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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007

The US House of Representatives is expected to vote on Thursday, January 11,  2007, on the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (H.R. 3)   [To view the Full Text of the legislation visit: Full Text of Legislation  ]. 

To date, embryonic stem cell research cannot be attributed to any known cure for a disease. And in animal experiments, numerous problems have been encountered with embryonic stem cells. 

The Bush administration (and rightfully so) has spent hundreds of millions of dollars promoting as an ethical and effective alternative procedure adult stem cell research that has already been used in the development of cures for various diseases. For example, generally with very encouraging results, early human trials have begun for conditions such as Parkinson's disease, corneal injury, multiple sclerosis and heart damage among others.   

Contrary to what proponents of embryonic stem cell research say, there is no ban in this nation on embryonic stem cell research. For example, taxpayers' funds have been approved to fund this unsound and junk science procedure in both Missouri and Maryland. 

Amazingly results using non-embryonic stem cells themselves have been demonstrated and reported throughout the scientific literature. For example, the world's first artificial liver from stem cells was recently produced by British scientists that one day will provide for transplants of entire organs. Stem cells found in the blood from umbilical cords were used to produce the liver tissue. 

Enormous promise for cures for disease is held in umbilical cord blood. In one case, American physicians have reported that a three-a-year old leukemia victim was given a life-saving infusion of her own cord blood, marking the first time a child with this disease served as her own blood donor. 

Her physician said the little girl is now a thriving six–year old attributing this to the pioneering transplant that helped her recover from the radical chemotherapy. 

Also, the foresight of her parents who decided to save some of her umbilical cord in case that it might be needed later was commended by the physicians.   

It has been revealed that a major breakthrough in stem cell research could quell the controversy surrounding the cutting-edge medical research.  Suggesting that stem cells can be ethically harvested, scientists have shown for the first time that amniotic  fluid is a rich source of stem cells. 

An alternative – and ethically acceptable  — source of stem cells could be provided by the amniotic fluid, US researchers have shown.   Human stem cells, shed by the unborn baby into the surrounding amniotic fluid, can be coaxed into turning into muscle, bone, fat, blood vessels, nerve and liver cells in the laboratory. 

Mice with a degenerative brain disease had nerve cells transplanted into them which grew and repopulated the diseased areas.  Also functioning well were bone and liver cells. 

The cells can be grown quickly in large quantities and are easily obtainable. This is the first time stem cells have been shown to have such broad potential although they have been extracted from amniotic fluid before. 

Daunting challenges that may keep them from ever becoming a regular part of medical treatment are faced by embryonic stem cell research and therapeutic cloning. For example, the likelihood that the body would reject embryonic stem cells as in the case of a transplanted organ, is a major hurdle to use embryonic stem cells in regenerative medical treatments taken from leftover in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment indicates an article in the May 2004 Scientific American.  

Since the embryonic stem cells derived from cloned embryos of each patient would likely not be rejected, the rejection conundrum can be overcome by therapeutic cloning.  However, more wildly impractical than making hundreds of thousands of embryonic-stem cell lines is therapeutic cloning.  For each attempt, an egg is required for human cloning which is also known as somatic-cell nuclear transfer. (SCNT)  And there are more than 100 million Americans who could benefit from regenerative medicine claims the National Academy of Sciences. (NAS).  What makes this even more impractical from a scientific point of view is that in 2003, a NAS report suggested based on mouse studies that it could take about 100 human eggs per patient just to derive a cloned embryonic stem cell line.

Currently, embryonic stem cells produce tumors in animal studies making them unsafe for human patients to use.  Also, this difficulty would not be resolved by using cloned embryos to derive stem cells.  

The limited funds of the federal government should be used wisely and should not be used to promote unsound and junk science of embryonic stem cell research.   The best avenue to pursue, if the goal of scientists is to create effective treatments for degenerative conditions in the quickest possible time, is to pursue the non-embryonic approach.  

Additional Reading:  

The False Promises of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

What Can You Do?  

Urge your representative to NOT SUPPORT  the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 (H.R. 3)

Contact Information:      

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your representative's office.)  

To go to your representative's website, find his E-mail or to find out who your representatives are... http://www.house.gov/house/MemberWWW.html    

To electronically mail your U.S. House of Representative, go to http://www.house.gov/htbin/wrep_findrep.    

Addressing Correspondence:    

The Honorable (full name)
United States House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515  

Dear Representative (last name):  

 

 

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