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.


Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Walkersville company grows cornea

Corneal tissue for stem cell research and therapeutic use comes from dead people who donate their organs.

That means there's a finite supply, said Jeffrey Janus, president of the International Stem Cell Corp. and CEO of Lifeline Cell Technology.

Thanks to stem cell research, Lifeline Cell Technology can grow corneal tissue.

"We've discovered a way to grow human cornea of the eye, and it's very exciting," Janus said.

Russian scientists, brought to the U.S. by Lifeline, are using the company's stem cells while working with the University of California to try to cure eye diseases of the retina, Janus said.

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/49menn

For more information about stem cell research, please read Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Available on Amazon.com

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Why is Stem Cell Research so Controversial?

I can see people not liking abortions, but considering how stem cells are created, I can only blame the sentiment against it on misinformation. If anyone's familiar with in vitro fertilization, they'd know that far more embryos are produced than what could possibly be used. Most pregnancies require fewer than three or four (many are successful on the first embryo) and yet hundreds are created in the process. They're frozen for storage, but can only survive for so long. I don't remember the time they survive frozen, but there's always an excess that's disposed of.

The way some argue it, using them for medical research amounts to murder. Well, fact of the matter is that there's no real potential for life because there are simply too many of them compared to the number of women needing an embryo. Those of you who absolutely oppose SCR, do you really prefer they all just stayed frozen until they die naturally? If so, why, and please don't tell me this is moral because you're not only failing to save the embryo, but you're also allowing people who could benefit from such research to suffer from the lack of it.

Read more at http://tinyurl.com/5n9jvo

For more information about stem cell research, please read Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Available on Amazon.com

Monday, December 29, 2008

ASH Honors Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and NHLBI Deputy Director Susan Shurin, MD, for Their Public Service, Leadership, and Commitment

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest professional society of blood specialists, will recognize the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and the Deputy Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) for their efforts to promote biomedical research. The Public Service awards will be announced in conjunction with the Society's 50th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

The Honorable Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will receive ASH's Award for Public Service for her long-time support and leadership on health care issues such as increasing funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and advocating for stem cell research. After assuming the office of Speaker in January 2007, Speaker Pelosi made passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act one of the cornerstones of the "First 100 Hours" agenda of the 110th Congress. Speaker Pelosi was also instrumental in guiding legislation through Congress to prevent scheduled cuts in Medicare reimbursement for physicians.

Read more PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- http://tinyurl.com/5hgxpg

For more information about stem cell research, please read Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Available on Amazon.com

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Why I Wrote a Controversial Book

I truly do not like controversy, but controversy is the natural by-product that materializes whenever someone's belief system is challenged. It goes with the territory of writing a book that causes people to have to deal with the facts. It's our soul's way of saying, "Let's examine this subject and see if perhaps there is another side to the issue that is worth hearing."

I am aware of the healing potential that blastocyst stem cell research offers victims of spinal cord injury, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, paralysis, heart disease, and many other illnesses. I want blastocystic (embryonic) stem research funded by the U.S. government. However, other people do not want their tax dollars going to research. Not many people oppose it because they do not want to help others or because they are stingy with their money. The opposition comes from those who have been told that the research is unethical. They have accepted what they have been told without questioning it or doing any research.

I met Reverend Dan Bloodworth in 2005 and immediately became intrigued by his enthusiasm regarding stem cell research. Dan’s All-American athlete son, Brian, suffered a spinal cord injury when he was hit by lightning in 1987. Motivated by his desire to find a treatment that would allow his son to communicate and become mobile again, Dan devoted 16 years of his life to learn everything he could about stem cell research. I was inspired by Dan to write a book containing information he had found. And that is why I wrote Right to Recover: Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America.

The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act has been passed by Congress twice. Influenced by the opinion of narrow-minded politicians and members of the religious community, President Bush’s vetoed the bill twice. His decision and the mindset of the misinformed right-wing ultra-orthodox party must be challenged if our society is to benefit from blastocyst stem cell biotechnology.

Right to Recover is an educational book created in hopes of shedding light upon, and making a difference in, the way we view blastocyst stem cell biology. I am not a doctor or scientist; I am a planetary healer and global citizen involved in bringing peace and goodwill to humankind. I have been blessed with a talent for writing, communication, and doing technical research.

Right to Recover contains well-researched facts about all types of stem cell technology and lends insight into the political and religious issues surrounding blastocyst stem cell technology. I’ve used Biblical references to show why a blastocyst is NOT a human being and how God has given us stem cell technology as a scientific gift for healing. The information in my book was derived from intensive research, personal interviews, emails, and other correspondence with national and international medical doctors, research scientists, religious leaders, and elected officials.

I believe everyone has a right to recover and the government should not stand in our way.

Yvonne Perry

For more information about stem cell research, please read Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Available on Amazon.com

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Researchers Derive First Embryonic Stem Cells From Rats

Researchers at the University of Southern California (USC) have, for the first time in history, derived authentic embryonic stem (ES) cells from rats. This breakthrough finding will enable scientists to create far more effective animal models for the study of a range of human diseases.

“This is a major development in stem cell research because we know that rats are much more closely related to humans than mice in many aspects of biology. The research direction of many labs around the world will change because of the availability of rat ES cells,” says Qi-Long Ying, Ph.D., assistant professor of Cell and Neurobiology at the Keck School of Medicine of USC, researcher at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC, and the study’s principal investigator.

The finding brings scientists much closer to creating “knockout” rats—animals that are genetically modified to lack one or more genes—for biomedical research. By observing what happens to animals when specific genes are removed, researchers can identify the function of the gene and whether it is linked to a specific disease.

“Without ES cells it is impossible to perform precise genetic modifications for the creation of the disease model we want,” he says. “The availability of rat ES cells will greatly facilitate the creation of rat models for the study of different human diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, addiction and autoimmune diseases.”

Ying, a native of China, notes that this breakthrough research occurred during 2008, the Chinese year of the rat.

Read more from the source, University of Southern California

Friday, December 26, 2008

Is a Blastocyst an Organism?

What is an Organism?

To give you an idea of why semantics are important to the study of blastocyst (embryonic) cells, I’ll give several definitions for the term organism.

