Purchase the book Right to Recover

Right to Recover ~ Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America presents scientific facts that challenge readers to think for themselves rather than accept political or religious views on stem cell research.


This book is available by request in bookstores nationwide.

RIGHT TO RECOVER is an Award-Winning Finalist in the Current Events: Political/Social of the National Best Books 2007 Awards. Amazon Best-selling book in biomedical category.

Friday, February 29, 2008


8. MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY TAKES A HIT: Called incurable, muscular dystrophy wastes away the body’s muscles, a slow but inexorable crippling. But at the University of Texas, Dr. Rita Perlingeira’s research team used ESC research to make formerly wasted muscles function. A gene (PAX 3) found in embryonic stem cells was injected into the lab rats non-functioning leg muscles—which began to work again.

Thursday, February 28, 2008


7. MODELING MONSTERS: ISOLATING LOU GEHRIG’S DISEASE: In the terrible disease ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), motor nerves break down. But do the nerves fail because of a problem inside the cells or outside them? Scientists Kevin Eggan of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Serge Przedborski of Columbia University Medical Center, used embryonic stem cells to make a microscopic model of ALS, to learn how the disease develops, and which drugs may be useful to defeat it. Using their own new model, these champion scientists saw that a non-nerve cell called an astrocyte may be a poisonous part of the problem.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008



It was once thought almost no couples involved in vitro fertility procedures would be willing to donate their leftover blastocysts to stem cell research. A new study from Duke University and Johns Hopkins shows just the opposite. At the Berman Institute of Bioethics, Dr. Ruth Faden and Anne Lyerly found that a large majority (60 percent) of infertility patients would prefer to help the new research, rather than discarding, storing, or giving their unused blastocysts to other couples (22% preferred this option).

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


5. JAMES BOND AND STEM CELLS: The fictional secret agent’s receipe for a martini (“Shaken, not stirred”) may be a help with one of the most important problems of stem cell therapies: the need for large quantities of cells, properly spaced. (Cells that jumble together may multiply improperly.) At Georgia Tech, Rich Carpenedo, a graduate student, noticed that a lab dish of embryonic stem cells left on a machine called a “sample shaker” had an unexpectedly positive result—there were lots more stem cells, spaced apart in a useful, predictable manner. The shaking technique may be important!

Read more at www.stemcellbattles.com.

Monday, February 25, 2008


4. REVERSING CANCER? Embryonic stem cells and cancer cells multiply amazingly fast. What do they have in common that allows this speed? At Northwestern University, Dr. Mary J.C. Hendrix found that both cells secreted a protein called Nodal. Astonishingly, when the level of Nodal was turned down, the cancer cells reverted to a harmless state. The study of embryonic stem cells may lead to a cure for cancer.

See www.stemcellbattles.com for more information.

Friday, February 22, 2008


3. DISSOLVING A SCAR…Although part of the body’s natural healing process, a scar in the wrong place can be a problem itself. At Schepens Eye Research Institute ,Dr. Michael Young’s team has used a molecule (MMP-2, induced by stem cells) to dissolve scars on the surface of the eye of a mouse. This allowed transplantation of a working retina. Dissolving a scar may also help fight spinal cord injury paralysis, Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinsons’ and other nerve-related conditions.

More about this on www.stemcellbattles.com

Thursday, February 21, 2008


2. “SMART” MOLECULE HELPS CONTROL STEM CELLS: A molecule named IQ-1 may have the “smarts” required to manage embryonic stem cells. At the Keck School of Medicine, USC, Michael Kahn, Ph.D, worked with a molecule called IQ-1, and found that it stabilized the multiplication of embryonic cells as they divided. The cells increased their numbers cleanly, reliably, instead of becoming something undesirable.

Don Reed

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Important steps are being taken to advance stem cell research. It is important to let people know the huge steps our scientists are taking. Today, I am posting the first of twelve steps to inform you of the latest developments in this field. These steps were given to me by Don Reed of Stemcellbattles.com.

Despite political attacks and chronic under-funding, embryonic stem cell (ESC) research is advancing every day. Across America and around the world, scientists are using the amazing cells to fight chronic disease and disability. Every piece of new information is a victory, bringing us ever closer to cure.

