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Obama reverses Bush stem cell restrictions

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Excellent.

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So with one stroke of his pen, the new President has taken stem cell research in the US out of the dark ages and into the 21st Century. Excellent stuff. Now it is just a case of remaining deaf to the bleatings of the flat-earthers.

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LOL. Stem cell research in the States, even with the ban on embryonic extraction, is waaaaaaay ahead of most of the world.

This issue is as politicized as most

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=320024173480134&kw=stem,cell

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follow science and not ideology

this is brilliant! good job mr obama!

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rollanarte: Glad you agree with Obama's decision.

"Stem cells are typically derived from fertility clinic surplus, destined for destruction."

You have to really shake your head at people who scream that this is all about morality; the fetuses are used instead of simply being destroyed -- where's the outrage that they are destroyed instead of being used? THAT is the outrage.

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The only reason that Pres. Obama is able to politicize this issue is because government is getting involved. I am not against stem cell research, because I don't think life begins until there is a heart beat and/or brain activity. I am just against the government paying for it. However, too many dismiss the ethical issues that are involved that should be taken seriously. Just because "science" can do something doesn't necessarily make it ethical. It has become liberal ideology to blow off ethical concerns due to their Utilitarian world view. There are many people that don't share their ideology and shouldn't be forced to pay for it. Liberals are free to take 50% of their income and contribute to stem cell research performed by private institutions.

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Wolfpack: The only reason this is an issue is because the research was heretofore banned by a religious bigot, and also because said research has not yet paid off in the way it certainly will in the future. When we think back years later it will be as acceptable as it is to provide couples with fertility treatment, or to help prolong human life in general. You cannot separate ANY science from the current body of knowledge regarding health.

Again, what are the ethical concerns? Are Christians worried that the fetuses aren't going to be properly thrown in the garbage? Are they worried that they won't get the proper freezer burn from being kept for years in a freezer BEFORE being tossed away and burned as bio-hazard? The fetuses are already there. Now, if you want to take another step back and ban fertility treatment as well, that's another story.

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600,000 embryos in freezers in Invetro Fertilization Clinics and 70 (I repeat 70) were adopted from their parents. 99% of these will be disposed of. But the Christian right wants to talk about life at time of inception, etc.

I'm glad Obama reversed bush's stem cell restrictions. < :-)

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adaydream: "600,000 embryos in freezers in Invetro Fertilization Clinics and 70 (I repeat 70) were adopted from their parents. 99% of these will be disposed of. But the Christian right wants to talk about life at time of inception, etc."

My point exactly. If the Christian right want to seriously practice what they preach, and get rid of the science that goes against god, they better go off and join the Luddites or Amish. Once stem-cell research saves someone they love, they'll simply change their stance to allow for the work the scientists do as being part of god's plan... then it will be okay.

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God will punish Obama for what he and his gang are doing.

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williamsmith are you saying that it would be better to destroy these same stem cells then save a life? Are you saying that the total destruction of these possible cures is worth destroying the stem cells instead.

Researchers aren't being given carte blanc to stem cells. Nobody's getting anything till the NIH sets rules in 120 days and only a limited amount of stem cells are going to be released.

But you have your beliefs. I understand. < :-)

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hahaha, no he won't.

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While this is an encouraging development, this article is way behind the times when it comes to the current stem cell research environment. Despite, or rather in spite of the Bush administration's ban on stem cell research, various stem cell breakthroughs have occurred over the last 8 years. This research does not involve embryonic stem cells but rather taking a patient's existing skin cells and "reprogramming" i.e. getting the cells to undifferentiate so that they can be induced to specialize into various other cells (termed induced pluripotent stem cells).

