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.


Saturday, May 30, 2009

Donation or destruction frame dilemma

There are about 500,000 frozen blastocysts are in storage at fertility centers across the nation. Couples who don’t need the cells remaining after in-vitro fertilization can donate them to other couples, to medical research, or have them destroyed. Many do nothing, which poses a storage problem for fertility clinics. 

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stem Cell Research Book on Kindle and iPhone

Yvonne Perry's stem cell research book is now available as an e-book for Kindle Reader or iPhone www.amazon.com.

Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America is an award-winning finalist in the current events: political/social category of the National Best Books 2007 Awards. It was also an Amazon best-selling book in biomedical category.



Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Today is the Last Chance to Comment on New Stem Cell Guidelines

Today, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, is the last day allowed for public comment on the new stem cell guidelines proposed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

If you click on http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm, (before 11:00 Eastern Standard time tonight) you will come to the public comment page. It is all set up for you, easy as pie.

Why should you take the trouble to say something important like “I support the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine’s position on the new stem cell guidelines” (which would be my recommendation)--?

Three reasons:

1. The new guidelines are so cautious and conservative they would disqualify funding for almost all the embryonic stem cell lines made since 1998, when the field began. We owe the brave men and women scientists who worked in a terrifically hostile political climate—their courage, and their work, deserve to be supported now.

2. The economy of the world depends on cure research. Last year, America alone spent $2.3 trillion on medical care costs—more than all federal income taxes put together ($1.8 trillion)—and 75% of that mountain of money went to pay for chronic (incurable) illness and disability.

3. Your family deserves the best medical care science can provide.

We’re out of time, folks. Today is quite literally the last day.

Click, comment, and then share this note with your friends.

Today, please, or the opportunity is gone.

Don C. Reed, father of Roman, paralyzed, and brother of Barbara, who has cancer. For more information, go to www.stemcellbattles.com

Why is Research Not Pro-Life?

I use the term "blastocyst" whenever possible; I understand it is technically a "pre-embryo." "Embryo" falsely conjures up some kind of entity from which cells can be torn and has been very costly in getting the public to understand what we are talking about.

This unfortunate appellation has allowed opponents of ESCR to confuse it with the abortion issue. Apparently the IVF clinics don't consider it to be a person as they dispose of the extras without penalty or much fanfare. There is no big movement to shut down IVF clinics. Are those thousands of blastocysts to all be adopted, thrown away, stored forever? What should happen to them?

Why is research not pro-life?

I really believe if people could see what we are talking about, they would favor ESCR. I don't consider a blastocyst to be any more sacred than a sperm or an egg and all of them don't become people and they also contain DNA. I still see fetuses and "tiny humans" referred to on the internet by opponents when they blast ESCR. This proves that they don’t understand the science behind the research.

Rayilyn Brown
Director AZNPF
Arizona Chapter National Parkinson Foundation rbrown@aznpf.org

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bones Made From Human Skin Connective Tissue

ScienceDaily (May 1, 2009) — Cartilage, bones and the internal walls of blood vessels can be created by using common connective tissue cells from human skin. Researchers in reconstructive plastic surgery at Link√∂ping University have successfully manipulated these tissue cells to take on different shapes depending on the medium they have been cultivated in.

“This means that it will be much easier to produce autologous tissue, which is tissue created from the patient’s own body”, says Gunnar Kratz, Professor of Experimental Plastic Surgery and team leader for the research group.

The results of the group’s research are now published in three simultaneous scientific articles.

Bone, cartilage and blood vessels are important components in reconstructive surgery, where damaged tissue needs to be recreated. Minor fractures can heal spontaneously but for major bone damage and cartilage injuries there is the need to transplant tissue from other parts of the patient’s body.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/ca4orq

Friday, May 22, 2009

My Comments to the NIH for Guidelines on hESC

I encourage all my readers to take action and leave comments for guidelines regarding how the National Institute of Health (NIH) should conduct research on embryonic stem cell research. I thought it would be hard to submit, but it isn't. I typed up my suggestions and simply copied and pasted them into the form at http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm. In case you are interested in what I suggested, I'll share my comments with you. Perhaps this will give you some ideas of what to put in your response.