Here are just a few recent advances as noted by Don Reed www.stemcellbattles.com co-chair of Californians for Cures. For more information, visit the excellent website, www.sciencedaily.com, where Don located each experiment listed below. To get a closer look at a scientist’s efforts, type his or her name into the site search box; it will take you to their write-up, and beyond that to the original source papers.

1. MY ACHEY BREAKY HEART: Stem cells can’t help when romance goes wrong—but what about re-growing cardiac muscles after a heart attack? At the University of Washington, Dr. Chuck Murry is attempting to do just that—and with laboratory rats, he is succeeding. Using human ESCs and a cocktail of growth-encouraging proteins, Murry was able to improve function in 100% of his test rats’ damaged hearts.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Steps Ahead-- 37 Different Ways

Imagine for a moment that the new skin cell reprogramming method for deriving stem cells (induced Pluripotentiary Stem cells, iPS) is completely successful: that it is the equal of embryonic stem cells, exactly as its proponents claim.

If so, what would we have? Leaving aside the religious arguments, (which I know is impossible for some good folks)— if you only look at the cells as a way to heal people, what we would have is a copy of something we already have-- embryonic stem cells.

We would have embryonic stem cells—and more embryonic stem cells.

By itself, that does not help.

We still have to know what to do with the cells.

No one (hopefully!) would suggest simply injecting a pint of stem cells into a person and hoping for the best.

How do we make the cells be what we want them to be, do what we want them to do-- and nothing else?

Research is required, and lots of it-- and as you know, some folks in Washington have not exactly been far-seeing and thoughtful in allocating appropriate levels of funding. We need to think of the fight against disease as equally important as any enemy. That is not happening right now, and in fact the opposite is the case. The current White House Administration has acted in ways resulting in the suppression of positive science.

But the spirit of scientific inquiry is strong; scientists, like advocates, will not be deterred.

If we never quit trying, we can only win, or die—and everybody dies, so why not try?

It is starting to happen.

Despite funding shortages, political interference, and the sheer newness of the field, embryonic stem cell research is making progress.

In April, the FDA holds a hearing on the world’s first human trials with embryonic stem cells: the long-awaited Geron/Keirstead attempt to lessen the effects of paralysis. That is earth-shaking, and will be covered in a separate article.

But what about the scientists who work their guts out, day after day, unheralded, far from the light of the public eye-- struggling to bring together another piece of the puzzle?

Mostly, we never hear about them, and that’s a shame.

A rewarding website, SCIENCE DAILY, (http://www.sciencedaily.com/) may help to rectify that situation. The site gathers scientific experiments from all across the world, summarizes them, and cites the source. To my knowledge, they have no political bias—adult, embryonic, iPS, SCNT—they look for progress.

Typing in the words “Embryonic stem cell” into the search box brought me more information than my small brain could handle—so, naturally, I am passing it along to you! (Hint: if you go there, and use the search engine, try to be specific—if you type in just “stem cell”, you may be told there are 48,911 articles matching your query!

Here is a sampling, from the laboratories of the world, 37 quiet headlines.

Each headline is a quote, full or partial, from Science Daily: if one particularly interests you, go to the site and look up the article. Some quotes are shortened … so they can fit on one line; also, Embryonic Stem Cells is abbreviated as ESC. Finally, anything added in a parenthesis is from me.

But just run your eyeball over this short list—I find it overwhelmingly encouraging—and don’t miss number 37…

