stem cell research

in the interest of this being a site where one talks about cancer, instead of about one's own daily occurances, tonight's topic is stem cell research.

stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can eventually become just about any type of cell found in the human body. because of this flexibility of purpose, and modern science's ability to "tweak" these cells into whatever form necessary, stem cells are thought of as a potential treatment to some diseases, including diabetes, leukemia, and many other types of cancer.

the current administration's policy on stem cell research, which was voted into existence in 2001, has limited american medical research firms' ability to conduct experiments. these experiments could mean new and more effective treatment cycles for thousands of men, women and children who are affected by cancers. most notably, less-restricted stem cell research could vastly improve the treatment and survival rates for many types of leukemia, since the cancer originates from abnormal stem cells that turn into "blast" cells, or leukemic blood cells, instead of normal white cells.

the current policy allows federal funding for umbilical and adult stem cells, but withholds funding for fetal stem-cell lines produced after 2001. there are ethical concerns when dealing with the stem cells of unborn children, and i am not trying to argue against a well-regulated and accountable system for making these cell lines available for research. a donor program could assist cancer research by making voluntary donations of fetal tissue possible when the tissue is a result of a miscarriage or a byproduct of the fertility industry.

how can our current administration support "a culture of life" when they deny so many the possibility of improved treatment for terminal illnesses?

Read more here:

childhood leukemia rates up 30 % in the past 20 years.

stem cells effective treatment for many aggressive leukemias.

congress is trying to find loopholes to expand federal funding for stem cell research. conservative republicans are mad.

sign a petition to support more federal funding of stem cell research here.

posted by amanda @ 3:22 AM


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