I want to thank President Obama for allowing the public to give input to the NIH, and I thank the NIH for receiving our comments.

Let me begin by saying that I dislike the term “embryonic” stem cell research because it gives people the idea that these undifferentiated laboratory-germinated cells have body parts and are a tiny baby. Some even think that embryos are being removed from a woman’s womb, and they equate it to abortion. Please change the terminology and help educate the public about the science involved and its potential.

1. Please do not allow minority religious organizations to sway your decision about how stem cell research is conducted. These groups have the power to influence people without having full knowledge of the science involved in using in vitro blastocysts for research. These powerful and wealthy groups are many times supportive of torture, war, and capital punishment of living, breathing human beings. Therefore, I cannot understand why they are so concerned about saving cells that are not human beings. Their vocal public opinion and organized efforts have hindered science long enough. It’s time for America and the world to see what potential lies within blastocystic stem cells. Our own family members and friends could be cured or treated with technology created as a result of a better understanding of these primordial cells.

These religious groups are able to organize letter-writing campaigns that make it seem as though the majority of folks disapprove of using IVF blastocysts for research. When preparing the manuscript for my book, Right to Recover, Winning the Political and Religious Wars Over Stem Cell Research in America, I gathered statistics from several nationwide surveys: Harris Interactive®, Newsweek, ABCNEWS/Beliefnet, Genetics and Public Policy Center (GPPC), and the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR). The results of those polls show that approximately 65 percent of American voters favor the use of hESC research. Please listen to our scientists and researchers on this issue.

2. Allow and accelerate blastocystic stem cell research to include funding for somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) also known as therapeutic cloning. This research may very well prove helpful in finding a cure for many illnesses and conditions.

3. Don’t be fooled by the non-factual information the media has presented regarding the effectiveness of hESC research. Many have said that this research will not prove useful in the future because it has not shown promise. This is not true. At an October 24, 2006, press conference, Proposition 71 advocate Don Reed (Roman Reed Spinal Cord Injury Research Act) 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 wheelchair.” Don’s story and others that give hope have not been in the forefront of the media.

These religious groups have said that adult stem cells can do the same things as blastocystic stem cells. Dr. Elias Zerhouni thinks the claim that adult stem cells are able to do all that blastocyst stem cells can do is overstated: “The presentations about adult stem cells having as much or more potential than embryonic stem cells, in my view, do not hold scientific water…I think scientists who work in adult stem cells themselves will tell you that we need to pursue as vigorously embryonic stem cells.” The Prentice list gives 58 to 100 alleged cures, treatments, or “improvements” misleadingly attributed to adult stem cells research. The source of this list is an employee of a religious right lobbying group. The truth is only nine conditions have demonstrated both safety and efficacy in all three phases of clinical trials using adult stem cells and are considered as standard therapy by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) treatments. These are: Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, Acute Myelogenous Leukemia, Aplastic Anemia, Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia, Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Myelodysplasia, Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Syndrome-X1, and Thalassemia Major.

I have personally worked with International Stem Cell Institute founder Rita Alexander, who is affiliated with a clinic in Mexico that is already using placental stem cells (derived from afterbirth) to successfully treat Parkinson’s and other conditions. Political red tape has kept treatment using these younger stem cells from being approved for use in the U.S. However, if placental and older, differentiated adult stem cells have shown this kind of hope in Mexico and Europe for over 25 years, it stands to reason that even more potential for cure lies within blastocystic stem cells that have not begun to differentiate.

The private sector has been funding blastocystic research under restrictive conditions for years, and, while we have seen tremendous progress, a lack of greater funds has definitely limited advancement toward a cure for many conditions. Scientists are still in the early stages of exploring blastocyst stem cells, so we do not know what potential lies within this scientific territory. Compare that to the medical technology we now have available using adult stem cells and you will see how much government funding helps in developing new treatments for disease. The fundamental challenge in stem cell research is not just to replace things, like in adult stem cell transplantation. Blastocyst stem cells will help us understand for the first time in the history of mankind how DNA is programmed to reprogram.

