Purchase the book Right to Recover

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


This book is available by request in bookstores nationwide.

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

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Easy to Understand Booklet about Stem Cells

Here is a very easy-to-understand booklet about stem cells with an explanation of the different stages of development: morula, blastocyst, and pre-implantation embryo.

Read more... http://tinyurl.com/9vtoay

Friday, January 30, 2009

Explaining stem cells and somatic cell nuclear transfer

Amy Daly is an RN and the Executive Director of Americans for Stem Cell Therapies & Cures. She established and managed the Alliance for Stem Cell Research’s San Francisco office as Director of Patient Advocacy and Outreach. Amy produced “Spotlight on Disease” events for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine in order to educate the press and public on stem cell research topics.

She is on the move to educate audiences on the complex ideas and science behind blastocyst stem cell research.

In a speech she gave June 2007, Amy Daly described the potential of this phenomenal research:

Stem cells are found at all stages of development— embryonic, fetal and adult. So called “adult stem cells” actually appear at the fetal stage and are called this because they remain with us throughout our adult life.

In fact, adult stem cells keep us alive. We truly have stunning regenerative qualities. On a regular basis, skin cells die and drop off because they live for 3 weeks or so. Our red blood cells only live around 4 months. Our intestinal cells live for 2 days. Our bodies are constantly renewing these and other tissues by using the adult stem cells we already have. But we do have some tissue that doesn’t regenerate and so we think these tissues don’t have stem cells.

As incredible as adult stem cells are, scientists are most excited about stem cells in the embryonic stage.

When an egg is fertilized, it divides into two cells, then four, then eight and so on. 3-5 days after fertilization you have a hollow ball, called a blastocyst, which, if looked at under a microscope, might look like a lumpy soccer ball. Inside this ball is a clump of 100-200 cells. These are embryonic stem cells and they can grow into every cell we need. We know this because we all began as that lumpy ball. The ball became the structural support – the placenta – and the cells inside grew into us. So there is great potential with these cells.

There is one other potential source for embryonic stem cells – nuclear transfer. This tool is also known as “therapeutic cloning” or “SCNT – somatic cell nuclear transfer”.

With nuclear transfer, scientists take an unfertilized egg, remove the genetic material (the DNA), and replace it with the DNA from a person (using a cell from their cheek or skin.) Let’s say we take the DNA from your cheek cell and put it into the egg. With electrical stimulation and the right environment, the egg becomes a blastocyst, or lumpy soccer ball. Now when we take out the embryonic stem cells, we have a line of cells that match your DNA.

In this case, researchers could encourage those embryonic stem cells to grow into functioning heart tissue or insulin producing islet cells and could inject those cells into you. You would not have to take toxic anti-rejection medication because your body would recognize these cells as your own and wouldn’t attack them. This is powerful potential, but this isn’t around the corner. Researchers have been successful in performing nuclear transfer in all sorts of animal models, but they haven’t successfully done it with human cells yet. South Korean researchers claimed to have done so, but that turned out to be false. So researchers here and around the world continue to try to perfect this technique.

Most people think of cell replacement or regeneration like this when they think of stem cell research. But the potential of using nuclear transfer as a tool to better understand and treat diseases is extraordinary.

Researchers will have the ability to see human cells develop in a way they have never seen before. This will greatly enhance research into therapies, cures and preventative measures. They could create stem cell lines that have Alzheimer's disease or sickle cell or Multiple Sclerosis. They could study these cells as they develop and see what goes wrong and when. These cells could also be used to test therapies directly on human cells, making the jump from animal studies to human clinical trials safer, faster and cheaper.

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Tour Stop For Right To Recover

Yvonne Perry, the author of RIGHT TO RECOVER, was interview by Familyfunandfaith on Wed, 09/05/2007 as part of a blog tour for the book. Here is a re-post of that interview.

You may or may not know that one of my degrees is in biology. I have found the field fascinating since I was a kid. I still am drawn to read of discoveries and advances in biology, focusing a lot over the past few years on stem cell research.

About a month ago I was not aware of an opportunity to host a discussion here regarding a book by Yvonne Perry. The book is called Right To Recover. It addresses some issues in the field of stem cell research that I had not heard before.

Ms. Perry invited me to submit some questions that she would answer and allow me to post here for your consideration and discussion. I'm very pleased to host the book tour stop today. I invite your comments, and would like to let you know that anyone who comments today will have their name submitted for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Below are the questions I submitted along with the unedited answers provided by Ms. Perry:

Q - I have seen the trailer for your book, Right to Recover on You Tube. That makes a distinction between an embryo and a blastocyst. Will you describe the differences here?

One point I would like addressed is whether a blastocyst contains the complete genetic code that distinguishes it from all others, making it an individual.

A blastocyst, just like a skin cell or any other cell in the body, carries the DNA of its donor.
Different terms are used to describe developmental stages of reproduction. 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 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. After the first two months of development inside the womb, the term embryo is replaced by the word fetus, which applies until birth.

The in vitro process shows us that conception and fertilization are two distinct and separate events. While fertilization can occur either in a lab or inside a woman's body, conception can only take place in the womb. Conception occurs when a blastocyst becomes implanted in the lining of the uterus and begins to receive nourishment for continued development. This process takes several days and can be confirmed by testing the levels of progesterone and hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) present in the mothers blood.

Q - In the You Tube trailer for the book, and in bullet points on some of the web pages associated with the book, the claim is made that a blastocyst can be examined without damaging it. What is meant by examination in that claim? Doesn't the research and associated procedures ultimately alter or destroy the original?