I'm surprised that JT didn't pick up on this but it was a Japanese scientist that was instrumental in defining this new process, Shinya Yamanaka. From here, various other scientists took the baton and ran with it, including Dr. Douglas Melton from Harvard University. The most recent breakthrough by Canadian scientists is even more encouraging as it takes Yamanaka's research in another direction. While Yamanaka uses viruses in order to inject 4 genes into cells to get these cells to undifferentiate, Dr. Andras Nagy from the University of Toronto and his team found a way which is far safer.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090301.wstemcells0301/BNStory/Science/?page=rss&id=RTGAM.20090301.wstemcells0301

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2009/mar/01/stem-cells-breakthrough

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1874717-1,00.html

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blaze: You make some good points, but there is absolutely no reason why one method of research need be a substitute rather than a supplement to the other(s). The discoveries you mentioned were achieved using limited materials and without access to potentially better sources (again, that are going to be thrown in the garbage anyway), imagine what they can do with BOTH!

Anyway, thanks for the links. I remember Yamanaka's work (not surprising since it was plastered all over Japanese media) but was unaware of Nagy's.

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Smith: You're welcome. As to your point about the two methods being complementary to each other, I don't think they are because the new methods are simply a better way of researching stem cells as it not only uses a patient's existing cells, but a type of cell that is abundant.

The other benefit of course is to remove the politics from the research and strip the pro-lifers of the ammunition needed to go on the warpath.

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What we are to complain about? Taking tax money and spending it on disecting babies will stimulate the economy. It is brilliant all around.

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This is more symbolic since, as blaze524 has pointed out, stem cells can now be made from skin. Bush and the Fanatics can be given some credit for this, except the Fanatics still want to play politics rather than highlight the new technology.

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When has religion ever been good for science? The last time I have checked, The Catholic church has been on the wrong side of history when it comes to Science. If they had their way the earth would still be flat and the sun revolved around the earth. Also why is Adam and Eve always dipicted as having belly buttons? Does the fact that someone doesnt go to church and doesnt believe in creationism mean they cannot be moral and ethical people? I would prefer to put my stock in a group of people that make their scientific judgments based on facts and not interpret what they should believe based on religious beliefs. Conservative right should spend more time concentraiting on their own life and quit trying to tell other people how they should live their life, raise their kids or believe that Armageddon is upon us. It's perfectly fine to believe what you want to believe in, but for the majority of our sakes, please keep it to yourself.

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Will be interesting when one of the religious nuts needs treatment that only stem cells can cure.

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WilliB: "What we are to complain about? Taking tax money and spending it on disecting babies will stimulate the economy. It is brilliant all around."

You mean instead of throwing the fetuses (not babies) in the garbage? Do tell us how your alternative it more ethical -- and don't forget, you MUST include the fact that, as was pointed out by adaydream, more than 600,000 fetuses exist in a frozen state and 99% of those are going to be disposed of anyway.

GJDailleult: "I notice Mr. Smith didn't mention anything about volunteering to go first."

What are you, the NHK man? Going to 'demand' people voluntarily pay for something? haha... seriously, anyone who 'suggest' that others volunteer to be euthanized to 'save the planet' are just sick, and not at all deserving of being saved by anyone or anything.

But, since we're on the same subject of ethics and what not, please feel free to answer the questions I've posted above, and in this comment addressed to WilliB; namely, how is this immoral or unethical when 599,000 fetuses are going to be tossed in the dumpster? Are you against fertility treatment as well? Why not just move to a Mennonite community and shun all forms of technology and science completely?

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One thing I'll say in general is that a lot of people here are simply struggling to find a way to curse Obama for this while knowing that what he is doing is good for science, and good for the US. The 'unethical' side of this debate is so see-through it's not even funny. They just want to drag Obama around by horse for proving that their debate about the world being flat is just plain stupid.

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Blaze: "The other benefit of course is to remove the politics from the research and strip the pro-lifers of the ammunition needed to go on the warpath."

Agreed. However, while I think that using a patient's existing skin cells to develop cures and what not will have some benefits that using fetuses will not, I think the opposite will hold true as well, and that the existing skin cells etc. will have limits. We'll see... but the point is that we CAN see by virtue of comparison and contrast, not only by means of theory and supposition.

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good times ahead.

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Maybe English isn't your first language, but when you single out one side in a debate, it implies you don't think your points apply to the other side.

It has become liberal ideology to blow off ethical concerns due to their Utilitarian world view.