1. Human Derived Stem Cells Can Repair Rat Hearts Damaged by Heart Attack
2. Failing Mouse Hearts Safely Regenerated with Programmed ESCs
3. ESCs Thrive when Shaken
4. Understanding Differentiation in hESC
5. Reversing Cancer Cells to Normal Cells
6. Stem Cell Signaling Mystery Solved
7. Carbohydrate Regulates Stem Cell Potency
8. …(another way to make hESC?) Uniparental Stem Cells
9. …Integrating Transplanted Nerve Cells Into Injured Tissue
10. …More than 2,000 New Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
11. (Hwang Wu Suk’s)…Stem Cells’ True Origins Revealed
12. Functioning Neurons from hESC
13. ESC identifiable by appearance alone
14. Chemical Cues Turn ESCs into Cerebellar (brain) Neurons
15. …New Tool for Studying…ALS Drugs
16. Improv(ing) Muscles in Muscular Dystrophy Animal Model
17. ESCs Used to Grow Cartilage
18. Not All ESC Lines Are Created Equal
19. Human ESCs are the Ultimate Perpetual Fuel Cell, Study Shows
20. HESC-derived Bone Tissue Closes Massive Skull Injury
21. …New Procedure to Differentiate HESC (for lung cells)
22. …Stem Cell Heart Repair (hESC “patch” on heart)
23. To Evade Chemotherapy, Some Cancer Cells Mimic Stem Cells
24. Primate ESC Successfully Cloned (for cell lines, not new monkeys)
25. Hybrid Human-Animal …Research Approved in UK (microscopic cow cells)
26. … Therapies…More Complicated than (adult stem cell) Scientists Thought
27. (hESC) Transplants Explored as Possible Treatment for Hearing Loss
28. HESC Lines Created Without Destruction of Embryos (PGD method)
29. Cloned Human Embryo Created from Skin Cells (for cells only)
30. …Potential for IVF-Incompetent Eggs (mouse oocytes that fail to fertilize)
31. (hESCs) Act Through Multiple Mechanisms to Benefit Mice with…Disease
32. New Use for (hES) Cells… in War on Terrorism (a poison gas detection device)
33. …Nobel prize for Discoveries in ESC and DNA Recombination
34. New Way to Sort Stem Cells Discovered (dime-sized device, cheap)
35. Boost for Stem Cell Research (seaweed capsules may help ESC transplants)
36. T-cells from hESC, (possible) Gene Therapy to Combat AIDS
37. (SCNT) Effort to Develop Patient-Specific Stem Cell Lines Launched

Folks, stay healthy, stick around, and stay posted.

You are going to want to see what happens next, as these and other great scientists follow Christopher Reeve’s admonition:

“Go Forward”.

They are, and we will.

Don Reed

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, http://www.stemcellbattles.com/. Reed was citizen-sponsor for California’s Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act of 1999, named after his paralyzed son; he worked as a grassroots advocate for California’s Senator Deborah Ortiz’s three stem cell regulatory laws, served as an executive board member for Proposition 71, the California Stem Cells for Research and Cures Act, and is director of policy outreach for Americans for Cures. The retired schoolteacher is the author of five books and thirty magazine articles, and has received the National Press Award.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Fashion for Stem Cells

"Unlock the Cells" fundraiser to benefit the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research made news. Hosted by Louis Aguirre from Deco Drive, the clip aired on WSVN 7 the following night with a recap of the evening.


The Miami Herald "The Sabrina Cohen Foundation hosted a cocktail reception and fashion show Unlock the Cells: An Evening of Cocktails & Couture to raise funds and awareness for stem-cell research. More than 350 people attended the event that was held at The Palms South Beach on Nov. 29. A Miami Beach native, Cohen suffered a severe spinal cord injury at 14 from a car accident in 1992 and has had to use a wheelchair ever since."


Sunday, February 3, 2008

Testimonial for Right to Recover

I finally began reading your new book, Right to Recover and I am so impressed. I have only read the first couple of chapters, but what an education! I can't wait to read the rest of the book. I am on the same page with you, concerning stem cell research. Like the "endorsements" in your book - I, too, am impressed by your research. Great work!

Marcelle Webster,
Author of Timeless Journey

Friday, February 1, 2008

Stem cell therapy studies for stroke, cerebral palsy prepare for clinical trials

"Very young patients may be the biggest beneficiaries of cell therapy”

-Dr. James E. Carroll

Finding answers about optimal dosage and timing for stem cell therapy in adults with strokes and newborns with ischemic injuries is a goal of two new federally funded studies.

The answers are critical before clinical trials can begin, says Dr. Cesario V. Borlongan, neuroscientist at the Medical College of Georgia and Charlie Norwood Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is principal investigator on the National Institutes of Health grants totaling $6 million that also will explore long-term benefits of cell therapy.

If these additional laboratory studies replicate the promising results of the pilot studies, which indicate about a 25 percent improvement in recovery over controls, MCG and VA researchers hope to begin clinical trials in new ischemic injuries in adults and children within two years.

“We are looking at different procedures that we can adopt from the laboratory for the clinic,” Dr. Borlongan says. “We have at least 10 years of basic research that clearly shows that stem cells have the potential to be a new therapy for adult stroke.”

January 29, 2008
Source: Medical College of Georgia, Toni Baker

Read the rest of this article and learn more about stem cell studies on children T http://www.cnsfoundation.org