In 2006, Arnold Kriegstein, MD, PhD, neural stem cell researcher and director of the UCSF Institute for Regeneration Medicine, affirmed that the removal of a single cell from a blastocyst can be done without harming the rest of the blastocyst. The claim is supported by the fact that thousands of healthy children who began as in-vitro clusters had pre-implantation genetic diagnosis performed prior to implantation. Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis is done to assure parents that a diseased gene (known to be carried by one parent) is not reproduced in their offspring.

In pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, one cell is removed from an 8- to 16-cell blastocyst for testing purposes. It is allowed to multiply/divide overnight. One of the three new cells is examined the next morning. If it is free of the diseased gene, the rest of the blastocyst is introduced to the uterus where it can begin to successfully produce a healthy embryo and subsequently, a full term baby.The remaining two cells that were cultured can then be used to create new stem cell lines by simply allowing them to continue growing. However, these new lines would not be eligible for the NIH registry for federal funding since they were created after the August 2001 cut off imposed by the Bush administration.

Dr. Ronald Green, Professor for the Study of Ethics and Human Value at Dartmouth College and Chair for the Ethic Advisory Board for Advanced Cell Technology, revealed in 2006 that a way had been found to grow new lines of stem cells from a single cell of a blastocyst. The report was confirmed in Nature journal by researchers from a biotechnology firm in Alameda, California.

Q - The book also will address the issue of In Vitro Fertilization, including the matter of the leftover embryos, or blastocysts, in recent months Snowflake Babies have come to the public’s attention. Would you here briefly address the issues of those eggs that are fertilized and viable but unused by the parents once they have successfully had IVF children?

A couple utilizing IVF procedures presently has four choices about what to do with their leftover blastocysts:

1. Pay to have the cells preserved for another attempt at pregnancy later on 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. 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.

3. Let them be used for research in privately-funded labs.

4. Give them up for surrogate adoption. Babies born to surrogate parents who adopted them as in vitro blastocysts are sometimes called ¡§snowflake¡¨ children.

However, not all leftover blastocysts are going to be adopted and birthed by surrogate mothers. Most are going to be placed into a red biohazard bag and thrown in the trash. If the owners of cells created in-vitro are not going to use them and are willing to donate them for research purposes, scientists should be allowed to use them to further the research process.

In a recent study led by researchers at Duke University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University, 60 percent of couples who have unused blastocysts on deposit at fertility clinics said they would be likely to donate them for stem cell research.

Q - What is the difference between stem cells that can be collected from umbilical cords and other tissues and those that are embryonic, or blastocystic?

Cells are located throughout our bodies, but they each have different functions. Just as your liver cannot perform the same tasks as your heart, adult stem cells, cord blood, and amniotic stem cells cannot do the same things as blastocyst stem cells. Days-old blastocyst stem cells allow a range of research on the very earliest stages of human development and are more versatile than adult stem cells or fetal cells extracted months later from amniotic fluid or from cord blood at birth. While cord blood, amniotic fluid, adult stem cells, and reprogramming of cells certainly deserve study, no credible expert supports using them as a replacement for IVF stem cells.

Additionally, sticking a needle into a pregnant woman¡¦s uterus can be dangerous. One in 100 amniocentesis results in harm to the developing fetus or mother. Therefore, this is not a safe method for obtaining stem cells, regardless of what kind of organs can be grown from them. Scientists are still trying to discover which set of stem cell characteristics will ultimately be needed to cure or treat certain diseases. Here are a few key features we know about blastocystic stem cells and multipotent progenitor or adult stem cells (ASC):

"X Blastocyst stem cells are indefinite, robust, and self-renewable. They can transform into virtually any type of cell of the body. Pluripotency disappears as differentiation occurs and development continues."X ASCs are limited in the number of cells they are able to transform into; in other words, they can only create more of the same type of cells as they already are. For that reason, adult cells are not able to do the same things as IV-B stem cells, which have the characteristics researchers believe are needed to cure some diseases."X Stem cells exist in relatively large numbers in blastocysts."X ASC or multipotent progenitor stem cells have not yet been found in all tissues of the body. In fact, they are scarce in the brain.

It is important to explore all types of stem cells. Regardless of whether the therapies come from adult stem cells, cord blood, amniotic fluid, or IV-B research, all of humanity stands to profit from stem cell treatment and technology. Any knowledge gained from blastocyst stem cells will complement studies of adult and all other types of stem cells, and vice versa.

Q - One of the concerns that I personally have with the push for use of embryonic stem cells is that the proponents make it seem as though we are near breakthroughs on cures for horrible diseases if we could just grow more stem cell lines. Would you give us realistic projections of how long and how it will be before we will be able to find out if cures would come only from stem cells taken from embryos?

Dr. Madan Jagasia, Assistant Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, tells me that 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.

Michael Shelanski is a stem cell researcher and the co-director of the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's disease and the Aging Brain at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York. He believes that while the immediate chances of repairing damage done to the brains of Alzheimers patients is slim, there may be other therapies for Alzheimers coming a lot sooner if stem cell research is allowed to expand. Blastocystic stem cell research will at least allow for studies to help identify the molecular errors that underlie Alzheimers. This discovery would help chemists create drugs to slow, or even reverse, the disease.

