonic Stem Cell Research Money Trail discusses how some embryonic stem cell researchers are currently fighting over patent rights and how some embryonic stem cell researchers are focused on more than just treating patients.
Facts on Stem Cell Research shares some breakthroughs in life-affirming adult stem cell research and some other stem cell research facts.
Denominational Statements Regarding Stem Cell Research provides the positions of various religious denominations on embryonic stem cell research.
The Great Stem Cell Debate: Understanding the Options compares and contrasts adult stem cell research and embryonic stem cell research.
Friday, October 5, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Incontinence affects more than 15 million Americans. In the near future this stem cell treatment could not only improve the quality of life for those affected, but lessen hospital and nursing home stays. The savings of health care dollars could be substantial.
For more information, click here.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
On September 27, WDIV (the same station which ran the original story on the abortionist) revealed the Michigan Department of Community Health suspended the abortionist's license as a result of WDIV's investigation and story. The license suspension order cited 13 counts which led to the suspension of his medical license including negligence, incompetence and "a lack of moral character."
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Now for the numbers ... Dennis Steindler, Ph.d., said that they can take a single brain cell out of an adult and theoretically "generate enough brain cells to replace every cell of the donor's brain and conceivably those of 50 million other people." These newly discovered human brain cells may be the key to unlocking the cures to brain disorders like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, strokes and others. This is a first, knowing the ability of human brain cells to change into different cell types.
For more information, click here and here.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Let's seek cures that don't involve killing or cloning
Let's start with the facts about embryonic stem cell research:
1. Embryonic stem cell research is entirely legal in Michigan and is ongoing here with taxpayer and private dollars.
2. Killing live human embryos for research purposes is not legal in Michigan.
3. Couples with "leftover" embryo-stage offspring frozen in fertility clinics can donate them for destructive research. The researchers must be in another state.
4. Couples can release their embryonic children for adoption by infertile couples here.
5. Legislation being proposed on human embryo stem cell research allows for the trafficking and killing of cloned human embryos in Michigan. Under the bill, cloned human embryos created by the same technique as Dolly the sheep, could be imported into Michigan and killed like laboratory rats.
To repeat, there is no ban on embryonic stem cell research. There is a ban on killing live human embryos for research. For years, Michigan researchers have been obtaining embryonic stem cells from other states and countries to do their research. Having to buy steel from Pittsburgh has never stopped Michigan from making cars.
The reason researchers want to kill embryos to create new stem cell lines is - no surprise - money. Specifically, they want to control patent rights on any treatment developed from their embryonic stem cells. If researchers use stem cells from another state to develop a treatment, they might have to share the profits with out-of-state researchers. That's it; that is the real reason they want this legislation. It has little to do with being able to do the research and absolutely nothing to do with the well-being of patients. Just Google "embryonic stem cells patent" and read all about it.
Proponents of embryo destruction argue that "leftover" embryos are currently not protected by law; they are just being "thrown away," and shouldn't be "wasted." Agreed, human life should never be thrown away or wasted. Frozen embryos can be given a chance at life through embryo adoption. While other states kill embryos for profit, we in Michigan can offer them a chance at life. We adopt pets from animal shelters. We even "adopt" highways to keep them clean. Infertile couples are waiting to adopt any child, even a frozen one.
Embryonic stem cell research is unnecessary and unrestrained. Nearly every week clinical studies are announced showing real advances using stem cells derived from many sources including umbilical cord blood, amniotic fluid, skin, muscle, hair follicles, baby teeth, even fat. These "adult" stem cells are showing more and more flexibility as research continues. Researchers have already reprogrammed mouse adult stem cells to behave exactly like mouse embryonic stem cells.
The debate over embryonic stem cells, which are a decade or more from producing results (if ever), is a distraction from the adult stem cells already helping people with dozens of debilitating diseases. Proposed legislation would allow for the trafficking and killing of cloned human embryos in Michigan. The facts are clear, we don't need to clone and kill embryos to find cures.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Meanwhile, in California, thousands of human embryos and eggs may be missing from fertility clinics. The discrepancy involves 596 embryos and 2,189 eggs unaccounted for, involving 80 medical facilities, 102 physicians and 229 donors. This unfolding debacle is on top of the 2003 case of California's Options Fertility Registry being forced out of business when donors brought a slew of lawsuits after discovering their eggs were being sold without their permission.
