Friday, September 28, 2007

LifeBeat for September 29, 2007

Dr. Daniel Pepin talks about why the public hears so much about embryonic stem cell research when those stem cells aren't working. Embryonic stem cells don't help patients, they help patents. To listen, click here.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

LifeFacts - Human brain stem cells found to have embryonic-like properties

Researchers have found that adult stem cells taken from a human brain may have the same characteristics as embryonic stem cells, thus negating the need to destroy embryos for their stem cells. Researchers from the University of Florida's McKnight Brain Institute took mature human brain cells from epilepsy patients to generate new brain tissue in mice. These adult brain stem cells can be coaxed into producing large amounts of new brain cells that not only could be used to treat one patient, but many more.

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.

LifeBeat for September 22, 2007

Dr. Daniel Pepin discusses how the public has become confused on stem cell research and shares how even some proponents of embryonic stem cell research are backing away from some of the original hyped claims.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Stem Cell Editorial in the Lansing State Journal

Ed Rivet, Right to Life of Michigan's Legislative Director, had the following editorial on stem cell research published in the Lansing State Journal. You can view it online here.
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

LifeBeat for September 15, 2007

Dr. Daniel Pepin talks about some facts and fiction regarding stem cell research. He also discusses why there are so many incorrect beliefs about stem cell research.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Life Facts - Missing Egg Donors & Missing Eggs

Harvard University has spent thousands of dollars on newspaper ads attempting to entice women to donate their eggs for embryonic stem cell research. Hundreds of women responded initially, but none have donated. Undoubtedly learning of the numerous injections, repeat office visits, dangerous side effects, and the surgery requiring general anesthesia to remove the eggs stripped the benevolent veneer off the egg donation process for these women.

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

Skylar Anne Green, R.I.P.

On Tuesday, September 4, 2007, Representative Kevin Green and his wife Chele discovered their unborn daughter died in the womb. Chele was seven months pregnant.

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

LifeBeat for September 8, 2007

Maureen Coffey, Director of Marketing, Sales and Events for Right to Life of Michigan, discusses Right to Life of Michigan's upcoming Annual Conference on September 22.