An individual form of life, such as a plant, animal, bacterium, protist (free-living or colonial organisms with diverse nutritional and reproductive modes), or fungus; a body made up of organs, organelles, or other parts that work together to carry on the various processes of life. [i]

An individual self-sustaining unit of life or living material. Five forms of organisms are known: plants, animals, fungi, protists, and bacteria.[ii]

In biology and ecology, an organism is a living complex adaptive system of organs that influence each other in such a way that they function in some way as a stable whole.[iii]

A living being whose physiological functions are carried out by subunits, or “organs” (like a heart or a liver), which are separate in function but mutually dependent.[iv]

By any of these definitions, an in-vitro created blastocyst is not an organism because it does not have organs; it is not self-sustaining; and it is not functioning as a whole.

If it's not an organism, it's not a human being.
______________________________

[i] “Definition of Organism.” Yahoo Education. 11 March 2007. http://education.yahoo.com/reference/dictionary/entry/organism

[ii] “Glossary of Selected Terms.” Science and Technology/Engineering Curriculum Framework. 11 March 2007. http://www.doe.mass.edu/frameworks/scitech/2001/resources/glossary.html

[iii] “Organism.” Wikipedia. 11 March 2007. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organism

[iv] “Terms. Organism.” About Got it. 11 March 2007. http://www.cs.uu.nl/people/ronnie/local/genome/o.html

Thursday, December 25, 2008

RIGHT TO RECOVER - a song for those who care about stem cell research

After I wrote my book RIGHT TO RECOVER, I hired a publicist, Chuck Whiting, to help me promote it. Chuck is a musician who works with a lot of musical talent in the Nashville area. He suggested we have a song to go with the book.

After several weeks of emailing back and forth we came up with the lyrics to a song. Then, Chuck put the music to the words. This song was presented at my book signing last October. Since then Chuck has gone into the studio and produced a quality mp3 recording of the song. It is now listed on payloadz.com and is available for download for only 99 cents.

Listen now to see if you like it...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Barbara Milbourn Interviewing Yvonne Perry on Writers in the Sky Podcast

Barbara Milbourn interviewed Yvonne Perry on Writers in the Sky Podcast. Here is a transcript of their conversation about Yvonne's book RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America.

BARBARA: Welcome to Writers in the Sky podcast. I’m your host, Barbara Milbourn, and guess who I’ll be interviewing today!—Yvonne Perry, the founder of this podcast dedicated to the craft and business of writing.

Yvonne Perry is a freelance writer, author, speaker, and owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services, a team of full-time freelance ghostwriters and editors in Nashville, Tennessee. She writes about educational topics that uplift the spirit and inspire excellence. Her writing style is lovingly controversial and absolutely eye opening.

In her latest work, RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America, Yvonne Perry delivers to our doorstep a well-rounded, well-researched book on what we need to know about stem cell research. It challenges political and religious opinions about research using in-vitro stem cells and provides a look at current stem cell research therapies around the globe.

Welcome to Writers in the Sky, Yvonne.

YVONNE: Thank you, Barbara.

BARBARA: I’ve learned SO MUCH from reading your book and I’m excited to share it with our listeners. Let’s begin at the beginning. In the Introduction, you talk about meeting two men who inspired you Dan Bloodworth and Michael Davis). Most people get inspired about losing weight or making money. Talk to us about being inspired to write a book on such a complex and controversial subject.

YVONNE: Honestly, my inspiration for writing this book is from my inner guidance. After meeting Dan and working with Michael, I knew that I was supposed to challenge the right-wing mindset regarding blastocystic stem cell research. Part of my reason for being on the planet is to help others understand greater spiritual truth and stop living a life of fear based upon fabricated ideologies. Writing this book fit perfectly into my life’s mission.

BARBARA: We were talking about the matter of stem cell research being controversial. Your writing style has also been called controversial--“lovingly” controversial. In this book, you express facts and opinions that some readers will find highly controversial. I found you courageous. Tell us about courage and taking risks in writing.

YVONNE: Controversy goes with the territory whenever someone chooses to be honest or challenge the beliefs of others. Every book I’ve written using my own name has made me vulnerable to debate—even my humorous book EMAIL EPISODES is a story about my life falling apart when I began to question everything I believe about God, the Bible and societal norms. My second book is about death, dying and afterlife. In it, I reveal my own story of communicating with earthbound, non-physical beings. That is not something most sound-minded people believe in, but it is something many people experience when a loved one dies. With stem cell research the controversial element was already in place before I began my book.

BARBARA: You’re a savvy businesswoman. You are strategically targeting the publishing of RIGHT TO RECOVER this fall. Why? And why is the time to release a book important to writers in general?

YVONNE: After having President Bush veto the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act twice during his term in office, the issue of federal funding for stem cell research is of major importance to candidates in the 2008 presidential election. With the debates and political campaigns starting in earnest this fall, I feel that the release of my book is very timely. I would like for every politician to read the book just to see if the scientific knowledge and moral logic has any affect upon their next vote regarding funding for blastocystic stem cell research.

BARBARA: Talk about research! How did you decide when and where to begin? And, how did you know when you had enough, and that it was time to get it written down and out there?

YVONNE: Getting started was the easy part. There is a lot of information in the news about stem cell research. It was up to me to locate scientific experts in the field to help me separate fact from fantasy. It was like a domino effect. Once I contacted one researcher or doctor, he or she would put me in touch with another. Then, I came upon Don C. Reed—a proponent of California’s Proposition 71. Don’s son, Roman has a spinal cord injury that is very likely to be helped by blastocystic stem cell research. He is the founder of Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act who introduced me to Shane Smith Ph.D. Science Director, CNS Foundation, Former Science Director, ‘Yes on Proposition 71’ Don also introduced me to Rayilyn Brown, a woman having Parkinson’s disease. Don, Shane and Ray helped me more than I can ever repay. Without them, this book would not be the factual work it is.

Deciding when to stop was the difficult part. The scene changes daily with state legislators creating policy about how to handle the stem cell and cloning issues in their state. I finally had to draw the line and call a halt to my writing in order to get the book to print in time for Book Expo America.

BARBARA: Tell us about your commitment to continue to bring research and news on stem cell research to your audience.

YVONNE: The writing of the book was a large project within itself, but I am daily adding more material to my blog to help people stay informed about changes that have occurred since I sent my manuscript to my publisher. I set up the site as a blog because I want to invite dialogue with my readers. This site may be accessed online at www.right2recover.com

We’ll need to take a short break here.
Yvonne, thank you for being our guest today, please stay on the line. When we come back we’ll discuss what makes this timely book such an important read. Listeners, please be sure to download and listen to both parts of the show.