These unethical behaviors are reminiscent of the abuses perpetrated by fraudulent South Korean researcher Hwang Woo-Suk, who coerced female assistants to donate their eggs. Embryonic stem cell advocates continue to ignore the reality that their research and proposed cures will require millions of human eggs, and that demand brings enormous ethical and dangerous consequences with it.
For more information, click here and here.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Here is the story from the Grand Rapids Press about the loss of their first child. I'm sure Kevin, Chele and their family would appreciate your thoughts and prayers.
Monday, September 10, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
Friday, August 24, 2007
Michael Clancy will be speaking at Right to Life of Michigan Annual Conference on September 22, 2007.
A recent article in the Cadillac News provided an inaccurate explanation of Michigan's law on killing and cloning human embryos and the current efforts to overturn those laws. Legislation (H.B. 4616) introduced by Representative Andrew Meisner and supported by the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures isn't designed to "strengthen the state's ban on human cloning." It's designed to legalize the creation and destruction of cloned human embryos. The current law, which was passed with a large bi-partisan majority, bans human cloning and provides penalties of up to 10 years and/or $10 million dollars. Rep. Meisner's bill would change this law by legalizing the same cloning technique (somatic cell nuclear transfer) which created Dolly the sheep as long as those cloned human embryos are killed for their stem cells. You can't strengthen a ban on human cloning by legalizing human cloning. Hopefully, The Cadillac News and its readers will be wary of claims made by the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
Attached please find an editorial from today's Detroit News by Alfred Taubman claiming that Michigan's law prohibiting destructive research on human embryos is holding back advances on stem cell research and Michigan's biotechnology sector. Here are several important points – and omissions – to note:
- The caption written by the News under the researcher's photograph claims U-M "can use adult and umbilical chord [sic] stem cells in research in Michigan, but not ones from embryos." This is false. Research on stem cells taken from embryos is legal and is being done in Michigan with federal tax dollars.
- Taubman is either confused or making an important omission when he refers to "critical work" being done in California that in Michigan would net scientists a 10 year prison sentence or $10 million dollar fine. Destroying "leftover" human embryos for research purposes does not carry that penalty. Cloning human embryos does carry the 10/10 penalty. Are U-M researchers directing cloning in California?
- Taubman and embryonic stem cell advocates never mention that to create genetically matched embryonic stem cell treatments for millions of patients, millions of cloned embryos will have to be created and destroyed.
- The real reason researchers want to be able to destroy embryos themselves to create stem cell lines is to preserve lucrative patent rights. They won't say it, but it comes down to money.
- Mr. Taubman urges the entire state to "have the discussion" about stem cell research. Agreed! Let's have the WHOLE discussion, starting with who wants to clone and kill human embryos and who says cures can and are being found without such unethical research.
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
A. Alfred Taubman's editorial on August 1, contained a number of inaccurate claims. Taubman falsely claimed that "embryonic stem cell research is essentially illegal in Michigan." It's amazing how the University of Michigan received more than $2 million in federal tax dollars to do something which is "essentially illegal." In Michigan, it's illegal to kill human embryos for research. Human cloning is also illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison. These laws don't prevent researchers from importing and experimenting on embryonic stem cells. A case in point is the University of Michigan.
Taubman also bemoans how supposedly hard it is for Michigan universities to recruit researchers because of Michigan's laws against killing embryos. That's an odd claim considering the director of the Life Sciences Institute at the University of Michigan was quoted in the Ann Arbor News on September 26, 2006, as describing their five new faculty researchers as "really first-rate" and "the top recruits in the country." In addition, this fall biochemistry experts Stephen Ragsdale and Ruma Banerjee plan to make their move to the University of Michigan. The University of Nebraska-Lincoln said it was losing two of its most prized researchers.
It should also be noted that the answer to the question of when the life of a human being begins isn't a "very personal matter." It's a scientific fact proponents of killing human embryos would prefer to ignore.
Researchers at Children's Hospital in Boston extracted a small section of the diseased bladder, then Kaitlyne's healthy adult stem cells were isolated and placed on a "scaffold" made of collagen, layer by layer. By seven weeks the cells developed into a functioning organ and then sewn to what was left of the patient's partially working bladder. Since the bladder was created using Kaitlyne's own stem cells, her body did not reject it.