Dr. Hans Keirstead believes that scientists are getting closer to moving into clinical trials using blastocyst stem cell therapies on humans, and that they are close to making viable healing therapies through the untapped potential of blastocyst stem cell research. This potential will only be discovered through research, and that research will be conducted much quicker when more funds and cell lines are available.

Q - Your overall plea seems to be that the federal government should contribute to the funding of the research on blastocysts. Many do not want to be forced to participate in what they consider immoral behavior by having tax dollars spent in such a way. Would you address that here?

We live in a give-and-take world, and it requires both sacrifice and compromise to live in harmony with one another. When our country is at war, innocent people are sacrificed to protect our citizens. Regardless of the fact that many people are opposed to the war in Iraq and cry out against it, our government still sends troops overseas to wage battle in a war that cannot be won.

Even the government agrees with the philosophy of having one person sacrifice something for the good of many. Officials may elect to take your land whether you like it or not, if it can be shown that having a new highway on your property would benefit the majority of people in the area.

I pay federal taxes to support programs that do not benefit me, and I have no choice in the matter. I have to pay Social Security taxes knowing that I may never see a dime of this money when I retire. Why? Because the law requires that I pay for government programs that are for the good of the majority of citizens. Blastocystic stem cell research is for the good of the majority of citizens. Therefore, I believe the government should pay for all types of stem cell technology to be developed, not just some of them.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Stem cells have cured a rat with spinal cord injury.

I know this as fact reported by Dr. Evan Snyder. I interviewed him when writing my book Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Dr. Snyder wrote the foreword for my book.

Proposition 71 advocate Don Reed has a son named Roman who was paralyzed in a college football accident ten years ago. The Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act, “Roman’s law” has gathered more than $40 million to research geared toward the cure
of paralysis. At an October 24, 2006, press conference Don said:

On March 1, 2002, I held in my hands a laboratory rat which had been paralyzed, but which now walked again. It had been given human embryonic stem cells. I felt the tiny muscles moving—muscles which had been still and limp before—and this while my paralyzed son watched from his wheel chair.

Stem cell research of all kinds must go forward.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wisconsin team starts with skin, derives liver cells

Just after 5 p.m. doors rattle shut and feet begin to shuffle past the narrow lab where Karim Si-Tayeb sits hunched over a microscope, all but invisible to the scientists leaving the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Si-Tayeb has already worked eight hours and will work five more, eyes locked on the living cells in his care. Under the microscope, their tiny colonies resemble constellations of tightly packed stars. They carry his ambition.

"A few months ago I was working and it struck me how incredibly cool this is," he said, sliding a dish of unusual cells under the microscope, cells he had scientifically altered. "This revolution is occurring, and you are part of it."

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/8a8ozs

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, January 26, 2009

Scientists eager for stem cell policy change

Although President-elect Obama’s pledge to change federal policy on stem cell research is not likely to lead to new cures by the end of his first year — or even first term — the scientific community is eager to get moving.

Embryonic stem cell research is one area in which the change that Obama has promised on the campaign trail will provoke an immediate effect.

Read more here. http://tinyurl.com/ayu5pp

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, January 25, 2009

Recipe For Capturing Authentic Embryonic Stem Cells May Apply To Any Mammal, Study Suggests

ScienceDaily (Dec. 26, 2008) — Researchers have what they think may be a basic recipe for capturing and maintaining indefinitely the most fundamental of blastocystic stem cells from essentially any mammal, including cows, pigs and even humans. Two new studies reported in the December 26th issue of the journal Cell show that a cocktail first demonstrated to work in mice earlier this year, which includes inhibitory chemicals, also can be used to successfully isolate embryonic stem cells from rats. Authentic rat blastocyst stem cells had never before been established.

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/9u6gv4

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, January 24, 2009

Israeli scientists reverse brain birth defects using stem cells

Israeli scientists have succeeded in reversing brain birth defects in animal models, using embryonic stem cells to replace defective brain cells.

The findings could lead in the long term to a significant breakthrough in the treatment of neural and behavioral birth defects, such as learning disabilities, which are particularly difficult to treat.

Unlike neural disorders such as Parkinson's or Alzheimer's, the prenatal teratogen - the substances that cause the abnormalities - act diffusely in the fetal brain, resulting in multiple defects.

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/7wz9vv

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

Friday, January 23, 2009

Adult Stem Cells and Arthritis

Ben Herbert is using adult stem cells from body fat to treat arthritis in dogs with success in days

See the amazing video here: http://is.gd/df4N

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

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Survey on Stem Cell Research

President Barack Obama favors medical research on stem cells derived from blastocysts leftover from in vitro fertilization procedures. Scientists believe the research could yield hope for victims of diseases such as Parkinson's, spinal cord disease, and diabetes.

President Obama is exploring an executive order to overturn a ban on federal funding for stem cell research that was imposed by President George W. Bush.

Do you agree or disagree that he should revoke Bush's ban and allow federal funding for all types of stem cell research?

Vote here: http://www.squidoo.com/fundingstemcellresearch

Stem cell research provides genetic diseases insight

Stem cell research has provided an "enormous" step forward in the study of genetic diseases, scientists claim.

Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison recreated the hallmarks of a genetic disorder in a laboratory, using stem cells derived from a patient.

Outlined in the journal Nature today, the study created disease-specific cells by genetically reprogramming skin cells from a patient with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/7kcvyp

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

UW scientists report progress in stem cell research

University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists report more progress with the new type of stem cell research they pioneered 13 months ago.