This is Barbara Milbourn and you’re listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast. I am a member of Yvonne Perry’s team of writers and editors. You may read more about me and the Write-On team on our website, Writers in the Sky dot com.


********************* Segment 2 ***********************

Welcome back to Writers in the Sky podcast. I’m your host Barbara Milbourn. Thank you for joining us for part two of my interview with Yvonne Perry, author of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America.

Welcome back, Yvonne.

BARBARA: At least twice in your book you mention “your readers”, saying in one instance that they “are not in the right wing group that opposes research”. How does an author come to know who their readers are and do you expect your reader base to grow in response to this book?

YVONNE: I knew from the start who would be interested in my book and who would oppose it. Since I am an advocate of blastocystic embryonic) stem cell research, I know my book may not bide well with the right-wing and ultra-conservative parties. Even if they read the book, they probably will not change their mind. As a former fundamentalist, I understand that they will not likely be persuaded by logic or factual information. However, those who are on the fence regarding the issue and those who are curious to know more will appreciate the education this book provides.

BARBARA: Let’s discuss content for a few minutes. Your book seeks primarily to educate and inform. I was one of those people who found the issue of stem cell research too daunting to approach. I was ignorant. When ‘human a life begins’ was a question for me; I didn’t know an embryo from a zygote from a morula, and I certainly didn’t know about undifferentiated cells and their potential to cure. I think I’m the majority – and that’s dangerous. Why?

YVONNE: Whenever we believe something someone tells us that cannot be backed up with fact or reason, it is worth investigating the issue before aligning with that position as our own. Many religions teach unquestionable servitude to the leadership or clergy. This can be very dangerous because it causes people to deny their inner guidance and live outside their own personal convictions. Following the crowd, or adhering to dogma set by an organization can rob a person of their free will. Ignorance about stem cell research and cloning, it causes bills to be passed that negatively impact the well-being of others. It causes good legislation such as the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act to fail passage. This bill would bring funding to research that holds great promise to millions of people. President Bush’s veto of this Bill is a disservice to those like Brian Bloodworth and Michael Davis who have an illness that might be cured by stem cell technology. Just think of our veterans returning from the war in Iraq who have been injured and paralyzed. Animal studies show that spinal cord injury, neurological disorders and Parkinson’s type diseases respond well to blastocystic stem cell implants. People have a right to recover and our president and Congress are denying them this right.

BARBARA: It seems to me that the word “embryo” itself is a real problem—a misnomer as you said—even though the term “embryonic stem cell research” is widely used. Could this word and what it implies lie at the heart of what stops people from embracing and funding stem cell research because they think it is taking a human life?

YVONNE: Absolutely. The term embryo gives the mental image of a tiny fish-looking baby floating around inside its mother. People have the idea that a miniature baby is being chopped into pieces for scientific purposes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. The research many call “embryonic” is actually conducted on a cluster of cells known as a blastocyst. The cell division that brings a fertilized egg to this stage occurs in a Petri lab dish. Because of terminology, many people have assumed that President Bush is right in his assumption. According to the dictionaries and encyclopedias I checked in my research, these cells cannot even be called an organism.

A blastocyst can only become an organism or embryo if it has implanted in a uterus where it receives proper nourishment to differentiate into all the cells and organs required to form a human being. I re-emphasize that IVF eggs cannot develop to the next stage and become an embryo while in the lab. This development requires signals from the mother and without those signals all these cells can do is continue to divide/multiply. A lab-created blastocyst is not an embryo; it is no more human than a skin cell, a nerve cell, or any other cell in the human body. In vitro blastocyst stem cells might be compared to an acorn. An acorn is not an oak tree, but it has the potential of becoming an oak tree if the proper environment is provided.

Based on the 2006 Random House Unabridged Dictionary, an embryo is “the young of a animal in the early stages of development WITHIN THE WOMB, in humans up to the end of the second month.” NOTE: embryo refers to development inside the uterus, not in vitro.

Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines the term embryo as “an animal in the early stages of growth characterized by the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception.”
NOTE: an embryo has tissues and organs; blastocysts do not. Also, there is a huge difference in fertilization, which may occur in a lab or inside a woman, and conception/implantation, which may ONLY occur in a woman. Without implantation in the womb an embryo cannot begin to form.

BARBARA: Your book expands our visions of the future of medicine and our own part in it. For example, you make a good argument for new parents banking their child’s cord blood when they are born. Could you talk about this one aspect for a moment?

YVONNE: Since there are so few studies on cord blood infusion, it can’t be considered a proven treatment; however, an Illinois mother whom I know, Mary Schneider, banked her son’s cord blood when he was born. Within a year or so Ryan was showing moderate signs of cerebral palsy. After an extensive search for a doctor willing to administer her son’s cord blood CD34 stem cells back to him, Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg introduced stem cells from Ryan’s own cord blood to his body through a 20-minute intravenous drip of stem cells in the back of his hand. This was followed by two hours of saline drip to nudge the cells through his system. The cells then instinctively knew how to find their place and begin repair and regeneration. Within a week Ryan was showing progress and continued to improve in the weeks and months afterward. A few months after the infusion, the dexterity in Ryan’s hands and arms returned. Today the 4-year-old boy speaks clearly in coherent sentences and is at normal weight for his age group. He is testing at normal or even above average levels in motor skill tests.

BARBARA: Your book will be released this fall. How are you marketing it?

YVONNE: At first I started marketing the book myself. I made a 6-month plan to include gathering endorsements and reviews, creating a strong online presence, arranging speaking engagements and lots of press releases. I found that all my time was being spent on marketing the book and since I do have a writing services business to manage, I decided to hire a publicist. Chuck Whiting, here in Nashville, will be handling my promotion from here on.

BARBARA: How can our listeners learn more about you and your new book?

YVONNE: My business Web site is writersinthesky.com and my book URL is right2recover.com. Both of these will link you to my online media room and give tons of information about my writing business, our newsletter, blog, podcast and my books.

Thank you, Yvonne. I’m afraid our time is up for today. It’s been a pleasure talking with you today about RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America.

