What do you think of stem cells?

By JDCA2025 Latest Reply 2012-01-09 13:08:18 -0600
Started 2011-09-12 21:35:03 -0500

Just because there's been so much recent news lately regarding stem cells ( such as the article last week about cells from the womb now being used to try and treat illnesses) I figured I'd ask what everyone's take on stem cell research is.

Of course, while everyone on diabetic connect is usually pretty cordial, tread a bit carefully, cause I understand this can be a touchy subject for some. Do you think stem cells will lead to much better treatments/a cure for diabetes? Do you think it's a bit of a waste, and their "healing" powers are overblown? While they seem to be a possible path to great medical treatment, they are oftentimes treated as some sort of ambrosia. Do you think they'll lead to breakthroughs in other diseases?

Again, debates and comments welcome, bashing won't be.

7 replies

kdroberts 2011-09-14 20:15:28 -0500 Report

I think stem cells are a promising treatment area but I think there are a lot of organizations who have been intentionally misleading the US public about the research which has really put the research years behind where it could be. Like Gabby said, many, many people think that stem cells = embryonic stem cells which isn't true, there are many types of stem cell, and the other huge misinformation campaign is that embryonic stem cells are from aborted babies. Embryonic stem cells are pretty magical since they can transform themselves into any other cell in the body which is why they are seen as so promising. Other stem cells either can't do that or don't do it as well. However, the main thing that seems to get whitewashed over is they are not from aborted babies, you cannot get them from aborted babies, they never have been from aborted babies and never will be from aborted babies. They come from the what is essentially left over, unwanted IVF embryos and are donated to research. They have never seen the inside of a woman, never will and are barely more than a handful of cells. To give a comparison, you may harvest 100 (one hundred) or so embryonic stem cells from an embryo on average but an average newborn baby has around 5 trillion cells, an adult has 10-20 times that many.

JDCA2025 2011-09-14 20:54:51 -0500 Report

I agree that there is a lot of confusing information on the subject. I know a lot of people who believe they only come from aborted fetuses, but I also know a ton who think they'll cure nearly every disease we know ( which is a lofty goal, to put it mildly). People should definitely be doing their own research on this, since there's a good chance these cells will become prominent in many future medical practices.

jayabee52 2012-01-09 13:08:18 -0600 Report

I wonder then about why the promoters of embryonic stem cell research fought it so hard when the ban on creating more lines of embryonic stem cells was enacted? It seems to me that they just wasted a lot of energy and money for that which could be easily done without resorting to embryonic stem cells.

For me the moment the human male gamete joins with the egg of a human female there is a human life formed distinct from both the of its parents. The only things needed to bring the human child to full term is time and nourishment. Those chldren who are frozen are put in a suspended state, but are viable if implanted into a uterus which is ready for implantation.

pixsidust 2011-09-13 12:44:39 -0500 Report

We have to have a conscience where the cells come from. As gabby said we do not want to promote an abortion atmosphere or a hitler type of atmosphere of not growing and harvesting human life for experimentation. However there are places to get stem cells without that and I am all for that. Some other countries have freedom to do any type of research and have not found cures however. Yet strides have been made in certain areas and others are pure supposition. We have the results of research thus far and do not need to give researchers a no hold barred leeway with human life. For isn't it human life we want to save? Researchers can continue to harvest cells and perform experiments without human life harvesting. The countries who allow everything have yet to wow the world

JDCA2025 2011-09-13 19:21:22 -0500 Report

I don't think you'll find anyone on the boards in support of human life harvesting, but I highly doubt we'd ever hit a point where humans are genetic cattle to be farmed for research. Is there any specific example/place you're thinking of? I'm not asking because I disbelief many awful things happen to humans in the name of science, I'm just wondering about some of the darker sides of stem cell research.

GabbyPA 2011-09-13 10:19:22 -0500 Report

Stem cells can come from many sources and I know I was first opposed to them because they were said to only come from babies. Now that I have read more and find that their are in all kinds of places even in adults, that we can harvest them. I feel more comfortable about the studies. Now that we will not be promoting an "abortion" atmosphere to continue these studies I am in agreement with them.

I think that anything that shows promise should be investigated. If you see how insulin was first tested you might be horrified. http://www.diabeticconnect.com/videos/1243-the-quest It was kind of a primitive and caused the death of many lab animals. But we are grateful for that discovery of how it works and how it can be administered. I would say that most who use it now, don't even consider the methods it was tested by.

JDCA2025 2011-09-13 19:16:01 -0500 Report

I think it's true that most people are very unaware of how insulin was discovered, and if they knew, might have some issues with it. Of course, while it was uh…messy ( to say the least) it's helped to save millions of lives. The ethics regarding these things are always difficult to judge. I mean, heck, much of our medical knowledge comes from experiments hitler performed on the Jews of WW2. Atrocious? Yes. But though the method for gaining this knowledge was terrible, we probably wouldn't be able to treat a large amount of the diseases we do today.