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.

www.nightengalepress.com


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.


Monday, March 31, 2008

Step 15 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

15. JAMES BOND AND STEM CELLS: The fictional secret agent’s recipe 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!

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Step 14 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

14. 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.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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, March 27, 2008

Step 13 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

13. 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.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Step 12 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

12. “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
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Step 11 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

11. ADULT STEM CELLS NOT FLEXIBLE ENOUGH FOR BRAIN WORK: Part of science is learning what does not work. Contrary to the hopes of adult stem cell research supporters, these stem cells may not be adaptable enough for “as-is” transplantation in the brain. Previously, some thought that adult stem cells could simply be plugged into damaged areas of the brain, and they would automatically become whatever was needed. Unfortunately, adult cells from one part of the brain may not fit everywhere. “A stem cell that produces neurons that could be useful… in the cerebral cortex…will be most likely useless… in the spinal cord,” said Dr. Carlos E. Lois, of MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Step 10 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

10. WHY COW EGGS ARE IMPORTANT: With human eggs difficult to obtain, it may be possible to study the process of making and using embryonic stem cell lines by using microscopic cow eggs, cheap and easily obtained. If a cow egg had its nucleus removed, so that its genetic information, or “cow-ness”, is mostly gone, it could function as a nurturing shelter. A human skin cell could be placed inside the “shell” of the egg, to study the development of the stem cells. This would never be used for human cures, due to the mix of human and animal cells, but it could be tremendously important in learning how to make the cells which bring hope to all humanity. Hats off to UK researchers like Dr. Lyle Armstrong at Newcastle University and Kings College London!

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Step 9 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

9. MONKEY BUSINESS? … Oregon scientists like Shoukhrat Mitalipov have made a line of stem cells from rhesus monkeys, a species close to man. Using a process called Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer, or SCNT, the scientists put a monkey skin cell into a monkey egg cell, and let it develop into the stem cell stage. Their aim is to develop stem cells for cures which would not be rejected by a patient’s body. They credit their success to a new method of nucleus removal called Oosight Spindle Imaging System, which apparently did little or no damage to the egg cell during the process.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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, March 20, 2008

Step 8 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

8. “BAD” STEM CELLS MAY BLOCK CANCER CURES: radiation or chemotherapy may shrink tumors in breast or prostate cancer, seemingly bringing improvement. But the cancer may come back again, worse than before. Cancer cells, attacked by the radiation, may be adapting to it, changing, in a manner much like embryonic stem cells. Maryland scientist Dr. Vasyl Vasko is studying how these cancer stem cells work, to defeat them.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Step 7 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

7. RHYTHMS IN THE HEART: Imagine an orchestra, where every musician has played together for years—and suddenly a 12-year-old joins in. Their rhythm would be upset. But if the kid had the orchestra’s recordings, and practiced with those for a while, he or she could fit in more smoothly. Similarly, if stem cell transplants are put into a damaged heart, they must fit in with the rhythms of the older cells, or cause a cardiac problem called arrhythmia. Led by Dr. Nadire Ali, scientists at Imperial College, London, are work to construct a stem cell patch for a damaged heart. To prevent arrhythmia, they allow the new heart stem cells to “practice” in a lab dish for 4-6 months.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Step 6 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

6. 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.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Step 5 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

5. T-CELLS FROM E-CELLS: New Hope for Fighting AIDS. When HIV-AIDS strikes, it targets a blood-forming cell called a T-cell, part of the body’s immune system. When the immune system stops working, a common cold can kill. But at UCLA and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Medicine, scientists like Zoran Galic and Jerome Zack are culturing human embryonic stem cells, raising them on mouse bone marrow support cells—then injecting them into a human thymus gland implanted in a mouse—and then those cells became new blood T-cells. The answer to AIDS may come from a mouse, a drop of blood, and an embryonic stem cell…

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Step 4 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

4. CHEAP STEM CELL SORTER: A replacement may have been found for the highly expensive Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorters. Like the old saying about yachts, FACS are so expensive, if you have to ask how much one costs, you can’t afford it. But UC Ed Monuki at UC Irvine has developed a cheap and tiny stem cell sorter about the size of a dime. The new device works by measuring the electrical current the stem cells give off, and magnetically separating them, —and it may cost just pennies apiece!

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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, March 13, 2008

Step 3 of 24 Steps Toward Stem Cell Success

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

3. NOBEL PRIZE GOES TO ESC RESEARCHERS: Three research heroes, Mario R. Capecchi, Martin J. Evans, and Oliver Smithies received the world’s highest honor in 2007, for discovering “principles for introducing specific gene modifications in mice by the use of embryonic stem cells.” The hard work of these men’s lives has changed medicine forever. Because of their efforts, more than 500 mouse models of disease have been developed. When you hear the phrase, “knockout mice” that does not mean boxing rodents, but rather mice which have one or more genes knocked out of their cellular makeup, so science can learn which gene brings cure, and which brings trouble. Political winds of favor may not have allowed these great scientists to receive the recognition they deserve, but the world is the richer for their having lived, and worked, and triumphed.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Step 2 of 24 STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

2. STEM CELLS AGAINST TERROR: Steve Stice, of the University of Georgia, may have found a way to use human embryonic stem cells to detect the presence of poison gas in the air. Combining a computer, graph charts and a box full of stem cells, the animal science professor is working with the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory to develop an early warning system that could save lives in the event of a terrorist attack.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/


Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Step 1 of 24 STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures”.