"This suggests that tissue engineering may one day be a solution to the shortage of donor organs in this country for those needing transplants," said Dr. Anthony Atala, the lead researcher, who also published breakthrough research using amniotic stem cells in early 2007.
For more information, click here and here.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
While investors are pulling out of hESC research, successful therapies are happening as we speak using adult stem cells. Policy makers who spend taxpayers' money should expect a return on their investment. Time is money and it is better spent on substantiated, undisputed ethical lines of research - namely, non-embryonic stem cells.
For more information:
Science, July 2007: Vol. 317. no. 5836, p. 305
Thursday, July 19, 2007
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The first part of the story features an interview with a woman whose cousin recently had an abortion at this abortionist's clinic and experienced complications. The second part takes a hidden camera into the squalid office and reveals the abortionist is breaking some of Michigan's prolife laws including Michigan's informed consent and parental consent laws. The third part delves into the doctor's past and reviews the information in the previous two parts of the story.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Friday, July 6, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Meisner claimed there is a ban on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan despite the fact there is currently research involving embryonic stem cells occurring at the University of Michigan and the University of Michigan received a large 3-year federal grant to perform research on embryonic stem cells in 2003. Embryonic stem cell research is not banned in Michigan. Killing or experimenting on human embryos for research is banned in Michigan. This doesn't prevent researchers from experimenting on embryonic stem cells.
Meisner claimed legislation passed in 1998 was the "second ban on stem cell." Meisner is referring to Michigan's ban on human cloning which was a package of bills passed in 1998 with unanimous votes in the Michigan Senate and with 85+ votes (out of 110) in the Michigan House. Meisner and other proponents of human cloning for research typically avoid telling people they are in favor of human cloning for research or if they do they'll frequently use terms like "nuclear transfer" or "somatic cell nuclear transfer" because they know the majority of people are very uncomfortable with human cloning and creating human embryos solely for research. They also know that many people aren't familiar with the terms nuclear transfer and somatic cell nuclear transfer.
Meisner also claimed his legislation was about doing embryonic stem cell research restricted to stem cells taken from embryos leftover from in vitro fertilization. Yet Meisner's legislation would legalize the killing of cloned human embryos (which aren't "leftover from in vitro fertilization). His legislation would allow researchers to kill human embryos created by human cloning. Meisner's legislation (H.B. 4616) says, "A person may use a live human embryo to derive stem cells for nontherapeutic research if those embryos were from either of the following sources:" and then lists the following as a source,
"Notwithstanding section 16274, the utilization of a somatic cell nuclear transplantation procedure which was for the sole purpose of creating nuclear transfer blastocysts for the extraction of embryonic stem cells. As used in this subdivision, "blastocyst" means an embryo..."In other words, his legislation legalizes the killing of a live human embryos (blastocysts) created by human cloning (somatic cell nuclear transplantation procedure) as long as they were created for the sole purpose of being killed for their stem cells.
Meisner is on the advisory board of the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures. Their web site describes human cloning for research (which they call nuclear transfer) by saying, "Nuclear transfer is a laboratory procedure that creates embryos for use in stem cell research; sometimes referred to as ‘therapeutic cloning.'" On another page they describe Meisner's legislation by saying, "Proposals being considered by some policymakers would lessen state restrictions on stem cell research by removing restrictions on embryonic stem cell research, allowing for the creation of stem cells through nuclear transfer."
Unfortunately, Andy Meisner has not been honest with the Michigan people about Michigan's current law and what his legislation would do. If the people of Michigan are so in favor of human cloning and killing human embryos for their stem cells then why does Andy Meisner need to lie about his legislation?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Many people who suffer from heart valve disease have artificial replacements, which have limitations. Sir Magdi Yacoub, Professor of Cardiac Surgery at Imperial College in London, said, "The way a living valve functions, it anticipates haemodynamic events and responds and changes its shape and size. It's completely different from an artificial valve which will just open and shut." If the trials prove to be successful, Professor Yacoub predicts the heart valves will be implanted in patients within three to five years.
Fifteen million people died of cardiovascular disease in 2005. Replacement valves grown from ethical sources of stem cells could save many lives in the very near future.