A team led by neuroscientist Clive Svendsen used the new cells to create a disease in the lab dish – showing step-by-step how the disease progresses.

The adult stem cells have the same characteristics as embryonic cells – and both were pioneered by UW scientist James Thomson.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/8m6cxg

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, January 20, 2009

Meet the Reeds

Don Reed and his son, Roman, are friends of mine. I met them virtually (online) during the writing of my book Right to Recover; Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research. Don was gracious enough to edit the book for me. He and Roman are also to be commended for their work to help pass California's Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Act in 1999, which provided the first state funding for embryonic stem cell research in the nation. They also worked diligently to help secure passage of Proposition 71.

Read more about this remarkable family at http://www.fremontbulletin.com/ci_11289323

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, January 19, 2009

BALTIMORE '09: Maryland to host World Stem Cell Research Summit

LAUREL — Maryland will host the 2009 World Stem Cell Summit next September in Baltimore, Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Wednesday at the state's first stem cell research symposium.

The three-day summit, which will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, is expected to bring in 1,500 stem cell researchers, business leaders and policymakers from across the globe to discuss the future of the field.

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/6mz98g

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, January 18, 2009

"Rogue" stem cell clinics exploit hope: report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Rogue clinics around the world may be exploiting hope and ignorance by offering unproven stem cell therapies, a group of stem cell experts said in a report released on Wednesday.

The International Society for Stem Cell Research released guidelines for researchers and regulators, and a guidebook for patients, that criticized some clinics.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/6qnbd8

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, January 17, 2009

Stem Cell Treatment Reduces Inflammation and May Repair Damage of Kawasaki Syndrome and Seizures

International Stem Cell Institute (ISCI) has successfully treated patients (including children) with seizure disorders, problems with the circulatory system, and immune deficiency.

Jett Travolta, the 16-year-old son of John Travolta and Kelly Preston died on January 2. An autopsy report identified the cause of death as the result of a seizure. The public is yet to know what might have caused the seizure; however, Jett was diagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome as a toddler. Even though it was not the cause of his death, it created serious health challenges for the family.

Affecting the mucous membranes, the skin, and the lymph nodes, Kawasaki Syndrome occurs in 19 out of every 100,000 children. It is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in children in the United States. This inflammatory, autoimmune disorder can lead to inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) and major arteries in the body, and may also cause myocarditis, aneurysms, arrhythmias, and abnormal functioning of the heart due to inflammation of the heart muscles, lining, valves, or the outer membrane that surrounds the heart.

Rita Alexander, Executive Director of the International Stem Cell Institute (ISCI), believes it’s very possible that the symptoms of Kawasaki Syndrome could be substantially lessened and may even be reversed with placental stem cell treatment. She bases this belief on the positive responses of more than 2,000 patients who have sought treatment at a clinic just over the border in Mexico during the past 17 years. The clinic has used placental stem cells to treat cerebral palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, skin disorders, auto-immune conditions, liver and kidney disorders, and viruses (including Hepatitis C). Some stroke patients have regained complete function of their bodies.

At the age of 35, W. R. Haynes, began having seizures. She was referred to several facilities and was examined by numerous physicians. She spent thousands of dollars seeking answers, but none of the doctors could find a reason for the seizures. In 1991, Ms. Haynes had a stroke that left her mobility challenged and unable to conduct her normal speech pattern. She had been in this condition for approximately one and a half years when she was referred to ISCI. She received her first placental stem cell implant in Mexico. Within a few days, she noted improvement in her kidney function, and a greater level of energy. Within three weeks, her speech had returned to normal. Within five weeks, she had full use of her limbs, and she returned to her full-time job six weeks after treatment.

“I am seizure free,” says Haynes, “and have reduced my medicine intake by half. I still receive a placenta stem cell treatment every six to seven months. I am thankful to God for receiving placenta stem cell implants and I now have the quality of life that I was meant to have.” (1)

“If we step outside of our traditional medical toolbox, it is easy to see how placenta stem cell treatment could offer hope to parents of children with Kawasaki Syndrome or seizure disorder,” says Rita Alexander. “We’ve observed several cases of children and adults plagued by ongoing seizures enjoy a seizure-free life after receiving placenta stem cell therapy. It’s obvious that the Travolta family used every method available in the US to treat, manage, and monitor Jett’s condition. Our heartfelt condolences go out to John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and daughter Ella at the unimaginable loss of Jett, their son and brother.”

While ISCI has not treated a child with Kawasaki Syndrome, they have successfully treated patients (including children) with similar seizure disorders, problems with the circulatory system, and immune deficiency. Perhaps it’s a big leap, but this type of stem cell treatment may be worth considering when parents run out of conventional treatment options for their child who is suffering.

Scientists have known for many years that stem cells restore the body's health by targeting sites of injury and disease, clearing toxins from threatened tissue, and replacing dead and dying cells. In a 2004 study, Dr. Evan Snyder, a stem cell biologist at the Burnham Institute in La Jolla, California, reported that stem cells transplanted into an animal will travel to sites where an abnormality exists and stimulate the body's ability to repair itself. (2)

What many people may not be aware of is that well-documented placental stem cell implant therapy has been safely and effectively improving and restoring the health of patients in Europe for 25 years. Because they are harvested after the birth of a healthy baby, placental stem cells are not encumbered by the political and religious trappings of their embryonic counterparts.
The US has fallen behind other countries in stem cell research and it could be decades before the FDA approves and makes safe, ethical stem cell treatments available to the general public. Rita Alexander hopes to someday bring placental stem cell therapy to the US. Rita’s passion for this treatment comes from her own experience when she found her way back to a healthy life with placental stem cell implants after being brought to her knees by a very humbling illness.