This is Barbara Milbourn and you’ve been listening to Writers in the Sky Podcast. You may learn more about Write On! Creative Writing Services and access other author interviews on our website, “writers in the sky dot com”.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Start At The Beginning: Right to Recover


I have a treat for you today -- two excerpts from two great authors and two very different books. I submit both chapters for your reading enjoyment and remember to post a comment to each author for a chance to win a copy of their books.


CHAPTER ONE: BASIC OVERVIEW OF STEM CELL RESEARCH

Stem cell research is being actively conducted around the world for both scientific and medical reasons. Scientifically, stem cell biology provides excellent information about what is normal and abnormal regarding how cells develop. Understanding what causes cells to become diseased helps scientists find ways to prevent genes from becoming dysfunctional. It also helps them produce drugs and treatments to cure illnesses. Medically, adult stem cells from bone marrow and human umbilical cord blood have been proven to repair and regenerate diseased cells when transplanted into animals and humans. Never in history has one technology held such strong potential to help a majority of people live a healthier life as does the science of stem cell biology. Likewise, never in history has such a remarkable science been so ethically debated.

There are two categories of stem cells: adult and embryonic. For clarification in this book, the term “adult stem cells” refers to stem cells harvested from umbilical cord blood, the placenta, amniotic fluid drawn during pregnancy, and bone marrow of a child or fully-grown adult. The term “embryonic stem cells” refers to stem cells harvested from fertilized eggs created in vitro (outside the body).

What is a Stem Cell?

Stem cells are an undifferentiated group of cells which, depending on their surrounding conditions, are capable of developing into other types of cells such as liver cells, kidney cells, brain cells, or any of the other 260 different types of cells that make up the human body.

There are three types of stem cells: totipotent, which can develop into an entire embryo; pluripotent, which undergo a process of differentiation that changes them into multipotent cells (also called unipotent); and multipotent, which give rise to cells that have a particular function. Multipotent cells (adult stem cells) are permanently differentiated or fixed. For example, multipotent blood stem cells give rise to red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, but they cannot functionally develop into other non-blood cells such as liver cells, nerve cells, or heart muscle cells. These unique cells are with us throughout our lives and are used by the body to repair unhealthy or disabled cells of like kind.

Stem cells respond to the other cells around them, and a cell’s fate is determined by the other cells and chemicals in its environment. In their natural state, both totipotent and pluripotent stem cells are not yet any type of cell; instead, they are unassigned or blank. These “undifferentiated” cells have no specific purpose assigned to them other than to reproduce like cells while waiting for a genetic signal to tell them to develop into another type of cell. These signals are found within the environment of the body. Biologists are learning about these signals in hopes of determining the molecular method these stem cells use to differentiate and become tissues, nerves, vessels, and organs. It is believed that organs and tissues may one day be grown from pluripotent cells in laboratories to be used in lieu of, or in addition to, human organ donation. However, the main reason scientists study totipotent and pluripotent cells is to learn more about the cells’ behavior. Understanding what causes cells to become diseased will help researchers know how to produce drugs and treatments to combat or even prevent disease.

When a sperm and ovum are united (whether in vitro or inside the female body) fertilization occurs, and the two parts become a single totipotent cell. A fertilized egg is also known as a zygote. Within hours after fertilization this cell divides into two identical cells, which also divide thus forming pluripotent stem cells. By the fourth day the cell cluster has divided to reach approximately 16 cells, and it is called a morula. The division/multiplication process continues for about five days until a hollow sphere of about 32 cells is formed along with a fluid filled cavity. This sphere or cluster of primordial cells is then called a blastocyst. If the blastocyst cells are inside the womb, development continues as these stem cells begin to differentiate and form all the cells needed to make an entire human being. However, in an artificial environment outside the body (in vitro), the pluripotent stem cells from a fertilized egg will only reproduce more undifferentiated cells. They cannot produce a fully developed embryo.


Figure 1: Morula

Figure 2: Blastocyst


A blastocyst has an inner and outer layer of cells. The outer layer (called the trophectoderm) will form the placenta and other tissue needed to support development in the uterus. The inner cells are undifferentiated or unspecific in what they will become, but they are able to form any type of cell found in a human body. If the entire blastocyst is inserted into the uterus, it must implant itself and begin to draw nourishment from the mother in order to move to the next stage of development. If implantation (conception) occurs, the resulting embryo will become a fetus at eight weeks, which will develop into a human baby within nine months.

Within the womb a blastocyst automatically stops producing undifferentiated stem cells once the body parts have formed. Otherwise, a human would have multiple heads, hearts, legs, etc. However, the inner cells of the blastocyst, if separated from the trophectoderm outside the uterus, cannot form an entire organism. These inner cells can continue to make more undifferentiated stem cells if properly tended to in a lab. The blastocysts used for stem cell research are cultured in lab containers outside the human body where a single cell may continue to divide up to 100 times. These newly developed undifferentiated cells are what researchers are studying.

Scientists do not know how long a cultured line of stem cells can continue to divide or live outside the uterus. The newly divided cells are used to study what causes undifferentiated stem cells to develop into particular cells. There is great hope of being able to cause these undifferentiated stem cells to form tissue, nerve cells, and organs that can be used for patients needing heart, lung, liver, and kidney transplants. Unlike human organ donors, who must die before their parts can be used by another human, the inner cells of the blastocyst may continue to create new living cells that might be used to make new organs, nerves, and tissues. By taking only one cell from the inner mass of the blastocyst, a new cell line can be created. The remaining cells are not harmed. The blastocyst with one cell removed could theoretically be implanted into a uterus and brought to full term.

Stem Cell Technology Currently in Use In my hope to have you accept all types of stem cell research, I’d like to show some ways that stem cell research is already benefiting society. At the top of the list are bone marrow transplants and umbilical cord blood infusions.

Bone Marrow Transplants

While its use is still in the developing stages, there are technologies available using adult stem cells to help people with heart conditions, spinal cord injuries, and orthopedic repair of bone and cartilage. Known as regenerative medicine, these techniques harness the body’s natural ability to renew and heal itself.

Here are a few examples:

Here in the state of Tennessee, doctors at Vanderbilt University Medical Center commonly use bone marrow transplants in the treatment of cancer patients. More about that in just a moment.

In Germany, heart attack victims have made a rapid and remarkable recovery after receiving implants of their own bone marrow stem cells during heart surgery.