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, http://www.sciencedaily.com/, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.





1. NO DEAF CHICKENS: Hearing depends on tiny hairs in the inner ear, which send sound vibrations to the brain. In people, these hearing cells cannot be replaced by the body; when they wear out, we cannot hear. Chickens and other birds, however, can regenerate them. Dr. Stefan Heller of Stanford University has directed embryonic stem cells into human hair cells in a Petri dish, bringing us closer to a cure for deafness.





Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Even more use for stem cell research

Even more treatments and therapies are being discovered using stem cells!

Across America and around the world, scientists are developing new ways to use embryonic stem cells to fight chronic disease and disability.

One widely-publicized advance is the development of “imitation” embryonic stem cells, the new Thomson/Yamanaka reprogrammed skin cells. But even if these new cells are proven completely successful, (which may take 10-15 years) that will not be the end of the struggle. We still need to know how to use the embryonic stem cells (from whatever source) and fulfill the motto of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine: “Turning stem cells into cures.”

Fortunately, the world is not waiting. Here are highlights of just a few recent advances. For more complete information, visit the excellent website, www.sciencedaily.com, which has clear descriptions of the experiments, and citations for the source papers.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

"Personhood" Laws Threaten Research, Woman's Rights

Like the 18th Amendment, (Prohibition) which was intended to eliminate alcohol abuse and instead gave us organized crime, some proposed laws may have consequences far beyond their advertising.

For example, suppose we had a 100% Pro-Life Amendment, defining all life as equally deserving of legal protection. That sounds noble, doesn’t it?

But we would starve if it was enforced. Even vegetables have life. Who knows, perhaps even a carrot gives a tiny shriek of agony when being yanked from the soil. Meat, of course, would be out of the question, as animals would have the right to an attorney.

And what about the military? If all life was equally protected, our soldiers would have to go on trial any time they fired their weapons successfully-- even an enemy has a life.

Am I being ridiculous?

Not if you consider the “personhood” laws currently under consideration in at least six (reportedly as many as twelve) states.

Ballot initiatives and/or laws in various stages of consideration in Colorado, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Georgia, and South Carolina are attempting to redefine human life (“personhood”) as deserving of legal protection: beginning at fertilization.

The instant a microscopic sperm meets an egg, a legal person suddenly exists, with rights in court, and equal standing under law.

The primary goal of “personhood” laws is to criminalize abortion: forcing the Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade.

Their approach is predicated on a statement made by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun:

“(If the) suggestion of personhood is established, the case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the (14th) Amendment.”

If we agree to call all blastocysts full human beings, we forever deny a woman’s right to choose, and to control her own body.

There would be other consequences as well.

If blastocysts are assigned full “personhood”, embryonic stem cell research is automatically endangered; as is the birth control pill, and the In Vitro Fertility procedure.

Let’s take a look at Colorado’s measure, probably the furthest along. Signatures are already being gathered (76,000 needed) to put the measure on the November ballot.

It is brief, just one sentence:

“Colorado Human Life Amendment: As used in Sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the State Constitution, the terms ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.”

That’s it, the whole proposal. But it would have far-reaching consequences.

“The amendment, if approved by voters, would extend constitutional protections from the moment of conception, guaranteeing every fertilized egg the right to life, liberty, equality of justice and due process of law.” – www.denverpost.com Electra Draper, 11/14/2007

The initiative’s sponsor? Kristi Burton is 20 years old. Home-schooled, Ms. Burton graduated high school at age 15. At 17, she enrolled in a religion-based correspondence law school.

“…The people of Colorado will support protecting human life at every stage. More than that, we have God. And He is enough”, she stated to thunderous applause at a recent meeting of the Pro-Life Leaders Summit.

To hear her speaking, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHxH40aDlHE

Belinda Burger, deputy legal director for NARAL Pro-choice America, calls the personhood approach “scarier than an outright ban. First, because it can be hard for people to understand what it’s doing, and second, because it would be… further reaching.” (NY Times, Nov. 18, “Proposed Colorado measure on Rights for Human Eggs”, Kirk Johnson)

Do such measures have any backing?

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee: “In keeping with my consistent support for life, I …support the Georgia Personhood Amendment.” --“Georgia Right to Life PAC Endorses Mike Huckabee for President”, Dawson Times, Dec. 1, 2007

Other Presidential candidates, in and out of the race, who support the personhood concept: Alan Keyes (Republican), Peter Grasso (Independent), Duncan Hunter (Republican), and Ron Paul (Republican).

What does this mean to us, as stem cell research advocates?

