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Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research



View Poll Results: Check all that apply
All stem cell research should be eligable for federal funding 29 61.70%
Cell line use should be funded but cell line creation should not be funded 6 12.77%
No federal funding should go towards embryonic stem cell research 9 19.15%
Stem cell research is overhyped 7 14.89%
Stem cell research should be expanded 28 59.57%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 47. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
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  #1  
Old March 7th, 2009, 5:12 pm
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Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

In August 2001 President Bush issued one of his first major presidential directives, where he limited federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research to cell lines which were already "viable" as of August 9, 2001. Researchers working with embryonic stem cells have long felt that this order handcuffed their research, as many privately funded stem cell lines created in the interim are more suitable for advancement into preclinical and clinical testing. Pro-life groups, on the other hand, hailed the ruling, as it prohibited federal funding for research which they feel destroys life.

Today, President Obama is set to reverse this directive, which will likely have two immediate effects: first, researchers who work on cell lines not included in Bush's directive will be able to conduct research on these lines using instrumentation and lab supplies purchased using federal money. Second, the NIH, NSF, and other federal funding agencies will begin accepting grant applications which seek to fund research using these newer embryonic stem cell lines.

Many pro-life groups (link is to US Catholic Bishops paper, PDF file) are unhappy about this reversal, as the process of creating an embryonic stem cell line involves the destruction of days-old embryos, and it is felt that this is destroying life. The pro-life groups seek to further research using adult stem cells and other cell lines created without destroying embryos.

Discussion questions:

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?

As usual, all the forum and DoIMC rules apply. Debate away!

Other Resources:
Background and legal issues
Bush 2007 directive expanding number of eligable lines
Stem Cell information written in plain(er) english


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Last edited by Chris; March 8th, 2009 at 5:18 pm.
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  #2  
Old March 9th, 2009, 3:27 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?

Stem Cell research isn't restricted in my country. Federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research is prohibited, but the research is permitted.

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?

From what I understand, there are two distinctly different types of human stem cell research - embryonic and living donor. I have concerns with the federal government funding embryonic stem cell research, because, to me, that involves the destruction of life, but have no problem with federal funding for living donor research.

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?

Science can sometimes do pretty creepy things that test the limits of morality (like the experiments on the Tuskeegee Airmen). So I don't think it should be unrestricted.

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?

No idea. I tend to think people are blowing smoke whenever they claim that something is a panacea.


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  #3  
Old March 9th, 2009, 3:42 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
I have concerns with the federal government funding embryonic stem cell research, because, to me, that involves the destruction of life, but have no problem with federal funding for living donor research.
The blastocysts used in embryonic stem cell research will be destroyed anyway.

I generally stay out of the debate as I have a condition for which stem cell reseach is the only likely answer so my opinion is full speed ahead.


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  #4  
Old March 9th, 2009, 4:56 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
Science can sometimes do pretty creepy things that test the limits of morality (like the experiments on the Tuskeegee Airmen).
I believe you are confusing 2 different groups. The creepy experiment involved experimentation allowing black men who had presented themselves for syphillis treatment to continue in their disease without treatment. The purpose was to study the long-term effects of Sylhillis. The Tuskegee airmen were WWII pilots who generally were accorded the same benefits, care , etc. of other American pilots (though they were still subject to the discrimination and segregation of the day).

However, the syphillis experiment brings up the other thrust of Obama's initiative. I was listening to NPR this morning and a major part of Obama's plan is to remove all non-scientific issues from research decisions. The first time I heard that concept argued was over [censorship prevents relevant discussion here]

On the other hand, while we have recognized that the Tuskegee Syphillis experiment was not politically acceptable as a violation of proper civilized standards, to the best of my knowledge, the results are accepted and used.

The whole notion of removing 'nonscientific' influences from science decisions is very, very scary. The human experimentation I have referred to is unacceptable. We have lots of rules concerning when and how human experimentation may be conducted. These are raules about scince, not scientific rules. We also have lots of rules about acceptable conditions for animal subjects of experiments, and most of these have nothing to do with the quality of the science and everything to do with the political determination of what is an acceptable range of treatment for animals. The Obama administration says the goal is to remove ALL nonscientific standards from the conduct of science in this country, and I find that prospect terrifying. Other fascist regimes have 'removed political influence' from the conduct of science and it is not acceptable in any way to me to remove the constraints of civilized behavior.


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  #5  
Old March 9th, 2009, 5:02 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

I will not tolerate any mention of Nazi practises here. It has nothing to do with the topic of this thread.

If anyone mentions or hints towards this it will be the sin bin for a month.


  #6  
Old March 9th, 2009, 10:43 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?
United states, so everything chparadise said

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?
I personally think stem cell research should be expanded. I mean really, i don't see people being worried over discarded eggs during a woman's period so why should stem cell research be such a big deal?

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?
i don't really know enough about the subject to come up with anything too detailed

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?
i'd say they have a high likelihood of being able to cure almost anything, but that's far off in the future


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  #7  
Old March 10th, 2009, 1:44 am
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?
None now that Obama signed that executive order reversing that ban on Embryonic Stem Cell (ESC) line creation.

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?
However much is necessary to keep the US competitive in this field.

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?
I believe that ESC's should be donated for free by willing participants. Paying for them, or using cells not donated are unethical. However, I don't give a fig what they do to the ESC's that are acquired. The potential cures for living human beings frankly is more important to me than a one-cell organism.