Mesoblast Limited is an Australian biotechnology company known for developing treatments through adult stem cell technology aimed at the regeneration and repair of bone and cartilage. In a pilot clinical trial at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, Mesoblast’s technology was used on a patient with a 5cm fracture of the femur that had failed to heal after nine months. Three months after specialized stem cell treatment, the gap had been filled by new bone and the patient had regained use of his leg and was walking unaided.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville specializes in adult stem cell transplant using either a patient’s own stem cells, the stem cells of a related or unrelated donor, or cord blood stem cells to assist patients. The donor in sixty percent of all cases is a brother, sister, or adequately matched donor; however, there are cases where stem cells from an unrelated donor are used. There are “cell banks” in the U.S. where hospitals may conduct a computerized search to locate the appropriate units and have them transported to the hospital where a patient is to receive treatment.

The blood-forming (hematopoietic) stem cells of bone marrow change into red, white, and other blood cells throughout life. The standard procedure for cancer treatment takes stem cells from the bone marrow of a patient. One way to retrieve them is to sedate the donor and stick needles in the hip bone and draw out the bone marrow. This method removes plasma, blood, and other cells, but a small population will be stem cells.

Because stem cells in the bone marrow are very small in quantity, recent technology gives the donor an injection prior to harvesting, to increase stem cell production so that it fills the marrow and spills into the blood. The blood is then drawn from a vein in one arm and pumped into a filter very much like a dialysis machine where the stem cells are spun at a certain speed causing the blood cells to separate into their components. Plasma will rise to the top, red cells will stick to the bottom, and the frothy looking layer in between is where the white cells and stem cells are trapped. The machine siphons off the stem cells and collects them before returning the rest of the blood to the vein in the donor’s other arm. The entire closed-circuit cycle takes four to five hours and does no harm to the patient. Once the stem cells are obtained, they are frozen at 220 degrees below zero Fahrenheit until time to reintroduce them to the patient once chemotherapy is complete.

Each cancer disorder has its own stem cell. Some are so resilient they survive certain types of chemotherapy. There may be a pseudo cure or remission between times, but within a few years these cells may grow back and give rise to cancer again. In order to completely destroy the cancer stem cells the patient needs super high doses of chemotherapy. This concentrated dosage not only destroys cancer cells, it also destroys vital bone marrow cells in the process. It also destroys brain cells according to Dr. Mark Noble, Ph.D., an advocate in the field of stem cell research at University of Rochester Medical Center. Since this would result in death, high dosages cannot be used unless the patient’s bone marrow cells are replaced afterward. Once chemotherapy is complete, the patient’s own stem cells are reintroduced into the body where they regenerate perfectly healthy bone marrow cells and long-term health is restored to the patient. In my interview with Dr. Madan Jagasia, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he remarked, “We are basically rescuing patients using their own stem cells.”

Another case where stem cells might be used is to restore a patient’s heart muscle. When a patient has a heart attack, heart muscle is lost. You can balloon or stint the arteries, or do a by-pass operation, but once the heart muscle is lost it does not have the capacity to regenerate. Studies in Europe have been done where the patient’s own stem cells are collected within two or three days after a heart attack and then purified and injected directly into the heart through catheters. The data from early animal and human studies show that these stem cells in the environment of the heart should be able to turn into heart muscle cells to repair or replace damaged cells.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center was the first hospital in the state of Tennessee to perform a new therapy using bone marrow stem cells to stimulate regeneration of the heart muscle after a heart attack. Douglas Vaughan, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, reported that John Plummer, 63, underwent the stem cell regeneration therapy on March 11, 2007, after experiencing a heart attack one week prior. More randomized-controlled trials to study the effects of cell therapy in treating cardiac disease are scheduled.

Cord Blood

An Illinois mother Mary Schneider banked her son’s cord blood when he was born. Within a year or so Ryan was showing moderate signs of cerebral palsy. By age two, the child only weighed 25 pounds and was unable to eat. His upper body strength was severely decreased, and he had only a two-word vocabulary. After nine months of speech therapy, his vocabulary consisted of 40 words, but he still had no sentence structure. Only close family members could understand him. Mary worried that her son’s condition would only get worse. Hoping that regenerative stem cells would help him, Mary began the search for a doctor or biologists who could administer her son’s cord blood CD34 stem cells back to him. Since the blood contained Ryan’s own unaltered DNA and no drugs, the infusion process does not require FDA approval. It is an intravenous procedure. It should be simple, right?

Wrong. The search proved more difficult than Mary expected because the treatment using cord blood was so new it hadn’t been tested, and many doctors were unwilling to take the risk without the support of clinical trials. After weeks of searching the Internet and making phone calls to leading stem cell researchers nationwide, Mary found little hope or information but a lot of refusals to do the transfusion. In an age when a patient can get donated blood from a stranger during surgery, no one would give this child his own cord blood! One doctor told Mary that he could give him Botox injections if Ryan’s hands got too spastic!

Mary talked with Dr. Evan Snyder who deals mostly with research using fetal and in vitro blastocyst stem cells. At the time (2005) Snyder’s research was about five years away from human clinical trials. Mary couldn’t wait that long. Upon Dr. Snyder’s advice, she arranged for a metabolic study, a chromosome work up to conclude that Ryan did indeed have mild cerebral palsy and to establish a base-line study for comparison after the infusion. Pre- and post-infusion evaluations and progress monitoring with neural behavior experts and therapists were conducted through Easter Seals Dupage County, Illinois.

Dr. Harris, head of the Cord Blood Registry bank where Ryan’s stem cells were stored, suggested Mary contact Dr. Joanne Kurtzberg, a pediatric oncologist in the Blood and Marrow Transplantation Division at Duke University, to see if she would do the infusion. Dr. Kurtzberg was willing to give the procedure a try, but she knew that, regardless of whether the treatment was successful or not, it would open the doors to a whole new dimension of the medical world, and she would be bombarded by the media and other researchers. In October 2005, just weeks prior to his third birthday, Dr. Kurtzberg introduced stem cells from Ryan’s own cord blood to his body through a 20-minute intravenous drip of stem cells in the back of his hand. This was followed by two hours of saline drip to nudge the cells through his system. The cells then instinctively knew how to find their place and begin repair and regeneration. Within a week Ryan was showing progress and continued to improve in the weeks and months afterward. Eight months after the infusion, the dexterity in Ryan’s hands and arms returned. Today the 4-year-old boy speaks clearly in coherent sentences and is at normal weight for his age group. He is testing at normal or even above average levels in motor skill tests.