About ISCI

International Stem Cell Institute was launched in April 2008 as a result of 17 years of stem cell treatment experience. The company is managed by Rita Alexander, a businesswoman with a desire to bring stem cell treatment to those who are suffering with a condition that has not responded to traditional medicine. ISCI assists with patient education, pre- and post-treatment support, travel logistics, and financial matters regarding treatment.
For more information about ISCI or to arrange a consultation or schedule an appointment, please visit http://www.iStemCelli.com.


Rita Alexander
Executive Director
International Stem Cell Institute

1. http://www.istemcelli.com/testimonials.html
2. http://www.stemcellnews.com/article_inflammation.htm

Friday, January 16, 2009

Muze's Musings Tour Stop‏

This interview was conducted by Nikki Leigh and was originally posted on her blog in 2007.

Nikki – Yvonne, it’s great to have you with us today. I was reading about your books and saw that you wrote More Than Meets the Eye: True Stories about Death, Dying and Afterlife. Can you tell us a bit about that book? Also, did any part of this book and research lead you to your current book, Right to Recover?

Yvonne – More than Meets the Eye covers many aspects of the dying and grieving process such as hospice care, post-mortem processes, assisting the passing of a loved one, suicide, and yes, the controversial topic of euthanasia. It also presents near-death experience and spirit visits from deceased loved ones and other topics people are somewhat reluctant to talk about. The book offers non-religious information and insight to assist people in finding peace about the mysterious process of transitioning back to God/Source. I included a collection of stories people shared with me, as well as a few of my own observations, opinions and experiences. There’s a legal document that may be used as a living will is included in the appendix.

I’ve always been intrigued by death. As a child it was common for my parents to take me with them to a funeral home when someone from our church died. The experience did not upset me. In fact, I actually enjoyed trying to read the cursive writing on those tiny cards tucked between the mums and roses! I can remember sitting in church and listening to the preacher talk about Heaven. If Heaven is so wonderful, I reasoned in my young mind, why are people so sad when someone dies and goes there? As a young adult, I watched my family deal with our own critically ill loved ones, and was again puzzled by their hesitancy to let them go.

I have had a few “close calls” with death, and I do not fear what is on the other side. It’s the suffering on this side that I absolutely have no use for. That is one reason I wrote RIGHT TO RECOVER; I want see an end of sickness and debilitating injuries. If stem cell research offers a cure for anything, it is worth a try.

Nikki – It seems to me that your book Right to Recover is very timely. There are many people who read the media reports and have heard about the senate debate and the president’s veto. But, many of these people probably have very little “technical” knowledge about the subject. I am fascinated with the things I’ve learned while organizing your tour. However, I’ll admit science was not my best subject in school. Could I still understand the information in your book? I guess the easy question is, can people with limited knowledge about the subject read your book and understand the details?

Yvonne – Yes, I purposely wrote the book in laymen’s’ terms so everyone can understand it. I’ve had several reviews that support the fact that the book is an easy, but very educational read.

Nikki – There seems to be a lot of “moral” debate about using stem cells. Would you share one of the common objections to stem cell research and how you would debate that objection?

Yvonne – Many people have been led to believe that blastocystic (embryonic) stem cell research destroys embryos. When they think of embryos, they think of a tiny baby. Therefore, they think a baby is being killed for research. This is not true. The research is conducted in a lab on a cluster of cells that have not begun to become anything but more cells. A fertilized egg in a lab is equal to any other type of cell. The fact that it could become a baby if implanted in a womb scares some people, who have a fearful view of a punishing God. They believe these cells are more human and therefore more sacred because of their potential. Why they may not be considering is now much better a life they could create for those who are already suffering in full human condition. The sad part is that these blastocysts leftover from in vitro fertilization are being thrown away without giving science a chance to study them.

Nikki – Do you have an objection to stem cell research after all your in depth research on the subject? If so, are you willing to share details about it with us?

Yvonne – No, I have not had any reservation from the start and since my research, I am even more convinced that we need to harness the potential these cells have. I didn’t understand cloning when I began my research, and I had some concerns about it. After my research I am very supportive of therapeutic cloning.

Nikki – It seems that one of the big problems is that people are getting a lot of misinformation about stem cell research. How do you feel we can convince people that they NEED to learn the facts?

Yvonne – That is the very reason I wrote RIGHT TO RECOVER. I’m hoping that organizations, foundations, and political figures that support stem cell research will let others know that my book is available. Hopefully, any publicity I do for the book will help people understand that they do NOT understand. Everyone who has read the book says they are much more informed afterward. Those who have heard about it, want to get hold of a copy. I’ve got a list of people waiting to purchase the book once it goes to print.

Nikki - In the writing and promotional classes I create, I often tell people they will learn and accomplish more – if they approach the information with an open mind. Would it help people to approach your book with an open mind? If so, how does will that help them?

Yvonne – Absolutely. Anytime we approach a situation or person with our opinion already set in concrete, we will not likely be changed even with logic or scientific proof.

Nikki – What sort of reactions are people in other parts of the world having to stem cell research? Do you think these reactions will hurt or help stem cell research in the United States?