For more information, click here.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Right to Life of Michigan President Barbara Listing said, "President Bush has again boldly prevented American taxpayers from being compelled to fund the killing of human embryos. Advances in life-affirming forms of stem cell research continue to prove we do not need to kill the smallest, most vulnerable human beings in order to successfully treat those who are suffering."
According to the National Institutes of Health, the federal government has spent $122 million on research using human embryonic stem cells in the last four years and plans to spend an additional $74 million in the next two years. The University of Michigan received a federally funded grant to experiment on human embryonic stem cells in 2003. This research has not treated a single human patient.
"Right to Life of Michigan will continue to educate the public on the advances in adult stem cell research and research using stem cells found in umbilical cord blood and amniotic fluid through our StemCellResearchCures.com web site. Unfortunately, many people have been deceived into believing that embryonic stem cells offer their only hope of being cured," said Listing.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Thursday, June 14, 2007
Jeanne Loring, director of hESC research at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in California said, "The patents are impeding our research. They're more important than what's going on in the [U.S.] Senate right now." She said, "It is making scientists go overseas to do this sort of research. It isn't the funding that's sending us overseas. It's the patent issues."
Michigan, a hub of biotech research, continues to discover new breakthrough therapies, using ethical forms of stem cells, while operating within the law.
For more information, click here.
Friday, June 8, 2007
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
Once human trials begin, it would be ideal for those afflicted with MD to be treated with their own 'corrected' stem cells in order to alleviate the rejection issue. Much progress has been made; much more research must be done. Experience proves over and over again that the prospect of finding cures lies in using ethical sources of stem cells.
For more information, click here.
One section, Facts v. Myths, addresses various myths regarding stem cell research and another section,Cloning Facts, discusses human cloning.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Life Facts - Insulin-secreting cells produced from ethically extracted stem cells found in umbilical cord blood
McGuckin explains that this "process [using cord blood stem cells] is so effective that embryonic stem cells are not needed altogether." There is no controversy extracting cord blood for experimentation or transplantation since obtaining it is not harmful to the donor, it is in ready supply, and with proper banking, tissue matches will be plentiful. Investing in this vital life science will in turn, save massive amounts of health care dollars.
For more information, click here.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Monday, May 21, 2007
LifeFacts - University of Michigan snatches highly sought after biochemistry researcher from the University of Nebraska
Does this suggest that the laws in Michigan governing biotechnology research are not too restrictive? Could Dr. Ghorpade's decision to move, suggest that Michigan is a prestigious hub of life science's best and the brightest? U of M currently has 349 endowed chairs and is in the process of raising "$425 million to supplement the salaries of top professors and researchers." Dr.Ghorpade's expertise is not in stem cells, but in brain diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and HIV-related dementia. She will truly be an asset to our state's life science corridor. For more information, click here.
Friday, May 18, 2007
A recent editorial in the Free Press by Liz Barry insinuated that embryonic stem cell research "could boost Michigan(‘s) economy." Absent from the editorial was any explanation of how allowing the killing of human embryos for research would help Michigan's economy. Other states which are supposedly leading the way in embryonic stem cell research have provided researchers with millions upon millions of state tax dollars (which Michigan doesn't have with its current budget crisis). In other words, embryonic stem cell research doesn't bring money in, it typically asks taxpayers to foot the bill.If space permitted the letter would have also discussed the fact that the vast majority of human embryos at fertility clinics aren't available for research. Instead, around 90% of those human embryos are being saved by their parents in the hopes of initiating a pregnancy in the future.
The editorial also states researchers have "voluntarily adopted rigorous guidelines" including "only using embryos slated for disposal." Why then are embryonic stem cell researchers like Sean Morrison strongly behind the legislative efforts of Rep. Andy Meisner to legalize the cloning of human embryos so they can be killed for research?
Proponents of embryonic stem cell research have been promising cures for years and they've received more than $100 million dollars from our federal government to conduct their research. Yet no human disease is anywhere near being treated with embryonic stem cells. Now they're promising an economic "boost" without any explanation. Don't buy the hype.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
An article in the May 10th edition of the Oakland Press focusing on the efforts of the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures (MCSCRC) got a number of facts wrong.For a group which is supposedly dedicated to educating the Michigan public about stem cell research, the Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures sure do spend a lot of time providing reporters with inaccurate information.
