Thursday, September 30, 2010

Researchers create iPS cells

Researchers in the state of Massachusetts have published the results of their work which shows that induced pluripotent cells can be created safely and efficiently using RNA.

Induced pluripotent stem cells are cells that have the same properties as embryonic stem cells but don't require the destruction of human embryos.
Reporting in the journal Cell Stem Cell, Dr. Derrick Rossi of Harvard Medical School and colleagues said they were working on new ways to make induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells.

These cells closely resemble embryonic stem cells -- the body's true master cells, which can give rise to all of the body's cells and tissue and which also flourish in the lab.

It takes just 3 or 4 genes to turn back the clock on skin cells or other ordinary cells, and make them behave like stem cells. But most ways of doing this involve using a virus to carry the new genes into the cell, or DNA, and these techniques can lead to other problems, including tumors.

Rossi and colleagues in stem cell leader George Daley's lab tried a new method, using RNA instead. RNA is the compound that carries out DNA's instructions.

To their surprise, RNA from the four "stem cell" genes worked to transform ordinary skin cells into iPS cells. These cells could, like stem cells, be made to form beating heart cells, nerve cells and other cell types.


Adult stem cells save woman's leg

Researchers in England have used adult stem cells to save the leg of a woman named Diane Stuttard who faced having her leg amputated after being hit by a car and enduring 11 operations.
During her operation, at the private Spire Alexandra Hospital in Chatham, Kent, stem cells from her bone marrow were taken and mixed with a gel called Surgifill, which trapped the cells against the fracture. Within days they started to form healthy new bone, healing the break.

Surgeons also lengthened her leg by cutting into a healthy section of bone, injecting the stem cell mix and using an orthopaedic scaffold to gently pull the bone apart at a rate of almost half an inch (1cm) a month.

While the upcoming World Stem Cell Summit will be focused on embryonic stem cell research, life-affirming research which doesn't require the destruction of human embryos is helping people now.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Michigan community center ends Planned Parenthood lease

Last week, the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency board of directors voted 3-3 to end a lease which allowed Planned Parenthood of South Central Michigan to use its buildings. In tie votes, motions are denied so the motion to renew the lease was denied. The 7th member of the board would have voted against the renewal as well.
Opposition to Planned Parenthood’s role as Title X provider for St. Joseph, Branch, and Hillsdale counties began before the contract was awarded, and has continued to build, particularly in the past year. Yesterday morning, more than 100 people packed the BHSJ meeting room in Coldwater, the majority to express opposition to Planned Parenthood, abortion, and to the lease renewal, while others spoke in support of Planned Parenthood’s services.

Summing up what was the sentiment of the majority of those speaking against renewal of Planned Parenthood’s lease, Jim Goethals of Sturgis said, “I’d like to see Planned Parenthood replaced by a medical provider that does not provide abortions.”

A number of speakers, most impassioned in their delivery, told the BHSJ board of their opposition to Planned Parenthood because it is a provider of abortions at its facility in Kalamazoo. Lorijo Nerad of Three Rivers presented a personal narrative of what she said were very negative experiences with the organization.


RLM News 2010 General Election Now Online

The 2010 General Election Issue of the RLM News is now online here.

The issue includes articles on new educational television ads, Virg Bernero's extreme pro-abortion record and Michigan's 2009 abortion statistics.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Detroit News finds Bernero's abortion ad to be deceptive

The Michigan Democratic State Central Committee has a television ad out in favor of gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero which claims Rick Snyder has an "extreme" position on abortion. The Detroit News reviewed this ad and found it to be deceptive.
The ad says Snyder will "make government ban abortion, even when it puts women's health in terrible danger." A ban "could actually put doctors in jail." Several news sources are cited at the bottom of the clip.

What record says

None of the sources referenced in the ad support its claim that Snyder intends to ban abortion; they only say he opposes it. They don't mention the jailing of doctors.....

The ad draws unwarranted conclusions from truth and presents them as fact. It also oversimplifies Snyder's position on the abortion issue and uses fear tactics to appeal to women voters.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

General Election Endorsement Available Online

Right to Life of Michigan Political Action Committee endorsements are now available online. A personalized prolife ballot can be obtained at the prolife ballot generator while the full listing of candidates is here.

World Stem Cell Summit set to honor proponents of embryo-killing research

Helping some should never include killing others

On October 4-6, Detroit will host the World Stem Cell Summit which is a conference focusing on stem cell research. The conference will feature numerous presentations by researchers and embryonic stem cell research advocates. The World Stem Cell Summit and its organizer Bernard Siegel are proponents of research which requires the destruction of human embryos and human cloning for research. Two supporters of killing human embryos for research, Governor Jennifer Granholm and Alfred Taubman are set to be honored for their advocacy on behalf of destroying human life for research.