Yeah, like the Iraq war, Laissez Faire capitalism, and the death penalty. The "conservative" position on those is all about ethics. Utilitarianism doesn't enter into it at all.

Try this: Bush's ban on stem cell research was moronic, since the ethical concerns related to the fetuses in question have nothing to do with abortion. In fact, there really don't seem to be ANY ethical concerns addressed by his actions at all, outside of kowtowing to comically misinformed and/or stubbornly ignorant special interests.

Now: can you say that the "liberal's" position on stem cell research does the same? Does their position have no basis on ethical concerns, instead kowtowing to comically misinformed and/or stubbornly ignorant special interests? If so, you need to explain (1) who the hell these special interests are, (2) how their ideology would be furthered by using stem cell research, (3) what ethics they are ignoring in their support of it?

If you can't do that then you, Sir or Madam, are a windbag.

Hugs, TPOJ

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I have not been subjected to religious brain washing by my parents since I was a child. Yes I am an atheist :) Therefore what right does a collective delusional society have in preventing my choice of medical treatment? Exactly none. Therefore if I choose to be treated by a procedure developed through stem cell research, please allow the decision to be mine and mine alone.

If you're religious and stem cell research goes against your morals, then fine, you have the right to die if you prefer not to be treated by a life saving treatment developed through stem cell research...

Just leave it like that... It's my body and it should be my choice.

Stop allowing beliefs in medieval fairytales to dictate the rules for the silent majority.. i.e stop mixing religion with politics.

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tokyokawasaki:

" what right does a collective delusional society have in preventing my choice of medical treatment? "

Neither GWB´s ban on using government funds for this research nor Obamas decision to use government funds for this research has anyting to do with anyone "preventin your choice of medical treatmen". That is a strawman.

All that Obama has done is take money from the people who earn money and give it to research which many of the people he takes the money from find unethical. It is entirely reasonable to question this attitude.

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smithinjapan-I wasn't referring to you if that is what you thought, it was the other smith and his offensive and now rightly removed post. I'm in complete agreement with your points.

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The research wasn't "banned", it just wasn't funded by the federal government. I love how the media spins this. Private funding by venture capitalists wasn't illegal, but like most science in that damn country, there is always someone (like corporations) looking for a free ride on the taxpayers' back.

Now Obama has opened another spigot to piss away money America doesn't have and will have to borrow from China and Japan. And in the middle of a global economic meltdown. Yes, President Obama is quite a leader.

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bebert You're right, it wasnt "banned". However it was essentially "embargoed" by the previous administration. There is no way you can not say that GWB's religious views did not play a role in his decision to ban federal funding for stem cell research. There was always an underlying faith and belief of reasoning to everything that GWB enacted. To deny this would be foolish. I also dont agree that he is "pissing" away money. Even if private corporations are the ones doing the researching they still employ people from private sectors, maybe with federal funding it will help enact them to be able to employ more people. Spending up trillion dollar deficits for the Iraq war was "pissing" away money. Funding programs that might actually turn out to find cures for debilitating diseases that run up health cost and weigh heavily on american families that have to take off from work to car for or pay for supplimental insurance policies to cover cost not covered by their default insurance should not be considered "pissing" away money.

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good lad. well done.

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Neither GWB´s ban on using government funds for this research nor Obamas decision to use government funds for this research has anyting to do with anyone "preventin your choice of medical treatmen". That is a strawman.

Not exactly. The word "ban" is, admittedly, somewhat misused (although there was indeed a ban on government spending,) but removing a huge chunk of financing on something this important, all to satisfy a thoroughly illogical and short sighted "ethical" code, does most definitely have an effect.

All that Obama has done is take money from the people who earn money and give it to research which many of the people he takes the money from find unethical. It is entirely reasonable to question this attitude.

Yes, but that reasonability needs to extend to the issue itself. It's reasonable to question it, but in doing so, there is the implied responsibility that the answer you get should be accepted or rejected based on rational thought, not a flurry of strawmen and spite. I have yet to see any rational argument against the government funding of stem cell research. I HAVE seen a bunch of "why should I pay for that," which could apply to literally thousands of other, infinitely less worthy recipients of funding.

