Stem Cell Research –information for today’s Catholics
Stem cells Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cells Cells that, when they divide, produce cells that have the potential to be many different types of cell, ie. Nerve, blood, bone, etc. Terms to know
Stem cells Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cells Stem cells found in a pre-born human being. Terms to know
Stem cells Embryonic stem cells Adult stem cells Stem cells found in a human being that has been born already. They don’t have to be an “adult” or a specific age. Terms to know October 8, 2012 --The Nobel Prize honoring Sir John B. Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka was announced. They found a way to make iPS cells from other human cells.
All stem cells are pluripotent. • Pluripotent means having the ability to generate almost any kind of cell. • Current Clinical Trials of Adult Stem Cells • Cancers—Lymphomas, multiple myeloma, leukemias, breast cancer, neuroblastoma, renal cell carcinoma, ovarian cancer • Autoimmune diseases—multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, scleromyxedema, Crohn’s disease • Anemias (incl. sickle cell anemia) • Immunodeficiencies—including human gene therapy • Bone/cartilage deformities—children with osteogenesisimperfecta • Corneal scarring-generation of new corneas to restore sight • Stroke—neural cell implants in clinical trials • Repairing cardiac tissue after heart attack—bone marrow or muscle stem cells from patient • Parkinson’s—retinal stem cells, patient’s own neural stem cells, injected growth factors • Growth of new blood vessels—e.g., preventing gangrene • Gastrointestinal epithelia—regenerate damaged ulcerous tissue • Skin—grafts grown from hair follicle stem cells, after plucking a few hairs from patient • Wound healing—bone marrow stem cells stimulated skin healing • Spinal cord injury—clinical trials currently in Portugal, Italy, S. Korea
ESCR involves killing an embryo to harvest its stem cells. ESCR uses human cloning (SCNT) to obtain embryos
The Church’s teaching on stem cell research- • Supports adult stem cell research. • Opposes embryonic stem cell research.
There are many BIOLOGICAL reasons not to use embryonic stem cells, too. Yankee pitcher treated injury with stem cells • Protein markers/rejection • Tumor formation • Genetic instability asc treatment for spinal cord injury Currently, there are 72 treatments /cures using adult stem cells, but no one (after more than 25 years of research) has ever been helped with embryonic stem cells. New Blood vessels for a diseased heart
Some scientists argue that we should use “leftover” embryos for ESCR. • Instead, how about not creating embryos outside of the marital act in the first place? IVF IS IMMORAL, TOO!!! • All life is sacred…..Human dignity is not conditional.
The U.S. is the world leader in ESC research – ESCR is not, and never has been, against the law IN THE U.S. • 1998 -2004, the United States alone published 46% of all papers published worldwide on hESCR – by far the single largest contributor. • Over 30 European countries have banned human cloning (necessary for expansion of ESC research)--- NOT the U.S.! • Missouri – Amendment 2
ESCR involves discrimination against women, and putting women at risk for injury, sterility and death. ESC researchers need eggs. College women, poor women, minorities need money. • Southeast Kansas Craigslist ad • Scientists need eggs. People need money, esp. college-aged.
Why does the U.S. continue to do ESC research if ASC research is more promising? • More potential for profit. PATENTS • Image of “fountain of youth”… • Interest groups, political agendas, “Hollywood” • Culture of death