First, the article claims Michigan is "one of the last states in the nation not allowing" embryonic stem cell research. This is an odd claim considering the University of Michigan has received more than $2 million dollars from the federal government to work with embryonic stem cells. Michigan law doesn't ban embryonic stem cell research. It bans human cloning and the killing of human embryos for research purposes.
Second, blastocysts are not "fertilized eggs." Blastocyst is a scientific term used to describe embryos, in this case human embryos, at a certain stage of development. Embryos don't develop from blastocysts since blastocysts are embryos.
The article also fails to note the legislation (H.B. 4616) sponsored by Andy Meisner would legalize the creation of human embryos by human cloning through a process known as somatic cell nuclear transfer. Proponents of this legislation don't want the public to know they're in favor of human cloning for research because they realize most people in Michigan recognize it is never ethical for a researcher to create human embryos solely for the purpose of killing them for their cells.
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Speaking of 'whoppers', former U.S. Congressman, Joe Schwarz stated, "Hundreds of thousands of unwanted blastocysts are discarded as medical waste each year." What are his sources? Another false claim he made was, "Another thing happening because of restrictions is, (research is) going offshore." Nothing could be further from the truth.
The former Governor of Iowa, Tom Vilsack, stated in his 2006 State of the State address that at the time he signed the original ban on cloning, "... we never dreamt that new treatments dependent upon such [nuclear cell] transplants [sic] would be developed so quickly. Well, they have been, and as a result we should revisit our ban on nuclear cell transplants."
Huh? There are no treatments.
Iowa's State Rep. Patrick Murphy wrote that, the legislation to lift the ban on cloning, " ... authorizes the creation of embryonic stem cell lines, which are not even close to actual embryos. There is no sperm involved in somatic cell nuclear transfer, so there can be no embryo." How does one get embryonic stem cell lines without embryos? James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, the first to isolate embryonic stem cells, explained that, "If you create an embryo by nuclear transfer, and you give it to somebody who didn't know where it came from, there would be no test you could do on that embryo to say where it came from ... you're creating an embryo."
For more information visit here and here.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Friday, April 27, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
A recent Detroit News editorial inconceivably states, “Embryonic stem cell research should be allowed in this state” as if it was somehow not allowed. Last November, the Detroit News ran a lengthy article about how the University of Michigan was raising money to do experiments on human embryonic stem cell lines which aren’t funded by the federal government. The U of M was also awarded a multi-million dollar federal grant to work on federally-approved human embryonic stem cells back in 2003.
Michigan law prohibits the killing of human embryos for research purposes and the creation of cloned human embryos, not embryonic stem cell research. Legislation introduced by Representative Andrew Meisner wouldn’t legalize embryonic stem cell research in Michigan since it’s already legal. Meisner’s legislation would allow human embryos created by in vitro fertilization to be killed for research purposes and also explicitly allow the creation of human embryos through cloning and mandate their destruction.
Michigan doesn’t need to clone and kill human embryos to move science forward. That’s one reason why numerous countries like Germany, France, Canada, Japan and many more have banned human cloning for research. They also likely understand there are grave dangers in treating human embryos as if they were nothing more than mere commodities.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
To read, Right to Life of Michigan's press release, click here.
Friday, April 13, 2007
For more information read these articles in the Houston Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
The letter contained a number of faulty statements which again show that Governor Granholm continues to garble information on this important issue.
The letter claims, "Embryonic stem cell research holds the potential to cure some of the oldest and deadliest diseases - from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's to multiple sclerosis. However, these restrictions have delayed that research for far too long." The letter also states, "For over five years, these families have been forced to wait as the Bush policy has obstructed this vital research."
Besides falsely claiming embryonic stem cell research could cure Alzheimer's (leading embryonic stem cell researcher Ronald McKay called statements like this "a fairy tale"), the letter also acts like the federal government restricts or obstructs embryonic stem cell research. The federal government does nothing to restrict or obstruct embryonic stem cell research. Private companies are allowed to do whatever they would like with embryonic stem cells. The federal government even spent $122 million on human embryonic stem cell research from 2003-2006 and plans on spending an additional $74 million on embryonic stem cell research in the next two years.