Since there are so few studies on cord blood infusion, it can’t be considered a proven treatment; therefore, insurance companies typically refuse to pay for the procedure. Mary Schneider went all the way to Capitol Hill to make sure other parents could access the treatment for their own children. She volunteers her time to train parents about what to expect during the procedure and the following months. She lobbied for federal funding for all types of stem cell research, hoping to receive grant money for parents who cannot afford the infusion their children need. Making speeches with Senator Brownback, Mary was in the East Room when Bush vetoed H.R. 810. Five minutes before his announcement she had urged him not to veto the bill that would have expanded funding for blastocystic stem cell research. Then she sat in silent protest as the president vetoed the bill.

If you want to bank your child’s cord blood, you have a choice of private or public banking options. Private banks will insure (for a fee) that your child’s cord blood will be available whenever it is called for. Public banks do not charge for cord blood, but it is considered a donation to society and may be used by others who need it. Therefore, your child’s stem cells may not be available after the first year or two. Since a typical pregnancy produces more stem cells than are typically taken by private banks, some families are donating cord blood to both private and public banks. Consult your doctor to help you with this decision.


Embryonic (Blastocyst) Stem Cells

Adult stem cells contain more DNA abnormalities caused by sunlight and environmental and other toxins. Because there is a greater margin for errors when making DNA copies of adult stem cells, scientists have looked to another source of stem cells—those created in vitro (outside the body). We’ll see in a moment why the term “human embryonic stem cells” (hESC) used by the media is misleading when referring to these in vitro cultured cells.

The in vitro process is used to assist couples who have difficulty becoming pregnant through the natural method. Let’s suppose a couple goes to a lab for fertility assistance. Both partners would donate their reproductive seeds (sperm and ova). The male donates ejaculate material. The female must be heavily sedated while a needle is inserted vaginally to extract eggs from the ovary. The lab successfully fertilizes three eggs for the couple. We now have three zygotes that begin to develop into a morula, then a blastocyst.

A few days after fertilization, the blastocyst is introduced into the woman’s uterus and the other two are frozen while the couple waits to see if conception will occur. You may be wondering why the sperm and egg are not frozen separately instead of being united first. A fertilized egg has a much better chance of surviving the freezing process than an unfertilized egg.

The success rate for implantation is about 40% nationwide for women under age thirty-five. If a pregnancy is not achieved, the couple may try again at the appropriate time of the woman’s menstrual cycle using another blastocyst they have deposited. Each attempt costs approximately $10,000 to $15,000. Let’s say the couple conceives after one try and there are two blastocysts remaining in the lab. Now comes the question, “What would you like the lab to do with the leftover blastocysts?”

The couple presently has four choices:

  1. Pay to have the cells preserved for another attempt at pregnancy a few years down the road (although the shelf life of a frozen blastocyst is not eternal).
  2. Simply throw them away if they do not plan to have any more children.
  3. Let them be used for research in privately-funded labs.
  4. Give them up for surrogate adoption. A couple with a low sperm count may have the donated blastocyst implanted into their fertile womb and raise the baby as their own.

Many couples actually abandon their leftover blastocysts and leave them at the fertility clinic. In such cases the clinic has no choice but to discard the leftovers.

The field of blastocyst stem cell research is yet to be fully explored due to U.S. government restrictions and the fact that it receives very little public funding due to controversy. Many believe this type of research holds even greater promise than adult stem cells due to the plasticity of the undifferentiated cells.

Ruth R. Faden, Wagley professor of biomedical ethics at Johns Hopkins University, co-wrote an essay with John D. Gearhart, C. Michael Armstrong professor at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Together they report:

As much as we might wish it to be otherwise, no non-embryonic sources of stem cells—not stem cells from cord blood or from any “adult” sources—have been shown to have anything like the potential to lead us to viable treatments for such diseases as juvenile diabetes, Parkinson’s and spinal cord injury that stem cells derived from very early embryos do. The science here is unequivocal: Access to embryonic stem cell lines is essential to rapid progress in stem cell research.

Most scientists believe that research on these stem cells offers the most promise because these stem cells are totipotent, which means they are able to replicate themselves and become any type of cell in the body. Mouse and baboon models prove the concept of “trans-differentiation” or “plasticity” of stem cells—the ability to differentiate into multiple cell types. This is what enables stem cells to replenish themselves and repair tissues in the body. Adult stem cells do not offer the same promise because they are somatic or limited and can only develop into the type of cells found in the organ from which they are taken. Additionally, not all adult organs contain stem cells; therefore not all organs can be regenerated by using adult stem cells. Recent reports show that adult stem cells lose plasticity or shut down to avoid becoming cancerous during the aging process. The mechanisms by which older stem cells shut themselves down was better understood when a gene called ink4a was discovered. Ink4a has been found to interfere with the ability of older stem cells to transform into several different types of tissue. This explains why adult stem cells are not adequate to regenerate the parts of the body damaged by Parkinson’s or diabetes.

Science does not yet understand how individual parts form during embryogeny. For example, at a certain stage, the eye looks like a glob of skin cells, but when the tissue behind the eye comes in contact with the skin layer where the eye is going to be, there is an interaction that causes the skin cells to become an eye. We have to understand the chemical conditions, creative signals, and the precise interaction of each and every organ before we can determine why a liver becomes a liver and why a pancreas becomes a pancreas in the embryonic stages of development. There is a huge division of embryology at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that is studying this entire field because it has very important therapeutic implications. Dr. Jagasia states:

“You can’t just take a stem cell and unite it with a liver cell or kidney cell and expect it to automatically grow into a new liver. You have to study the conditions and come up with a cocktail of chemicals that are prevalent in the liver or kidney cell and make it look and act like a liver or kidney cell. That will take years and years of research to figure out. Most of the cocktails are available to make a stem cell into a nerve cell or bone marrow cell or a skin cell, but the question is, is that skin cell going to match up with the rest of the skin on the patient’s body? Is it going to form a glob or is it going to be smooth, flat skin? With precise technology, we can make a stem cell become a liver cell, but we cannot guarantee that the new liver cell will connect perfectly with the liver cell next to it. What we don’t want is a glob of liver cells because that is what we call a tumor. We want a perfectly normal organ. The making of a brain cell from a stem cell has to work in symphony with the cells around it. You can’t have a brain cell doing whatever it wants to in one part of the brain or you will have the part of the brain that controls movement, telling an arm or other part of the body to talk.