"Many of the people he takes the money from find (it) unethical."

Fair enough. But if their explanation for finding it unethical is contemptible, arrogant, rich in bizarre misconceptions and completely lacking in intellectual integrity, "finding it" unethical isn't good enough.

The democratic process is intended to allow a society to guide itself, not to allow immature attitudes and embarrassingly bad logic to rule just because it finds a majority. There's nothing wrong with questioning the attitude you underlined above, but there's also nothing wrong with rejecting said questioning if it fails to show any legitimate worth. If there's genuine potential, and the arguments against it fail basic logic, reasoning that boils down to little more than "I don't like it" isn't good enough.

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This article, like most on the subject, is a bit disingenuous.

Obama reversed Bush restrictions on federal funding for stem cell research.

You'd think that on a site like this, any Japanese connection might be deemed newsworthy:

"Until now, to study unapproved stem cell lines, researchers had to set up separate, privately financed labs and follow laborious accounting procedures to make sure not a cent of federal grant money was used on that research."

[...]

"However, the president’s support of embryonic stem cell research comes at a time when many advances have been made with other sorts of stem cells. The Japanese biologist Shinya Yamanaka found in 2007 that adult cells could be reprogrammed to an embryonic state with surprising ease. This technology “may eventually eclipse the embryonic stem cell lines for therapeutic as well as diagnostics applications,” Dr. Kriegstein said. For researchers, reprogramming an adult cell can be much more convenient, and there have never been any restrictions on working with adult stem cells."

Rethink Stem Cells? Science Already Has

By NICHOLAS WADE Published: March 9, 2009

New York Times

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GJDailleiut: Sorry... I caught that later. I never saw his post until after I saw you replying to 'Mr. Smith' and I made a comment. My bad.

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I for one am glad that President Obama is changing/reversing President Bush's religious backed beliefs. President Bush and his far right wing has put the United States behind many countries because his and many of his supporters ancient beliefs.

Imagine where we would be if McCain had won.....Scary......

Let's get America back on track and move us to the forefront of medical science.

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bebert:

" Now Obama has opened another spigot to piss away money America doesn't have and will have to borrow from China and Japan. And in the middle of a global economic meltdown. Yes, President Obama is quite a leader. "

Exactly! And the swooning media spins this as some kind of a great liberation from a prohibition, which wasnt there in the first place.

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And the swooning media spins this as some kind of a great liberation from a prohibition, which wasnt there in the first place.

Not real big on reading the thread, are you?

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America is already at the forefront of medical science. Anybody calling for such developments obviously isn't American. Private funding for embryonic stem cell research was always an option. The same crowd castigating Bush for his refusal to grant federal funding for embryonic stem cell research are the same people who like to tell you that "Big Pharma control, like, everything in America."

Wouldn't these same biotech and pharmaceutical companies, with their supposedly obscene profits, have been eagerly investing in this type of research if it were as promising as so many here insist? The market for a male pattern baldness cure alone must be worth billions...

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rollonarte:

" Wouldn't these same biotech and pharmaceutical companies, with their supposedly obscene profits, have been eagerly investing in this type of research if it were as promising as so many here insist? "

Of course they would. But as we are now learning, only government-administered taxpayer makes is a real difference. Obamas bureacrats know so much better how to put money to work than the people they take it from.

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sorry, "tax money" not "taxpayer"

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I was listenint to the "Savage Nation" yesterday and this lady called in and said her son was injured in a motorcycle accident and was now a quadropaligic (sp) and she'd rather have her son forever cripled instead of using an embryo to give him the chances to ever walk. That's her feeling but....

Like I mentioned yesterday, there are over 600,000 frozen embryos in freezers. Most of these embryos will be destroyed. People would rather see these embryos destroyed then save or possibly correct the paralysis or disease that a person is suffering from.

It's unbelievable that people would allow others to continue to suffer when it might be corrected. < :-)

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adaydream: "I was listenint to the "Savage Nation" yesterday and this lady called in and said her son was injured in a motorcycle accident and was now a quadropaligic (sp) and she'd rather have her son forever cripled instead of using an embryo to give him the chances to ever walk. That's her feeling but...."