Instead of leading with honesty and integrity, Governor Granholm continues to garble the truth when it comes to stem cell research. She has unfortunately chosen to spend her time hyping research which is nowhere near being tested in human beings much less curing a wide variety of diseases as if it were the Holy Grail of medicine. In the meantime, she ignores the medical breakthroughs continually occurring using life-affirming forms of stem cell research which don't necessitate the destruction of human embryos.
For more about Governor Granholm's garbling of information on life issues, please visit Granholm Garble.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
The abstract to the study is available online at the web site of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Wednesday, April 4, 2007
For more information visit these websites:
Friday, March 30, 2007
Researchers have extracted adult stem cells from the legs of patients suffering from heart failure and then injected them into the patient's heart. The researchers saw improvement in the health of patients who received the adult stem cell treatment while the health of patients who received traditional treatment worsened.
For more advances in adult stem cell research, be sure to visit StemCellResearchCures.com
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
At the state level in Michigan, we are faced with similar legislation. In the Michigan Senate, Gretchen Whitmer has introduced a bill, S.B. 52, which attempts to change the definition of "human cloning" in Michigan's current ban on human cloning as well as allow the destruction of human embryos for research purposes.
Michigan's current law defines human cloning by saying, "‘Human cloning' means the use of human somatic cell nuclear transfer technology to produce a human embryo."
Somatic cell nuclear transfer of SCNT is the scientific term for cloning. This is the technique scientists used to create Dolly the sheep and the various other animals which have been cloned.
Now, here's how Whitmer's legislation, if passed, would change this definition:
"‘Human cloning' means creating or attempting to create a human being by using the somatic cell nuclear transfer procedure for the purpose of, or to implant, the resulting product to initiate a pregnancy that could result in the birth of a human being."
That language doesn't actually outlaw human cloning. It just outlaws attempts to place a cloned human embryo into a womb if that pregnancy could result in birth by deceptively changing the definition of "human cloning" from a factual, scientific definition to one used for political posturing. Once a cloned human embryo has been created, the cloning has already occurred. Placing a cloned embryo into the womb isn't cloning.
The language of this legislation also seems to leave open the possibility of implanting cloned human embryos into wombs (real or artificial ) as long as the purpose of the pregnancy isn't birth but rather growing the cloned child to a point where the child could be aborted and fetal stem cells could be removed. This is a process also known as fetal farming.
Those who favor the creation and destruction of cloned human embryos for their stem cells are typically very careful to avoid saying they are in favor of scientists being allowed to try to create cloned human embryos because they know the public is, for the most part, not comfortable with human cloning and also not comfortable with the idea of creating human embryos solely to destroy them.
The prolife people in Michigan need to pull the curtain back and expose the crooked plans of human cloning proponents to their friends and family.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Another major advantage to using umbilical cord blood stem cells is that the graft "took" in two weeks, rather than one month for bone marrow transplants. By cutting hospital stays in half, the potential cost savings for health care will be enormous. Every new mother should consider donating her cord blood to either private or public banks when she delivers her child. By building up cord blood donations in the network, matches can be readily available and by using two doses the life saving benefits are quicker. Last but not least, investing in cord blood banks will save health care untold amounts of money.
For more information, you can read this article.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The law the Free Press was likely referring to is Michigan's law which prohibits the use of living human embryos, human fetuses, and human neonates in research which isn't therapeutic for them. This law prohibits researchers from killing human embryos for their stem cells but doesn't prohibit researchers from importing embryonic stem cells from other state and experimenting on them in Michigan.
Or the Free Press might have been referring to Michigan's ban on human cloning. Of course, a ban on human cloning is much different than a ban on embryonic stem cell research especially since attempts at human cloning for research have yet to even get embryonic stem cells from a cloned human embryo. If the Free Press editorial board is opposed to Michigan's ban on human cloning then they should provide arguments for why the ban on human cloning should be removed instead of arguing against a ban which doesn't exist.
One might wonder if the Free Press staff is just not very familiar with Michigan's laws on these complex issues except this editorial is one editorial in a long line of editorials and news stories in which the Free Press has inaccurately described Michigan laws relating to bio-ethical issues. Numerous times, Right to Life of Michigan staff have contacted the Free Press and Free Press reporters to correct these errors. Unfortunately, the Free Press has continued to persist in providing its readers with information which is intentionally misleading.
Friday, March 16, 2007
LifeFacts: Some cancers happen when stem cells go haywire - U of M researchers make significant find
For more information about this research, visit this site.