“Scientists can make frogs with three eyes by manipulating the gene so it receives a signal that cells in a certain place should become an eye. It is not the tissues or mass of cells which will become an eye; it is the interaction of the cells with the skin that will force it to become an eye. The mesoderm is the middle of the three cell layers in an embryo. The visceral organs—the liver, spleen, pancreas, intestines—as well as connective tissue, muscle, blood vessels, bone, muscle and the heart develop from this group of cells. If you look at the vascular system in its early stages, it is just one tube. Why does the tube double up and triple up to become the heart here and stay a tube elsewhere? These are fascinating questions we must be able to answer before we can do embryonic implants on humans. Since we haven’t been able to start doing human research, we don’t know what the obstacles are. We just don’t know what will happen when a manipulated cell is introduced into the human body, and we don’t have the funds for the research needed to find out. Even if stem cell research were unlimited today, it would be a couple of decades before we could reach our dream of being able to make a stem cell into a liver and insure that an organized and predictable outcome will be achieved.

“Stem cells are a fascinating group of cells. We can take a patient and blast them with marrow stem cells from a donor at age twenty and have it last a lifetime. If we have been able to perfect that technology using cord blood and bone marrow stem cells to cure cancer and other disorders, there is even more potential with embryonic stem cells that needs to be explored. The hypothesis needs to be tested and it’s very likely that if we start testing thirty things, we may get lucky in one.

“Stem cells are very robust and it’s tough to manipulate them. They don’t like to be poked on or injected and they like certain temperatures and conditions. On one hand they are finicky but on the other they are very strong. When we inject stem cells via bone marrow transplants after using chemo, the patients who survive recover to live normal lives with normal blood counts for the rest of their lives. If we have this type of success using our present technology, you have to believe that using stem cells from blastocysts or embryos would have an even greater potential to expand our ability to cure disease.

“Bone marrow transplant technology was discovered and started being used almost three decades ago. The problem with donor match and recipient rejection remains a problem today, so we are still not 100 percent successful in this technology. If we hadn’t had laboratory mice and the ability to play with stem cells thirty or forty years ago, we would not have this technology today. With embryonic stem cells, we’ve not even reached the starting block.

“If embryonic stem cell research were funded today, it would still need to be in a very controlled environment with ethical, moral, and social investigators with good oversight from protective committees involved. Since there are so many unknowns about this technology, we don’t know what to expect. We should start with larger animals. A larger animal is much more similar to a human that a rat is.”

Some people believe adult stem cells can be used in the same way as embryonic stem cells, but, as I mentioned earlier, this is not true due to the lack of plasticity of adult cells. Adult stem cells are “fixed” in what they will become and cannot develop into another type of cell. The research done on blastocyst stem cells may very well provide the solution for the shortage of organs needed for those on transplant waiting lists. And the great part is that no one has to die in the process! However, the science is still young and trials on humans have not been completed in every area.

There are still many uncertainties with blastocystic stem cell research that need to be practiced on animals before being introduced to humans. The doors for blastocystic stem cell research in the U.S. are unlocked, but the American government still has its hand on the doorknob. Without federal funds, this area of biological study will not open as quickly or as easily as the research on adult stem cells.

In no way do I suggest we abandon the research and technology for adult stem cells. Instead, the study of blastocyst stem cells should be added to the viable and advanced adult stem cell therapies, which have already proven useful in drug development and for treatment of leukemia, osteopetrosis, heart muscle restoration, and other ailments.

Posted by Nikki Leigh - Author at 7:37 PM TO view the Original content click here

Monday, December 22, 2008

Foreword by Dr. Evan Snyder

Foreword to Yvonne Perry's book Right to Recover
By Evan Snyder, M.D., PhD.

I first learned of Yvonne Perry and her work when she approached me at the suggestion of Reverend Dan Bloodworth. He and I had been in touch many times during his quest for more information about stem cell research that might help his son regain use of his body. I knew there would probably come a day when Dan would do something with all the information he had gathered, so it didn’t surprise me that he would pair with a writer who shares our passion for the research. I was surprised when Yvonne traveled from Nashville, Tennessee to La Jolla, California to visit me here at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and asked me to write the foreword for her book. I am pleased to be part of this effort to help people better understand all types of stem cell research.

Throughout the writing of RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America, Yvonne consulted with me and many other scientists and knowledgeable people to make sure she got her facts straight. I appreciate her tenacity to deliver accurate biological information. Upon reading the galley copy, I am equally impressed with her personal logic and historical account of how politics and religion have been superimposed upon the landscape of scientific research. Yvonne has already received a fair share of criticism for her stand on research on stem cells derived from blastocysts; all the more reason her book is so valuable at this point. People have been exposed to too much misinformation, and the research has endured enough setbacks in legislation due to unfounded beliefs that simply play into political agendas. I have found that when provided with correct data, the public responds in a logical manner, typically, supportive of this area of investigation.

The book you are holding speaks to the stem cell research issue, going beyond the scientific scene and putting the research into a societal context. It’s written for the layperson, who may not follow the field in detail, but wants to find out what’s happening beneath the surface. This book will teach you the facts and hit on issues the average citizen would like to know in order to make informed decisions regarding stem cell research—especially with so many states offering the opportunity to vote on legislation that affects its use. Yvonne has thoroughly covered each aspect from every angle and made a good case for why all types of stem cell research should be federally funded.

You can use this book as a resource for understanding the biology as well as the religious and political “who, what, and why”, surrounding all types of stem cell research. For example, if you want to know more about an individual or topic, you have heard on a talk show, you will more than likely find that information in this book. Do you want to know whether adult or pre-implantation stem cells are more effective? Do you need a tutorial on definitions? All this is readily found in this book.

The word “embryonic” when referring to stem cell research is unfortunate. It conjures one meaning for scientists and another thing for the lay public. The word is so imprecise that the lay public automatically thinks of “babies”. Obviously, this is very far from reality. A discussion of embryology, as Yvonne attempts, makes this clear.

Scientists and researchers are finding more uses for blastocyst stem cells than solely cell replacement (although, this is the use most prominently discussed in the media). These amazing cells can be used to reduce scarring and inflammation; they offer factors that can protect cells and stimulate growth, and can even be used to detoxify our bodies by soaking up poisons.

