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Biotech Science

Adult Stem Cell Growth Treats Cornea Disorders 128

Posted by Zonk
from the get-those-lazy-stem-cells-on-the-move dept.
stemcellar writes with a link to the ScienceDaily site, reporting on a method for adult stem cells to grow cornea stem cells. This use of differentiated stem cells in therapies on specific parts of the body is fairly novel, the article states, and could have numerous applications in medicine. "The research undertaken by the ophthalmologist has shown that, from a small biopsy sample, the new growth technique enables the growth of the number of stem cells thus obtained to the point of obtaining sufficient for the treatment to be effective. The cell sample is taken from the limb of the healthy eye - the ocular structure responsible for the transparency of the cornea. The importance of this growth method lies in the fact that it enables the characterization of the cells obtained, i.e. determining the quantity and viability of the units to be used."
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Adult Stem Cell Growth Treats Cornea Disorders

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  • by ameyer17 (935373) <slashdot@ameyer17.com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:03AM (#19944357) Homepage
    from tfa:

    The results to date achieved amongst the group of rabbits, with induced limbic insufficiency and which then had a transplant of adult stem cells, showed recovery of the corneal epithelium in 60% of the treated animals
    Not knowing anything about the risks, alternative treatments available, and potential effects of non-treatment, 60% might not be particularly good. I mean, a 60% success rate is a 40% failure rate. On the other hand, this treatment is new and likely could be further optimized.
  • by thrill12 (711899) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @05:54AM (#19944531) Journal
    ... because I think that this new technology is exactly not meant for the purpose of abuse, in all its forms (alcoholism, self-inflicted injury etc.). This is ofcourse mainly an ethical discussion, but honestly: why should society pay for someone who ruined their own lives, even if healing can be 100% ? It still costs money, you know.
    (I know you meant the last remark in jest, but it helps making my point ;)
  • by donaldm (919619) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @06:57AM (#19944699)
    I think you have Jesuits mixed up with Jehovah's Witnesses. Jesuits are a religious order in the Catholic Church and most Catholics as with many other religions don't have any issue with blood transfusions. Of course most people don't like the thought of having a needle in their arm or other places but will accept this if it means alleviating pain or saving their life.
  • by WheelDweller (108946) <WheelDweller&gmail,com> on Sunday July 22, 2007 @07:30AM (#19944831)
    Adult stem cells, I'm told, have had lots of applications (hence the research money available for it). It's the embryonic stem cells that don't seem to have as many applications.

    It's just kinda creepy to see so many people trying to get government funding of stem cells from the "people who won't vote" (to put it mildly). It's like one party in America loves to put a bounty on the heads of the unborn; ever notice?

    I know embryonics are in the grey area, but the willingness of people to cannibalize babies just seems wrong, in general.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 22, 2007 @09:14AM (#19945331)
    Babies (real babies) have psychological sophistication slightly greater than an insect. Sure, we develop very rapidly as we approach toddler stage, but the ugly shit-machines that people think of as babies are little more than meat and potential. Embryos which is what embryonic stem cells are harvested from, aren't even meat. They're more like tadpoles. Using phrases like "cannibalise babies" is intellectual dishonesty of the highest order. We are not cannibalising babies. We are removing insentient, parasitic tumours completely reliant on their host. They are, at this point, no more alive than a plant. The only argument you can possibly put forth in their favour is potential, and if you ever consider potential, you are launched immediately into an endless torrent of paradoxes. EVERYTHING has the potential to bring about something good. EVERYTHING has the potential to worsen our situation. The only option is to do nothing or go mad.
  • by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:18AM (#19945681) Homepage Journal
    Uh, no. What was chased out was the vestiges of a state-sponsored God. People may still pray and worship or not pray and worship as they please, and this is as it should be. Before, children had to participate in state-sponsored prayer and were subject to state-sponsored religious education. I don't understand why Christians thought that it was good idea. Indoctrination in the name of God is still indoctrination. State sponsored prostelyzation for any belief doesn't really make sense in view of the religious freedoms that we are supposed to be able to enjoy.
  • by foniksonik (573572) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @10:51AM (#19945879) Homepage Journal
    The traditional argument for this response is to say: "Putting a value on the tissue of the unborn will create a black market for said tissue and encourage commercialization leading to fetus farms where young women are paid for their eggs for use in treating the elderly and the sick"

    Research will use what is available as you say from 'tissue destined for disposal', but a commercial venture based on that research will not be satisfied with simply collecting what happens to be available. They will push for active harvesting to maintain a steady and predictable supply of embryonic tissue. It's a very slippery slope.

    I'm imagining that if this became legal that it wouldn't be our own neighbors providing the tissue.. it would be poor people from 3rd world nations. Who knows what evils people will be capable of when the goal of the process is to create genetically anonymous donor tissue?
  • by MtViewGuy (197597) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @11:03AM (#19945981)
    A moron President, pandering to the vocal minority that constitutes his base, has cut off the largest source of potential funding for a line of research that looks far more promising, at least to the large majority of professionals who study stem cell therapies.

    Ahem--if embryonic stem cell research is promising all the private pharmaceutical firms (and big-time investors like Warren Buffett and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation) would put up lots of money without government help to fund such research. As such, it appears adult stem cell research has shown major promise (some 80+ therapies based on adult stem cell research are now in serious development), while embryonic stem cell research has pretty much come up "squadoosh."
  • I have to wonder, if the US is, as some say, a "Christian Nation" and "Blessed by God", has it done us any good?

    Most so-called Christians are nothing like an actual Christian.

    The first and most important admonishment is that you Do Unto Others as you would have them Do Unto You. This is not a passive sort of activity. This is an instruction to go out and do things. Help that old lady across the street. Pick up that hitchhiker. You know what I'm talking about.

    Now, this sort of activity puts you out - it's inconvenient. And it can even be dangerous! But the whole point of this is that you can't create the kind of world you want to live in without acting as you want people in that world to act. Some eggs will be broken in the pursuit of this omelet. But what the hell? That's how it always works.

    I would say that just as you are not a true patriot if you are not willing to be arrested for your political beliefs, you are not a true christian unless you are willing to die for your world.

    The corollary to that is that it must not be a violent death, at least, not by violent actions on your part. Anyone who is bombing abortion clinics or dragging a man behind their truck is quite simply not a christian. It's turn the other cheek, not throw the other fist.

    This is not a Christian nation. There isn't one, and there never has been.

  • by DeadCatX2 (950953) on Sunday July 22, 2007 @12:33PM (#19946539) Journal
    Research will use what is available as you say from 'tissue destined for disposal', but a commercial venture based on that research will not be satisfied with simply collecting what happens to be available. They will push for active harvesting to maintain a steady and predictable supply of embryonic tissue. It's a very slippery slope.

    It's capitalism. If making as much money at the expense of any and everything else was not the core principle of our society, the slope would not be nearly as slippery.

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

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