Proponents of human embryonic stem cells often talk about the "promise" of embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cell research has been receiving funding from the federal government since 2001, because of this, many think the research has helped those in need. The reality is human embryonic stem cells have not yet successfully treated a single human patient. One consequence of human embryonic stem cell research is the intentional destruction of some human lives for the sake of experimentation.

For more information about stem cell research, visit the Right to Life of Michigan web site devoted to stem cell research,

Monday, September 20, 2010

Desperate Virg Bernero touts being endorsed by America's leading abortion provider

On September 20, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Virg Bernero used a news conference to advertise being endorsed by Planned Parenthood and attack Republican candidate Rick Snyder for opposing abortion. Recently released numbers from Planned Parenthood show they committed a record 324,008 abortions in 2008.

Bernero also promised to defend the legal killing of unborn human beings if he becomes governor.
"It is crucial we have a governor who understands, believes and is committed to women's rights and women's right to choose and you can count on me doing that," Bernero said in his first of three news conferences scheduled in Lansing, Flint and Southfield.

Bernero has a long record of supporting abortion on demand including partial-birth abortion. For more information about Virg Bernero's extreme pro-abortion voting record, click here.


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Massachusetts abortionist sentenced to jail for involuntary manslaughter

On September 14, abortionist Rapin Osathanondh was sentenced to 6 months in jail after pleading guilty to the involuntary manslaughter of Laura Hope Smith.
Smith was 13 weeks pregnant when she went to Osathanondh's Cape Cod office for an abortion. She died later that day. Prosecutors say he failed to monitor her while she was anesthetized delayed calling 911 when her heart stopped, and lied to cover his actions.

The Board of Registration in Medicine said Osathanondh, 67, had "engaged in conduct that calls into question his competence to practice medicine," had no oxygen or heart monitoring equipment and "failed to adhere to basic cardiac life support protocol."


New poll finds Americans favor funding life-affirming stem cell research

A new poll conducted by International Communications Research finds that 47% of Americans don't want their tax dollars used to fund embryonic stem cell research. Only 38% favored spending federal tax dollars on this research.

After being informed about life-affirming forms of stem cell research which don't necessitate the destruction of human life, 57% favored only funding life-affirming forms of stem cell research compared to 21% who favored funding all forms of research. The poll also found that the majority of Americans continue to oppose human cloning. The survey was commissioned by the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and was conducted on September 8-14.

"The Senate should not be misled on this important issue," said Richard M. Doerflinger, Associate Director of the USCCB's Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities. "Most Americans do not support federally funded research that requires destroying human embryos. They want their tax dollars used for stem cell research that is ethically sound as well as medically promising – the kind of research that has attracted the interest and commitment of more and more stem cell experts in recent years."


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Kent County commissioners move to remove abortion coverage for employees

Three members of the Kent County Commission (Bob Synk, Tom Antor and Stan Ponstein) have pushed for Kent County employee unions to voluntarily remove abortion coverage from their health care plans which are paid for by the county. A county board committee is expected to vote on their measure on today.

UPDATE:The board committee voted in favor of the prolife measure by a vote of 9-0.

Their efforts have culminated with a request expected to be voted on Tuesday by a county board committee. That request directs administrative staff to ask unions to voluntarily remove the benefit, and if they refuse, to make it a negotiating issue when contracts expire. Antor, Synk and Ponstein are members of the committee.

"As a taxpayer, I'm kind of offended that my tax dollars are being used for that procedure," said Antor, who describes himself as a "staunch pro-life advocate.".....

The benefit is not widely used among the county's 1,725 employees that have the coverage. Since Jan. 1 2004, county health benefits have covered $5,601 for 13 abortion procedures, according to the county's human resources department.

The issue caught the attention of Synk, Antor and Ponstein after they heard news reports about a pair of Kalamazoo County commissioners who earlier this year pushed for elective abortions to be eliminated from health benefits.

Kent County Administrator Daryl Delabbio said he and most administrative staff members were unaware the benefit was part of the county's Blue Cross Blue Shield health care coverage until someone asked the question.


Detroit Free Press story on cord blood donations

On Monday, the Detroit Free Press featured a story on the importance of cord blood donations. Umbilical cord blood is rich in stem cells and can be used to help patients suffering from about 70 different conditions, according to the Free Press.
Just 19 months old, Makayla needs a stem cell or bone marrow transplant.

She was diagnosed one month after birth with a rare disease, Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which leaves her body unable to make red blood cells.

"She almost died in my arms," said her mother, Amanda Hampton, 21, of Detroit, remembering how she rushed her daughter to the hospital during her first month of life. Her baby could barely breathe, was sweating profusely, and her skin had turned pale.

