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A Tiny First Step

Stem CellsA common whine from those opposed to stem cell research is that no one has ever cured any disease with stem cell therapy. Besides that being a moronic whine since it’s been so terribly hard to do any research because of the interference of religious nut jobs who only seem to give a flying crap about human life up until the moment of birth…

Well, there is no besides. It’s just moronic. It’s like screaming that fusion reactors shouldn’t be built because no one has ever gotten energy from a fusion reactor. Well duh, no one’s ever been able to build one yet. Or an even better analogy might be that we shouldn’t look for signs of life on other planets because no one’s ever proven that there’s life on other planets. It’s the argument of a brain-dead person.

Anyways, that’s one objection that can no longer be used anyway.

Via NewScientist:

“We have been talking about stem cells for a decade and no one had cured anything with stem cells before this,” comments Eva Mezey, a researcher at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, US, who was not involved in the work.

In the new study, Evan Snyder of the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in La Jolla, California, US, and colleagues studied mice with a mutation in a gene called Hex. This mutation leads to a deficiency in an enzyme that breaks down fatty substances called lipids. As a result, these lipid molecules accumulate in the brain and spinal cord, destroying cells and causing the loss control over body movement. Mice with the disorder die prematurely, at around 120 days of age.

In humans, similar mutations in the Hex gene lead to illnesses such as Tay Sachs disease and Sandhoff’s disease, which lead to death within the first few years of life because no treatment exists.

Delayed onset

A day after birth, the mice carrying mutant Hex genes received brain injections of human stem cells taken from discarded human embryos. Snyder’s team also injected a separate group of the mutant mice with stem cells taken from the brains of aborted human fetuses, which are sometimes referred to as “adult” stem cells because they can only develop into a limited subset of cells.

The cell transplants seemed to delay onset of disease in the rodents. Both groups of mice that received human cells retained normal control over body movement for about 119 days, three weeks longer than the untreated mice.

More strikingly, the mice with the transplanted human cells lived to about 160 days – 36% longer than their untreated counterparts, who died at 110 days on average. However this is still well short of the average lifespan of a normal, healthy mouse, which is roughly two years.

Examinations of the rodent’s brains revealed that the human cells had developed into signalling nerve cells, offering the first evidence that such cells can integrate into the brain circuitry of diseased animals following transplantation.

Next time someone tells you there’s never been any benefit shown to arise from stem cell therapy, just tell them to eat dirt.

Y’know they’ll continue to claim that anyway. Either that or they’ll just move the goal posts and say there’s never been any benefit proven to humans. It’s the intellectual equivalent of sticking their fingers in their ears.

Sorry, it just annoys me when the best argument someone can come up with is “It can’t be done because no one’s ever done it.”

Tell that to Neil Armstrong. Better yet, tell it to Buzz Aldrin. I double dog dare ya’.

Filed under: Biology, Fundies, Rants, Religion, Science

16 Responses

  1. blipey says:

    Super cool. Love actual results, why would anyone want to support the science-deniers? What cool stuff do they get to talk about over coffee?

  2. JanieBelle says:

    Fascism and world domination, I imagine.

  3. blipey says:

    OOOHHHHH. I like world domination! Fascism, not so much.

  4. David Kamps says:

    I am for stem-cell research only after everyone that is currently for stem-cell research is killed and their stem-cells can be used for the research.
    Only the simple minded self-indulged could be for killing the innocent to further their own lives. If this is what liberalism has brought to our society, I don’t want to know anyone in it.
    Conservatives are for the protection of innocent, strong punishment for the guilty, and preservation of jobs by helping those that create them.
    Liberalism promotes socialism, which in turn promotes communism. Liberalism is a cancer that permeates the lazy and the most despicably immoral in a free society to give over their freedoms won by conservatives to their governments. Communists are the those in a socialist society that push the lazy into giving up the last little parts of their freedom over to a few. Then only a few have everything, and most everyone else has nothing.
    Janie, you are a liberal in dire need of an education.

  5. JanieBelle says:

    David, you are an idiot in dire need of a brain.

    Also, you are an asshole, in dire need of being wiped.

    Additionally, you are a sheep, in dire need of a slaughterhouse.

    Just so y’know, Dirtbag.

  6. […] I may be a bit cranky over the next several days.  Beware of this. […]

  7. WhoreChurch says:

    David, I couldn’t agree more. We need some people who are willing to sacrifice their insignificant lives so millions can be healed. It’s just like Jesus.

    “Who, for the hope placed before him, endured the cross.”

    All true Christians ought to be in favor of sacrifcing themselves to provide healing for others. Imagine the powerful witness it would be if all the atheists with Parkinsons were cured because you were willing to give your life for them.

    Just like Jesus, right David?

  8. Kristine says:

    WhoreChurch that comment just did me in! 😀
    But don’t do it, David. I don’t need your little brain cells. Just take them out and exercise them once in a while, okay? Promise? Then they won’t be so stir-crazy.

  9. WhoreChurch says:

    It’s pretty hard to argue with the logic, hey K?

  10. blipey says:

    I must also vote for your staying alive, David. You’re just too funny. If you go away, how will the rest of us know that we are normal?

  11. Arden Chatfield says:

    Ignoring your wingut shithead above, the ‘stem cells have never cured anyone” line reminds me of an anecdote:

    “There’s a story that Queen Victoria once paid a visit to the laboratory of Michael Faraday, a pioneer of physics who made many of the key discoveries of 19th century electricity and magnetism. Faraday was the finest experimental physicist of his day. He proudly conducted his Queen around the laboratory, demonstrating many amazing things for her with his coils and Leyden jars and Wimshurst machines and disk dynamos.

    “But what,” asked the Queen finally, “is the use of all this, Mr. Faraday?”

    Faraday, clearly disappointed, studied the Queen. “Madam,” he asked quietly, “of what use is a baby?””

  12. Arden Chatfield says:

    Liberalism promotes socialism, which in turn promotes communism. Liberalism is a cancer that permeates the lazy and the most despicably immoral in a free society to give over their freedoms won by conservatives to their governments.

    I also hear it leads to dancing

  13. Arden Chatfield says:

    Conservatives are for the protection of innocent, strong punishment for the guilty, and preservation of jobs by helping those that create them.

    Who said Republicans don’t have a sense of humor?
    🙂

  14. damewiggy says:

    And this is exactly why I always preserve my post-abortion remains in ice cube trays.

    Now when the kids ask about them, I can say .. eh, those are just … Davids. Leave ’em be.

  15. vino of wil says:

    Arden-I always think of the Greek story in conjunction with the ‘what good is a baby’ story.
    I can’t remember the teacher’s name (perhaps Aristotle) but a student quipped that he wanted to know what his learning was worth. So the teacher told a slave to give the student a coin so that he would feel like he had worth. That’s only a poor paraphrase but you get the idea.

    vino

  16. honjii says:

    That good old circular “reasoning”, like he argument for the existence of god: “He exists because he says he does.”

    And why is it those opposed to stem cell research always point to murdering the innocent? Are the intake channels (eyes and ears) of these folks so selective that they seem to miss the part about how the cells being used for the research are from already discarded embryos? No one is promoting abortion as a means of obtaining research materials.

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