I regard it as the last gasp of the anti- research crowd, trying desperately to stop embryonic stem cell research before the next President (and a stronger pro-research Congress) comes into office.

Whatever your position on abortion (I am against it, but feel it is the woman’s business, not mine or government’s, which makes me pro-choice) this would be a devastating law.

Consider:

If a blastocyst has equal legal rights in a court of law, birth control pills could be considered murder weapons.

The attempt for couples to have a child through the In Vitro Fertility process would be illegal— and what would be done about the 450,000 blastocysts currently in frozen storage? The “adoption” alternative has thus far been chosen for about one hundred—what about the other 449, 900? These would have to be stored for all eternity, or their donors could face prosecution; not to mention criminalization of the IVF procedure which has brought joy to more than a million new families around the world.

The personhood initiatives would provide legal footing to still more lawsuits against California’s stem cell program, like the earlier one on behalf of “Jane Doe”, a fictional frozen embryo—and this time it could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Roberts Court, certainly one of the most conservative in history.

Personally, I have had just about enough delays, enough law suits, enough attempts to crush out embryonic stem cell research.

I want the search for cures to go forward, not be frozen in fear of criminalization.

In a few short months, we will have a more supportive President, and new reasons for hope.

Until then, “Personhood” laws must be vigorously opposed.

South Carolina: H.3284/S.313 “Right to Life Act” TO AMEND TITLE 1, CHAPTER 1, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF GOVERNMENT, BY ADDING ARTICLE 5 SO AS TO ENACT THE "RIGHT TO LIFE ACT OF SOUTH CAROLINA" WHICH ESTABLISHES THAT THE RIGHT TO DUE PROCESS AND THE RIGHT TO EQUAL PROTECTION VEST AT FERTILIZATION.

Georgia: HR 536: A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each human being from the moment of fertilization without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency; to provide for submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.

Michigan: Michigan Prenatal Child Protection Amendment: Section 27: “A ‘person’, for purposes of the Constitution and laws of the State of Michigan, exists from the point of conception.”

Mississippi: “Ultimate Human Life Amendment” PROPOSED BALLOT SUMMARY: Initiative #23 would amend the Mississippi Constitution to require legal recognition that human life begins and is protected at the moment of conception, and to forbid taking the life of a person by aiding a suicide attempt or by depriving an unborn person of life. 'Person' would be defined (without regard for conditions such as race, sex, age, health, function or dependency) to include all stages of biological development from conception until natural death

Montana: CI-100, the Montana Personhood Amendment. (44,615 signatures needed to qualify for November, 2008 ballot): CI-100 amends the Montana Constitution's Declaration of Rights to provide that all persons have a paramount andfundamental right to life. It extends constitutional rights to all persons from the moment of conception. It adds a definition of “person” that includes all stages of development, including fertilization.
Colorado Human Life Amendment: “As used in Sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the State Constitution, the terms ‘person’ or ‘persons’ shall include any human being from the moment of fertilization.”

Don Reed

www.stemcellbattles.com

Don C. Reed is co-chair of Californians for Cures, and writes for their web blog, 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, March 6, 2008

Step 12: TWELVE STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

12. NEW CELLS TO BREATHE WITH: Anyone who has ever struggled to breathe has a hint of the agony of cystic fibrosis, (CF) the choking lung disease. Thanks to the pioneering work of men and women like Rick Wetsel, Eva Zsigmond, and C. Thomas Caskey, CF may be on the way out. At the University of Texas, these scientists have used ESCs to create a transplantable source of new and healthy breathing cells.

Don Reed
http://www.stemcellbattles.com/

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.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Step 11: TWELVE STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

11. HEALING A FRACTURED SKULL: What if there was a way for even terribly broken skulls to grow back together? Johns Hopkins scientists Nathaniel S. Hwang, Jennifer Elisseeff and others have developed a new way to grow bone. Taking cells isolated from embryonic stem cells, the investigators let them grow on a framework, or scaffold, itself made of living materials, which would dissolve when no longer needed.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Step 10: TWELVE STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

10. SOCKS OR A T-SHIRT--ALL STEM CELL LINES NOT THE SAME: The Bush Administration’s restrictions limit federal funding to 78 lines, of which only about 20 are actually useful and available. If embryonic stem cell lines were identical, this miniscule number might be enough. However, UCLA biologist Yi Sun and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Thomas Sudhof of the University of Texas compared just two of the Presidentially-approved lines, and found them different in important ways. Cells derived from one line tended to fit one side of the brain, while a second line worked best on the other side. This difference is important: like reaching in the sock drawer and getting a T-shirt instead. Many stem cell lines are needed, so investigators can find exactly is needed.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Step 9: TWELVE STEPS TOWARD STEM CELL SUCCESS

9. NEW KNEES FOR OLD: Athletes and non-athletes alike suffer when their knees wear out. The body cannot re-grow the cartilage cushion in the joints. At Rice University, however, researcher Kyriacos A. Athanasiou has developed a new method to make cartilage-like cells from human embryonic stem cells.