These nuts are amazing, aren't they? While I would never wish her in the same situation, I would like to be an interviewer and ask if she would gladly trade places with her son, and what she would think then, as well as what her son thinks now and if he would think the same were his mother to change places. Regardless, these are only questions and the woman's answers could not possibly reflect what a true answer would be in such a situation; and in fact I bet she's even lying about her son; no human being would wish that on their child when the same fetuses are getting dumped in the garbage. Well... actually... she did probably vote for GWB and his policies... so you never know! haha.

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President Barack Obama urged researchers on Monday to follow science and not ideology

Where has the world heard this before? Ah, yes. Hitler used the same rationale for human experiments on Jewish and other concentration camp prisoners.

A U.S. government administration that puts science in the forefront, dispensing with those pesky human right issues. The more unborn babies the federal government kills the happier liberals will be.

Science should trump ideology. Somewhere in Hell Josef Mengele is applauding Obama's decision.

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TexasAggie would you rather an embryo be destroyed and flushed down the toilet or donated to possibly help save lives or at least make a parapalegic's life better? < :-)

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Obamas bureacrats know so much better how to put money to work than the people they take it from.

That would be China no? All the wealthy companies in America are trying to collect their TARP welfare cheques or get a bailout.

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"TexasAggie"

Once again can someone explain to me that just because you are a conservative christian or religious person and go to church makes you an ethical person. There are plenty of other people that do not go to church or belong to a religious group that are moral and ethical. Comparing all science research to those beliefs of Hitler is B.S. The ""un born" baby embryos were more likely held up in clinics and were going to be through out or disposed of. The only reason Religous groups get their undies in a bunch about science is not because it has anything to do with morals or ethics, its because the more science uncovers facts about evolution and the origin of man it debucts the Myths of creationism and God. The only thing the church is really worried about is losing its followers and their collection plate offerings. Using the myth of God to control and subjicate a society is even more immoral than the act of science itself.

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Another sad day for America. Obama is showing his true colors. he claims to be a Christian, yet he hastiliy reverses President Bush`s ban on Stem Cell research - which actually condones abortion and uses/abuses the dead bodies of aborted children for scientific "research." No wonder the once great America is currently in the terribly state it is in. It has turned its back on the God it professes to trust in, according to its dollar bills, which are now virtually worthless, just like its morals and ethics. This action by Obama is disgraceful for a professing "Christian." He claims to read the Bible every day, and believe it. He claims to be a Christian, but these actions show that he is lying. He claims that he will "save the world." But he has shown by his actions that he cannot save anything. He, and his country, is morally bankrupt.

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Because of the evil that is evolution, and its diabolical philosophy of the survival of the fitest, Hitler tried to exterminate the Jews and build a "master race." The actions of Obama yesterday are in effect no different - they lead to the same end. That end on this occasion will lead to the end of the American dream.

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Pretty close to the truth realist. However it usually breaks down to 30% for, 30% against, 30% don't care. Always a battle.

TrappedNTokyo there is an ethical and moral natural order. By whom? Who ever was there "NASA Satellite Glimpses Universe's First Trillionth of a Second ": http://www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=19282 .

Everyone of us was a embryo once. What makes some worth sacrificing? Even partially born? Please it is very evident that we are dealing with human life. It must be protected by the "Do not kill" commandment which is written only because so many refuse to listen to the inner voice of the heart that knows these things.

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Some good points TrappedNTokyo about the state of churches. Very often they become stale and holier than thou. Just the same science needs ethics. Just because science can do something, should it?

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rollonarte - you make some good points about this area of research.

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Blaze thanks for updating smithinjapan. He seems to not want to give a dignified end to the embryos, something he would want for himself. I forgot he was never an embryo or when he was, he was not human and he might not have mind being experimented on. This is not rocket science. We were all embryos.

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realist

This action by Obama is disgraceful for a professing "Christian."

It's funny that a "Christian" nation elected Barack Obama knowing that he'd reverse these restrictions.

Not all professed Christians believe like you do. Actually you and your beliefs are the minority thought. < :-)

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