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?
Scientists know better than I do. Granted, there are problems with ESC's right now. They're hard to control. ASC's for the moment are providing more bang for the buck right now. Still, ESC's have more upside, and just because ASC's are yielding fruit right now, doesn't mean we should give up on ESC's.


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  #8  
Old March 10th, 2009, 3:56 am
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

I would be careful about making it without limits, because there are definitely ethical quandaries.

But I think that research involving donors should be fully supported, and I also support it in cases of blastocysts created for fertility purposes, but not used or wanted by the couple. I think it's far better than destroying them, and I think that objections are better directed at the fertility treatment industry which creates the unneeded blastocysts.


  #9  
Old March 10th, 2009, 5:02 am
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?

I don't think anything is a panacea. I think they have a lot of potential to do some amazing things, but not any and/or every illness or malady. I am excited about their potential.


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  #10  
Old May 22nd, 2009, 8:20 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?
I think the US has prohibited or limited the ones from embryos.

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?
If its from living adults, knock them selves out. If its from embryos, then by all means a resounding NO and it should be prohibited (I see it the same as saying "lets harvest organs from unborn babies, no matter what age/size. Its for science!").

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?
As said above. If people donate stem cells (I think adults have them in certain places in our bodies) then I have no problems with open research on them.

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?
Heal-all cure? I don't think so. All they might be able to get out of this are cures and more understanding of genetic/inherited diseases.


  #11  
Old May 22nd, 2009, 8:45 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?
I'd support most kinds of stem cell research. I think embryonic stem cell research is fine if they are using embryos that are going to be discarded/destroyed anyway (from fertility clinics). I believe that if the embryo is going to be discarded anyway, why not use it to benefit the people who are alive today, here and now?

But I've researched methods of embryonic stem cell line creation that don't involve harvesting the cells from an embryo. One method is reprogramming adult cells to become just like embryonic stem cells, where scientists use genetic engineering to transform ordinary cells from an adult into cells resembling embryonic stem cells (the method is called "induced pluripotency").

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?
Well, seeing as research done with stem cells once they have been harvested is aimed at understanding and curing human disease, I'd have to say no. At least, I haven't heard of any cases where stem cell research was used for nefarious purposes. It's the harvesting of the stem cells that most people object to rather than the research they are used for.

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?
Having recently written a technical paper on this topic, I'd say there are numerous applications that stem cells can have in the treatment of human disease (though I don't consider SC to be a panacea). Though some of these treatments are a long way away, they are being researched, which is encouraging. For instance, the creation of dopaminergic neurons using stem cells is being studied in a possible cure for Parkinson's disease. I've also seen articles on trying to culture whole organs for transplant using stem cells.


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  #12  
Old May 27th, 2009, 5:46 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?

Well, I'm pretty sure that stem cell research is limited, the Christian community is a major part of that.

2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?

All the funding it can. I support stem cell research, period. Some kinds of Science that could be helping cure horrible illnesses are being cut off because of people own agendas. If we can find a way to cure cancer using stem cell research? Why not? cancer kills loads of people, we might as well be trying to find a cure for it. And hey, something that not as many people know about, the Earth's Magnetosphere is deteriorating, which cause’s huge amounts of radiation to hit the earth in high altitude levels, causing- more cancer. There’s nothing we can do about it. That’s something that happened to Mars, and that’s supposedly what the earth is going to look like; Mars. But back to the subject. A few people can be against something and for some reason that gives them the right to decide for- billions? If I have cancer, I want it cured, and if I know that there's a way for that to happen, why the hell is it not happening? I hate to sound like I don't care about human life, but um, the earth is way overpopulated in the first place, in twenty year human's will be at a record of eight billion. That's all I'm going to type here.

3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?

Personally, I don't think there should be any restriction to stem cell research. And let me note, that has anyone heard about that one little thing they were doing underground in Germany that, if went wrong, could wipe out a few people, maybe cause a black hole? So killing a few embryos is wrong compared to something that could kill us all?

4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?

I think that if Scientists aren't limited based on religious views, personal agendas, we can cure anything.


Please note this is my opinion, I really don't want to sound like I'm attacking anyone, so please read this as opinion.


  #13  
Old August 13th, 2009, 7:01 am
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

http://stemcellsresearchproject.blogspot.com/

My friend and I made a blog about stem cells... anybody wanna check it out? :-D

Personally I'm ok with research, seeing how the embryonic stem cells have no future in the fertility clinic, but I'm very worried about the potential future of stem cells. Besides, there's adult stem cells!

If stem cells proves that it can cure all the wonderful diseases it promises, what happens when the leftovers run out? Where are we going to find resources to feed the mass need for embryonic stem cells?

I'm afraid that people will start selling their embryos or something, or scientists will find a way to have a embryonic-stem-cell production factory. Scary though.


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Old September 5th, 2009, 7:58 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

Quote:
1. What limits, if any, are there on stem cell research in your country?
I'm not entirely sure.

Quote:
2. What level of funding do you support for stem-cell research?
Full funding, at the government level.

Quote:
3. Do you think there should be any restrictions on the type of research that can be carried out?
No

Quote:
4. Stem cells are often seen as a panacea, able to cure anything, provided that scientists put their mind to it. Do you share this view, or do you think that stem cells will be limited in applications?
They will be limited, like all research tends to be.


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  #15  
Old August 30th, 2010, 3:00 pm
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Re: Poll of the Week: Stem Cell Research

I don't know much about the government's policies on stem cell research in the UK but I think it is definately an important field of science. I think if it has the potential to save many lives worldwide then it's something that needs funding no matter what.


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