Makayla's best option is a stem cell or bone marrow transplant, a procedure that transplants cells derived from blood products or umbilical cord blood to help patients rebuild their circulatory or immune systems. Her mother said she hopes to find a match through the Be the Match Registry of the National Marrow Donor Program, a federally designated agency that helps coordinate requests from unrelated donors for stem cell and bone marrow transplants.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Michigan woman charged with the death of her newborn child

A woman in Northern Michigan named Lynzee Sanders has been charged with involuntary manslaughter after she admitted to authorities that she wrapped up her newborn child and hid her daughter in a shed in October of 2009. The child was found in May of 2010 after two boys discovered the baby's body after it had been removed from the shed by a dog. The article also mention's Michigan Safe Delivery of Newborns Act which allows mothers to legally surrender their newborn children.
Test results from a DNA diagnostic center in Ohio indicated Sanders was the mother of the dead infant. Sanders then told investigators she gave birth to a live baby girl last October but believed the infant died shortly after delivery, court records show.

Area authorities investigated four infant death cases in recent months, including the most recent dead baby found in a backpack Tuesday in Boyne City. The spike in infant deaths prompted authorities to increase promotion of safe options for mothers during pregnancy, including the Safe Delivery of Newborns Act.

The act took effect throughout Michigan in 2001 and allows mothers legally to surrender their infants within 72 hours of birth to an emergency service provider. They can request anonymity and refuse to answer questions when they drop off their infant at a hospital, police station or fire department.

"It certainly is much better than what we've been experiencing," said sheriff's Capt. Dave Meachum. "It's a great, nonviolent option."


Friday, September 10, 2010

Abortions up, adoption referrals way down at Planned Parenthood

According to the latest numbers from Planned Parenthood, their organization performed 324,008 abortions in 2008, up 6.1% from the 305,310 abortion they committed in 2007. Planned Parenthood performs more than a 25% of all abortions which occur in the United States. While the number of abortions being performed in the United States has decreased over the last decade, the number of abortions performed at Planned Parenthood has risen dramatically.

The number of Planned Parenthood adoption referrals dropped a staggering 51% to 2,405. This means that for every one adoption referral, Planned Parenthood aborts 134 children.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Court of Appeals stays ruling on federal embryonic stem cell funding, funding will continue

On September 9, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stayed a temporary injunction against the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research after an appeal from the U.S. Justice Department.
In a major victory for supporters of the research, the court said the Obama administration could resume funding the research pending a full appeal of the case.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth, ruling in a lawsuit filed by two researchers working on alternatives to the cells, said the funding violated a federal rule that prohibits federal tax money from being used for research that involves the destruction of human embryos.....

The original decision was hailed by opponents of the research, who argue it is immoral to destroy human embryos. But it was condemned by supporters and advocates for patients, who said it was a major setback for one of the most promising areas of biomedical research.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Federal Judge Keeps Federal Stem Cell Funding Ban in Place

On September 7, Judge Royce Lamberth denied a motion by President Obama's administration to stay a ruling which prevents federal tax dollars from being used on human embryonic stem cell research.
"Defendants are incorrect about much of their 'parade of horribles' that will supposedly result from this Court's preliminary injunction," Lamberth wrote.....

"In this Court's view, a stay would flout the will of Congress, as this Court understands what Congress has enacted in the Dickey-Wicker Amendment," Lamberth wrote in Tuesday's ruling. "Congress has mandated that the public interest is served by preventing taxpayer funding of research that entails the destruction of human embryos."


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Maryland suspends licenses of two abortionists

Health officials in the state of Maryland have ordered two licensed abortionists to stop performing abortions in their state after a woman was severely injured during an abortion procedure. An investigation following the injury discovered the bodies of numerous late-term aborted children. The state of Maryland has also ordered a third abortionist to stop performing abortions in Maryland without a license.
The state Board of Physicians ordered Dr. Steven Brigham to stop practicing medicine without a license in Maryland and suspended the license of Dr. Nicola Riley. Police raided one of Brigham's offices in Elkton looking for medical records, and found dozens of late-term fetuses in a freezer at a clinic.

Riley and Brigham brought an injured 18-year-old woman in a personal vehicle to Union Hospital in Elkton after a failed abortion Aug. 13, according to the board's orders. The woman was then taken to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where she was found to have a uterine perforation.....

Several days later, the Elkton police department, acting on a warrant for the woman's medical record, found a freezer with about 35 late-term fetuses.


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Detroit News doesn't understand induced pluripotent stem cell research

In an editorial pushing for Congress to expressly allow the federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research, the Detroit News editorial board makes a strange argument.
Even though embryonic stem cells are still crucial, researchers in Michigan are striving to convert adult skin cells into "pluripotent" stem cells which are similar to embryonic stem cells.

This research could eventually sidestep the need for embryos, the university contends.

Such strides should not be impeded.

Research into induced pluripotent cells (cells with the same properties as embryonic stem cells but created from adult cells) isn't affected by Judge Royce Lamberth's ruling. His ruling prevents federal funds from being used in research where a human embryo is killed.

One of the reasons researchers are so excited about induced pluripotent cells is that human embryos don't need to be killed in order to obtain them.