The science is quite young and changes from month to month. In fact, the field of stem cell research changes so rapidly that no matter how up-to-date you want to be. By the time a sentence appears on a printed page, it may be outdated. The theories we accept as truth today, will be thought ridiculous and obsolete tomorrow. However, this field of research is doing exactly what science should be doing. It’s like intellectual ping-pong match among researchers. One person throws out an idea, it carries for a little bit over the net, and then someone looks at it and bats it back and says, “No, you’re wrong.” Then, another person counters with data that supports another argument. Which side of the net the ping-pong ball is on changes from week to week? We don’t know because it is constantly changing and going back and forth. One group will say you can get stem cells from the pancreas; another group will say, “No, you did the research wrong.” Then, another group will say, “No, you did your counter-proof incorrectly,” Each adds information without necessarily establishing a winner or loser.

We can’t say that anything has been established as an absolute and irrefutable truth about stem cells, but it is safe to say that, in the body, there are cells that are very plastic. Beyond that, I’m not sure there is anything in the stem cell field that we can say has been proven with 100 percent certainty. Even so, Yvonne Perry has made a tremendous effort to offer the most up-to-date and factual information on stem cell research as possible at this time. Her presentation can be trusted to bring people to a better understanding of the field of stem cell research and the issues surrounding it.

For the lay public, this book is more accessible, comprehensive and filled with more than any other book on stem cell research presently on the market. It is with satisfaction and great honor that I endorse RIGHT TO RECOVER.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Embryonic Stem Cell Research offers Real Hope…

Watch the trailer. It is worth it. Now go watch the movie. Learn about embryonic stem cell research and the real hope that it offers to billions of suffering people worldwide.

Click here to view the trailer http://tinyurl.com/6ohgks

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Word "Embryonic" is What Has Caused all the Controversy

The word "embyronic" is what has caused all the controversy regarding blastocystic stem cell research. The research is conducted on "blastocyst" stem cells. Even though the term “human embryonic stem cell” (hESC) is widely used by the scientific community, it suggests that a tiny baby has been formed in the lab. This is not scientifically possible.

In one way, doctors and researchers are mislabeling their own product when they refer to fertilized eggs (zygotes, morulas, and blastocysts) as embryonic stem cells. The media is simply repeating this misnomer and fueling the flames of argument. Yes, the cells are within the first two-month stage of development that is covered by the term “embryonic”; however, in vitro processes have opened a door that was previously unknown.

An embryo is not automatically formed when eggs are fertilized in vitro. A blastocyst can only become an organism or embryo if it has implanted in a uterus where it receives proper nourishment to differentiate into all the cells and organs required to form a human being. IVF eggs cannot develop to the next stage and become an embryo while in the lab. To believe anything less seems to undervalue the role a woman plays in reproduction.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Morulas and Blastocysts Leftover From In Vitro Processes May Be Used As Material for Stem Cell Research


A morula is created when a sperm and egg unite. This early stage of embryonic development consists of approximately 12-32 cells in a solid ball. They are microscopic in size.

The morula is produced by cleavage, or the rapid cell division of the zygote. After reaching the 16-cell stage, the cells of the morula differentiate. The inner cells will form an inner cell mass and the cells on the outer surface will form the trophectoderm, which will later become the placenta. As this process begins, the blastomeres change their shape and tightly align themselves against each other to form a compact ball of cells.

Inside a female body, the morula travels from the fallopian tubes to the uterus around 3-4 days after fertilization, and once a fluid-filled space called the blastocoel cavity appears, the morula becomes a blastocyst. Once the blastocyst implants in the uterine lining, it can proceed to the next stage of gestation and become an embryo and then a fetus. Many blastocysts do not implant and are simply discarded with a woman’s menstrual flow.

Outside the uterus, a morula can be created by uniting a sperm and egg utilizing in vitro technology. The cells begin to divide and the morula becomes a blastocyst while in the lab. However, further development cannot occur unless the entire blastocyst is introduced into a uterus at the correct time of the menstrual cycle.

Morulas and blastocysts leftover from in vitro processes may be used as material for stem cell research.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Donating Unused Embryos to Science Gets Complicated

Chris and Tanya Bailey of Mission Viejo, Calif., have a 3-year-old and triplet toddlers, all conceived through in vitro fertilization. After the birth of the triplets, they had 13 embryos left over in cryopreservation.

The idea of discarding them made the couple uneasy.

“I thought of them as potential life, but I don’t think of them as children,” says Chris Bailey. “They are definitely more than sperm and egg.”

After much discussion, the couple decided to donate the embryos to research.

“We felt we were so lucky that research had been done and [that it] gave us the opportunity to have children,” says Tanya Bailey. “So why not give our embryos to research as well to help somebody else out?”

The decision to donate to research, says Chris Bailey, “was a logical choice.”

To read more.. http://tinyurl.com/5pbo24

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Friday, December 5, 2008

Stem Cell Therapy for Pulmonary Hypertension

For the first time, stem cell presents a hope for the Pulmonary Hypertension. Dr. Leonel Fernandez Liriano, Professor of Medicine at Pontifical Catholic University School of Medicine (PCUSM), announced nine month follow up results for the first patient treated with engineered stem cells in a clinical study of primary pulmonary hypertension. Moreover, the stem cells were taken from the patient’s own blood.

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/6d3glc.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A Boost For Stem Cell Research

A Wisconsin stem cell pioneer expects the next president to help reduce some of the problems facing federal research funding.

Stem cell research has faced tight funding restrictions under the Bush administration. Dr. James Thomson expects that to change under President-elect Barack Obama.

Thomson says, in normal economic times, he'd expect stem cell research to see a boost in funding.

To read more and to view a video click here http://tinyurl.com/6c2ups


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Monday, December 1, 2008

Obama May Fund Stem Cell Research

I connected with President-elect Obama when he was the senator of Illinois and learned that he is a proponent of all types of stem cell research. It is my hope that he not only approves funding for blastocystic stem cell research, he will also help people understand that there is no moral or ethical decision about using these leftover cells.

In one of his first moves in the White House, President-elect Barack Obama could free up federal money for studying stem cells taken from human embryos.

President Bush has limited federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, and members of Congress have tried, unsuccessfully, to override his policy. When Obama takes over in January, he will be working with a Congress controlled by Democrats, and observers are expecting a policy shift.

Read more here . . . http://tinyurl.com/5wt9lr

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