Yvonne - Strangely enough, the US is the most closed-minded and causes much of the controversy worldwide. That’s because we have a president who condemns the research, and he has a great amount of influence on the political members of the United Nations. Most countries do have guidelines and governmental oversight to the research. Countries that have a relaxed religious majority are able to proceed without as much hindrance, but many of them depend upon grants and funding that come from the US.

Nikki –Are there any final comments that you would like to share with us?

Yvonne – I want to thank you again for having me as your guest. If anyone wants more information about the book or about stem cell research, you might be interested in visiting my blog http://www.right2recover.com/

Nikki - Right to Recover deals with a very important subject that we need to understand. The repercussions or the benefits for the present and the future generations, make it crucial that we get a better understanding of this topic.


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

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dealing with (minority) objections to stem cell research in a pluralistic society

Much controversy has arisen over the question of whether or not it is ethical to use human embryonic stem cells for medical research since these cell lines are usually derived from a young (usually 4-5 day old) human embryo. There is some relatively new research that suggests these cells can be extracted without harming the embryo. ...

[W]hat future do you see for the controversy surrounding stem cells- will new technologies allow scientists to bypass the ethical oppositions, or will they continue to struggle for legal support?

Do you think inaccurate information regarding stem cell research affects ethical and moral positions on stem cell research? Do you think there is a connection between read more education and attitudes about whether or not embryonic stem cell research should occur?

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/5dz8jg

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Cancer Stem Cells May Not Be the Supervillains We Thought

The controversial idea that all tumors are created by cancer stem cells received a setback Wednesday.

The theory holds that a tiny percentage of cancer cells — perhaps one in a million or one in 10,000 — are responsible for creating tumors. Like evil relatives of standard organ-forming stem cells, cancer stem cells build tumors. It's an appealing idea because it provides a new, well defined target for treatment.

But a new study casts doubt on the idea that only a few cancer cells are able to generate tumors. By tweaking the experimental design other cancer researchers had been using — the new study used a different type of mice — a highly-respected stem cell oncologist found that as many as 25 percent of melanoma cells were capable of reproducing.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/5nl26u

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, January 13, 2009

Life Technologies, Novocell Receive Stem Cell Agency Grants

A governing board for the state stem cell agency voted Dec. 10 to approve more than $19 million in funding for a new round of grants intended to accelerate stem cell research.

Two San Diego biotech companies were among six for-profits considered for the tools and technologies grant money.

Life Technologies, a maker of tools for drug discovery which recently merged with Carlsbad-based Invitrogen, and Novocell, which is using human embryonic stem cells to develop treatments for diabetes, were named grant recipients by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/555w79

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, January 12, 2009

A Preacher Speaks to the issue of Stem Cell Research

Reverend Dan Bloodworth is Yvonne Perry's guest today on the Writers in the Sky Podcast!

Yvonne met Reverend Dan Bloodworth in 2005 and immediately became intrigued by his enthusiasm regarding stem cell research. Reverend Dan and Carol Bloodworth’s All-American athlete son, Brian, suffered a spinal cord injury when he was hit by lightning in 1987. Now an adult, Brian, is in a stage 4 coma and is fed through a tube.

Reverend Bloodworth has been advocating for blastocystic (embryonic) stem cell research for more than 16 years in hopes of finding help for his son. As a result of his extensive knowledge on the topic, Dan has been appointed to the Advisory Council to Congress regarding stem cell research. Dan believes he can make the world a better place by helping others understand the facts about blastocyst stem cell research.

Rev. Bloodworth attended Rhema Bible College in order to better understand how the right wing beliefs against blastocystic stem cell research are supported. His education led him to believe that stem cell research and any subsequent therapy is a gift from God, and showed him that the logic of those who use the Bible to support their beliefs is unfounded.

Click here to listen to the 30-minute interview...

“Neither the scripture nor biological data can be used to support that a life is being taken when blastocyst stem cells are used for research,” says Dan.

When Dan travels the country and speaks about stem cell research, preachers and parishioners are astounded because they simply did not know that fertilized eggs are not human beings. “They have a mental picture of a little miniature baby swimming around in its mother’s womb,” reports Dan. “They have never been given factual or scientific information about blastocyst stem cells, and they haven’t done any research on their own. Instead, they are willing to naively believe other people who have told them that in vitro stem cell research kills babies.”

After Dan shared his findings and Biblically supportive information with Republican Leader Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, Senator Frist became a major supporter of federal funding for blastocystic stem cell research. He even spoke against President Bush’s veto of H.R. 810 in July 2006, which would have allowed research on stem cell lines previously frozen for use in fertility treatments. I’m sure you would like to know what Reverend Bloodworth shared that was so convincing. That’s exactly what he will present in our interview on September 21st.

Yvonne Perry learned a lot from Dan and included his information in her book RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. This book is now available on all online bookstores and will be available in local bookstores October first.

Dan invites people to ask him questions and make comments. You may contact him at:
Rev. Dan Bloodworth
C/O Worth The Blood Ministry
372 Hogans Branch Rd.
Goodlettsville, Tennessee 37072

or email him at DANB1966 @ aol dot com. (You will need to remove the spaces and substitute a period (.) for dot in Dan's email address. We are trying to avoid spam by posting in this manner).


