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Biotech Medicine Science

Successful Stem Cell Replacement of Windpipe 116

Posted by timothy
from the difficult-to-gasp dept.
thepacketmaster writes "In what is being hailed as a medical milestone, CNN reports a woman suffering from long-term tuberculosis had her lower trachea and bronchial tube replaced by tissue grown from her own stem cells. A team from the universities of Barcelona, Spain; Bristol, England; and Padua and Milan, Italy, decided to go ahead with the surgery instead of having to remove her left lung. The operation, reported Wednesday in the British medical journal The Lancet, has been hailed as a major leap for medicine that could offer new hope for patients suffering from serious illness."
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Successful Stem Cell Replacement of Windpipe

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  • Re:!embryonic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by fish_in_the_c (577259) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:05PM (#25823505)

    which makes a reasonable argument against doing something morally questionable and that upsets lots of people, if you can get the same or better resaults without it.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:17PM (#25823653)

    There's nothing morally questionable about using embryonic stem cells, and just because it upsets certain people doesn't make it so.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LWATCDR (28044) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:19PM (#25823689) Homepage Journal

    Humm. So you decide what is moral and not for the planet?
    Interesting.....

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:25PM (#25823783)

    If you believe that a dozen undifferentiated cells constitute a human being, that's your problem.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Chuck Chunder (21021) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:30PM (#25823859) Homepage Journal

    which makes a reasonable argument against doing something morally questionable and that upsets lots of people, if you can get the same or better resaults without it.

    For specific areas where adult stem cells make sense and indeed have advantages that hardly needs saying.

    Of course you have to acknowledge that embryonic stem cells are different and may provide viable treatments in areas where adult stem cells won't work for some reason.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:31PM (#25823903)

    which makes a reasonable argument against doing something morally questionable and that upsets lots of people, if you can get the same or better resaults without it.

    ... sure, if you ignore the fact that it was that "morally questionable" research which lead to the ability to do this. Without the embryonic research, the state of the art may have never progressed to the point where embryonic cells are not needed.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Richard_at_work (517087) <richardprice AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:36PM (#25824003)
    So if someone thinks allowing people with genetically inheritable diseases to produce offspring is immoral, does that make the entire idea morally questionable? I don't think so...
  • Re:!embryonic (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:42PM (#25824105) Homepage Journal
    My wife and I decided to have another child, which we knew would be born by C-section and bottle-fed. Consequently, she was permanently banned from one of her parenting forums for making such an immoral and obviously unsafe decision.

    Pretty sure it's not, though.

    Believing something to be true doesn't make it true.
  • Re:The score (Score:3, Insightful)

    by philspear (1142299) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:52PM (#25824287)

    That's a politically convinient way of looking at it. It ignores the fact that studies on ES cells advanced our understanding of adult stem cells, so the scores are irrevocably intertwined, but I can see why you'd like to ignore that fact.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:05PM (#25824549)

    So what you're saying is, I can print out my new and improved wang frame, coat it with my special sauce, wait a month or so, and then take it with me to the doctor's office to get it installed?

    I think you should probably wait until after it's installed to worry about coating it with your special sauce.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d3ac0n (715594) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:24PM (#25824865)

    I know I'm probably going to get modded down for this, but it needs to be said:

    The only thing "questionable" about Wonkette saying what she said, is the question of how hard Wonkette should be Donkey Punched for saying something like that about somebody else's baby.

    I don't care what your political affiliations are, that is just VILE to say that someone's baby wishes they were aborted. I would expect that on /b/. Not from Wonkette.

    (Or maybe I SHOULD expect it. Is her site that bad on a regular basis?)

    Ok, off-topic rant over.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by philspear (1142299) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:49PM (#25825301)

    Why make an exception for humans?

    Well, I think it's the other side that's making an exception for humans. The only time anyone has a problem with harvesting ES cells is when it's from a human blastula. "Human" means more than a genetic identity. It's not illogical to say a human blastula may not have human rights, because it's not a "Human" in that sense, even though biologically it is an individual human embryo.

    I'm not endorsing that view, for the record.

  • by Phoenix Rising (28955) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @06:39PM (#25826083) Homepage

    It's good for this application... Let's not get ahead of logic here.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @06:47PM (#25826189) Homepage

    Humm. So you decide what is moral and not for the planet?
    Interesting.....

    I'm going to wait to see who actually attempts to impose their opinion on someone else by either requiring or prohibiting some action before I say who thinks they decide what is moral and not for the planet.

    Oh that's right, I don't have to wait.

  • Re:!embryonic (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @07:08PM (#25826453)

    I'm a biologist.

    I doubt that.

    I consider an undifferentiated ball of frog cells at the equivalent stage a frog individual

    That is part of why I doubt it, especially since we are talking about mammals & not amphibians, so they don't have "equivelant" stages.

    Why make an exception for humans?

    Mammal. Amphibian. Different.

    but that they are human on a basic level isn't at issue.

    A single strand of my hair is enough to say it is a HUMAN hair. So at a basic level, my hair is of a human TYPE, but few would be foolish to argue that a strand of hair is, in itself, A human.

    I feel badly for your alleged students.

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