You may subscribe to Writers in the Sky RSS feed or listen online at your convenience by going to http://feeds.feedburner.com/audioacrobat/ZOhd

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, January 11, 2009

Pretending and Pretensions

Few subjects have attracted as much controversy as the development of stem cell research. There are a huge number of issues surrounding it, be they political, religious ethical or medical. Although on the surface it may seem like essentially all the same issues that accompany abortion, i.e. pro lifers defending the rights of embryos, angrily declaring that they have all the rights of a normal human, the reality is far more complex.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/4lf4wj

To learn more about stem cell research, read Yvonne Perry's book, Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America. Available on Amazon.com

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Best Buy Founder Gives U $40 million

December 11, 2008

Best Buy founder Richard Schulze and his family foundation will give $40 million to University of Minnesota researchers who are intent on finding a cure for Type 1 diabetes, the university announced Thursday.

The money, the second largest gift in university history, will be paid over five years and provide about half the $20 million the university will spend annually on diabetes research. Officials said they hope it will provide the financial boost needed to defeat the disease.

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/5a5rsk

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

Friday, January 9, 2009

Scientist: Stem cells could end animal testing

LONDON, England (CNN) -- As well as their potential for creating effective therapies for debilitating diseases, embryonic stem cells could open the door to improved pharmaceutical drug testing, according to a leading British stem cell researcher.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the British Pharmacological Society in Brighton, UK, Christine Mummery described how using embryonic stem cells to create human heart cells could be a viable and scientifically exciting alternative to animal testing.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/9sg452

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

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How much do you know about blastocystic stem cell research?


…that the term “embryonic” stem cell research is a misnomer? The research is not performed on a fish-like embryo; it is conducted outside the body on a cluster of cells known as a blastocyst.

…that fertilization and conception are two separate occurrences? Many people believe they are one in the same and think that when an egg is fertilized it is automatically an embryo. With in-vitro assistance as part of the reproductive process, fertilization can occur inside or outside the body. Conception can not. An embryo is the product of conception which can only take place inside the uterus. Conception can be confirmed by testing hCG levels in the mother's blood.

…that there is a difference between an embryo and a blastocyst? The term embryo is used to refer to the first two months of development after conception. Conception cannot occur in a laboratory. Only blastocysts, eggs, sperm, zygotes and morulas exist in fertility clinics.

…that adult stem cells and those found in cord blood and amniotic fluid do not have the same properties? They can not do the same things. They have distinctively different abilities.

…that there is Biblical proof that blastocystic stem cell research is a gift from our Creator? Scriptures show that according to John 1:3, “All things are created by God and without Him nothing has been created that was created.” Stem cell technology used to create healing is part of God’s perfect plan. We have the privilege to carefully use the knowledge and abilities we are given.

…that the Bush Administration’s right-wing stance on blastocystic stem cell research is based on a minority opinion that cannot be supported by scientific fact or scripture? Those in opposition have no biological basis for believing that stem cells derived from 3- to 5-day-old fertilized eggs cultivated in a laboratory are human embryos. Learn why in this presentation about stem cell research

RIGHT TO RECOVER Winning the Political and Religious Wars over Stem Cell Research in America will give you the facts.

To purchase this book now:

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.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Stanford research sheds light on key trigger of embryonic stem cell differentiation

STANFORD, Calif. — Clusters of mouse embryonic stem cells called embryoid bodies more closely approximate true embryos in organization and structure than previously thought, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Harnessing the signals that influence the cells' fate may help researchers more accurately direct the differentiation of embryonic stem cells for use in therapy.

The researchers found that embryoid bodies have hallmarks of gastrulation - a remarkable developmental step that launches a hollow ball of cells toward becoming an organism with three distinct types of precursor cells. The scientists showed that this process is initiated by a single signaling pathway in embryoid bodies and in real embryos. Enhancing or blocking this signal affects what the cells become, the scientists found.

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/5l2fj5

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, January 6, 2009

Principles of Responsible Translational Stem Cell Research

The recent surge of interest in stem cell research has fuelled the hope for a future where today’s discoveries have been translated into patient treatments or cures. A tricky question is how do we know when that future has arrived? When has enough basic research been done to justify clinical trials in human patients and how do we know when enough trials have been done, and the benefits and risks are clear enough, that stem cell therapies can pass clinical trials and be made available to everyone?

To read more click here http://tinyurl.com/42teug

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, January 5, 2009

Novocell Partnership with Kyoto University

San Diego-based Novocell, a developer of embryonic stem cell therapies for diabetes, said today it has formed a partnership with one of the world leaders in stem cell biology, Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University.

Yamanaka dominated headlines a year ago when his team, along with James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, showed they could coax adult skin cells to have all the properties of embryonic stem cells, which have potential to morph into any cell type in the body. This was a big deal, because in theory, it could circumvent much of the ethical controversy surrounding research that destroys human embryos in order to harvest stem cells.

Read more here http://tinyurl.com/9epg6q

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, January 4, 2009

Pfizer creates 70 new jobs in stem cell facility launch

Pfizer has launched a new research unit to explore the use of stem cells. This comes at a time when many pharmaceutical companies are closing facilities and making sharp staff cuts, but follows a trend towards research into novel biological therapies.

Pfizer Regenerative Medicine will operate as one of Pfizer's new small, independent research units to develop future treatments that may prevent disability, repair failing organs and treat diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. The unit will be led by chief scientific officer Dr Ruth McKerman, who said that Pfizer believed stem cells were one of the most promising areas of scientific research.

Want to read more? Click here http://tinyurl.com/3te5mm

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, January 3, 2009

Life Technologies to Develop Human Stem Cell Models of Neurodegenerative Diseases to Advance Drug Development

...a provider of innovative life science solutions, announced it will use human embryonic stem cells to develop new models of Lou Gehrig's Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases with a grant it received this week from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), a state agency tasked with providing funding for stem cell research at California universities, private companies and research institutions.

"We are honored to have been chosen as a recipient of this grant. Selection by this esteemed committee illustrates the caliber of our research and development capabilities," said Joydeep Goswami, Vice President, Primary and Stem Cell Systems at Life Technologies. "This will increase Life Technologies' ability to provide our customers with better models for studying neurodegenerative diseases, which should eventually enable advances toward the development of improved treatment options."

Click here to read more.. http://tinyurl.com/4xd842

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

Friday, January 2, 2009

California Stem Cell Agency Funds Developing New Tools, Techniques

Stanford, California - A researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine - Helen Blau, PhD was awarded $949,608 by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine on Dec. 10 to help develop powerful new stem cell research tools and techniques.

The new CIRM grants are being disbursed under a program to foster stem cell research by improving underlying technologies and practices in the field. Stem cells have great potential to shape the future of medicine because they have the unique ability to become different types of tissue and can potentially repair or replace damaged or defective cells in the body. However, significant technical hurdles have to be overcome before the research can be widely used in clinical practice. CIRM believes that new tools and techniques developed specifically for stem cell research will facilitate more rapid progress in the field.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/3f6xhm

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


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Using Embryos to Put Fertility First

by Claudia Dreifus

As director of Stanford’s Center for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research and Education, Renee A. Reijo Pera, 49, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology, works at ground zero of the controversy over human embryonic stem cells. She uses human embryos to create new cells that will eventually be coaxed into becoming eggs and sperm. In other research, she has also identified one of the first genes associated with human infertility. The questions and answers below are edited from a two-hour conversation and a subsequent telephone interview.


A. Because in doing so, we may find the answer to disorders like Down syndrome and some neurodegenerative diseases that develop in the egg, sperm or embryo. It’s our hypothesis that if you don’t treat your DNA right in the first day or two of life, you could end up with diseases and conditions. So by learning what nature does and repeating it in a Petri dish, we hope to find out what has gone wrong — and then, eventually, how to correct it.


A. We’re about halfway there, though I’m not sure if we’ve completed the easy or hard half. In a dish, we’ve gottenstem cells to make meiotic germ cells, the cells that give rise to eggs and sperm. What we haven’t been able to do yet is to figure out which supplements should be fed to the cells to get them to become germ cells capable of making embryos. Optimistically, we are three to five years from being able to do that.


A. Because in my lab, we’re using stem cell research to look for ways to make fertility treatments safer and more rational.

Considering all the heartbreak and expense of infertility treatments, this sort of research is something I believe women have a big stake in defending.

Right now, we don’t fully know what a healthy embryo in a Petri dish looks like. Because of this, I.V.F. clinics often insert multiple embryos into women to try to increase the odds of a successful implantation. Patients frequently have multiple births or devastatingmiscarriages. Half the time, the embryos don’t make it. If we could figure out what a healthy embryo looked like and what the best media was to grow it in, we’d cut down on that.


A. First, I was stunned that a president was talking about biological science at all! After I caught my breath on that, I was grateful he didn’t order an outright ban on all research in this area.

As you may recall, his order banned federal funding for new stem cell lines, but permitted work on older colonies of stem cells, derived by embryos — “lines” — already in existence. Of those he permitted, there were supposed to be something like 60 or 70 lines, though reports are there are actually only about 20 lines one can work on. I believe there are really only 11 that grow well.

There’s been bad news and good news. Surprisingly, because scientists were limited to working with these very few lines, we’ve learned a lot about this one small group of embryonic stem cells.

We’ve learned a lot about the genetics of these lines, and we are able to make comparisons between them. This might not have happened if researchers had been using all kinds of different lines from all over the place. The bad news was that the available lines turned out to be, generally, of poor quality — many were grown in a medium that contained animal products. For studying human reproduction at the level we are, you wouldn’t want to use them. The bottom line is: Although we have improved our methods to make embryonic stem cells, we’re still limited to using these poor-quality stem cell lines, which are not valuable for learning about human embryonic development.

We hope in the future we’ll be able to study newer lines made under less restrictive conditions. I hope there will be a change in policy.


A. Our lab isn’t federally funded. We get our money from the $3 billion California stem cell initiative. We make our own stem cells from embryos donated by I.V.F. families.


A. I can’t say I do. And I’ve really searched myself about this. I grew up a deeply religious Christian — I’d go off into the woods and sing hymns. My sister is an Evangelical. I’m sure there have been moments in my life when I haven’t been a model Christian, but my work on embryonic stem cells isn’t one of them.

Think about it: we study embryos donated by couples who finished their I.V.F. treatments.

They would be destroyed anyway. Nationally, the clinics discard about 400,000 unused embryos every year — and yet few people consider I.V.F. clinics “immoral.” Stem cell researchers use about 10,000 of those about-to-be-discarded embryos. And in learning from them, we are getting information that we can get nowhere else, that will make mothers and babies healthier.

There are people who believe that we when use embryos for research at all, our society becomes hardened. I’ve searched myself on that and I don’t think I’m hardened. I can honestly say I still get goose bumps when I see embryos develop. You hope you are humble enough to take in the information and not change your course.

If there was truly a substitute that was better for understanding human development than embryo research, that is what I’d do. But there isn’t. That’s where the data is. I think that it is not good to throw human embryos away — without studying them.

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