4. Allow research on stem cell lines developed from sources other than surplus blastocysts from in-vitro fertilization at fertility clinics. Since we do not yet know what may be discovered once research is in full progress, we do not want to construct barriers by stating that only surplus blastocysts can be used. SCNT may offer a new line of viable stem cells.

5. Encourage research that can be quickly transferred to those who are currently suffering. Allow human clinical trials on cases where a patient has a terminal illness and is willing to participate in experimental trials. Help Geron and other research and technology companies get their clinical trials proposals passed through FDA.

6. Allow collaboration and information sharing among NIH-funded and privately-funded researchers. This will lessen the overall costs of doing research because efforts would no longer need to be duplicated in separate labs that isolate research conducted through federal funds from research conducted through private funding.

I believe that cures for diseases could be found using blastocystic stem cell research. The only way we are going to discover the potential contained in blastocyst stem cells is to allow research to take place with more funding, fewer restrictions, and good oversight.
I appreciate your consideration of my suggestions and I look forward to a time when, as a result of blastocystic stem cell research, diseases such as Parkinson's, diabetes, and paralysis due to spinal cord trauma can be reduced or eliminated.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Editorial: California stem cell policy keeps paying dividends

One of the most compelling arguments for California's bold experiment in funding stem cell research — Proposition 71 — was that it would remove the political whims of Washington as a barrier to scientific advances.

That was obvious in 2004, when state voters overwhelmingly approved the proposition while George W. Bush was president. But it's still proving to be true with Barack Obama in the Oval Office.

Stem cell advocates rejoiced in March when Obama signed an executive order lifting Bush's restrictions, which had limited federal research to only two dozen stem cell lines. This cleared the way for federal funding for a wider range of research. In addition, the economic stimulus package included $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health, which could use some for stem cell research.

But the NIH guidelines released last week still include some limits on federal funding — probably an effort by Obama to deal with ethical concerns and move toward a more bipartisan consensus.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/c2o4h4

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Two Valley families plan journey of hope

People are going out of country to receive stem cell treatments not available in the US. This story by Barbara Anderson of The Fresno Bee shows how desperate people are to get help for their children and to treat adult illnesses.

Two families living in the San Joaquin Valley will travel to China for an umbilical-cord stem-cell therapy treatment for their children.   Read More...


Did you know you can receive proven placental stem cell treatments in Mexico that costs less money and requires less time for travel days? My friend, Rita Alexander, is the founder of International Stem Cell Institute and has seen multiple illnesses cured at the Mexico clinic. She isn't just talking the talk; she has actually received several treatments to improve rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Read her story...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Stem cell research into blindness given boost by drug company

British stem cell research into the commonest form of blindness has been given a major boost after the world's biggest drug company backed the work.

By Richard Alleyne, Science Correspondent
Last Updated: 8:48PM
BST 24 Apr 2009

Scientists at University College London teamed up with Pfizer to develop a treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that affects more than 500,000 people in Britain.

The deal will help the research team to turn its scientific discoveries into treatments for AMD, which causes loss of sight through progressive loss of cells in the retina.

The UCL group, led by Professor Pete Coffey, has already used embryonic stem cells to grow eye tissue that is destroyed in AMD and has transplanted it into animals to reverse eye damage from the disease.

Prof Coffey's team intends to begin patient trials in 2010 or 2011 and will receive funding and back up from the drug company who in turn will have the right to exploit commercially any cure.

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

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The National Institutes of Health is asking for public commentary

This post is from Rick McGirr, who suffers with Parkinson's disease. Please read what he has to say:

The National Institutes of Health is asking for public commentary on the proposed changes in guidelines for the use of stem cells in medical research. The Obama administration wants to loosen the restrictions to allow use of certain stem cells, derived from excess embryos developed by fertility clinics in support of efforts by couples to conceive, with the consent of the persons owning the embryos, and when the embryos would otherwise be discarded.

This is by no means a large change, nor a wholesale reversal of the cautious position of the previous administration. But it would open the door for researchers to be supported by federal dollars as they carry on the noble work of finding cures and better treatments for millions of people who suffer from a wide array of diseases, like Juvenile Diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, to name a few.

Surprising to some, there is much opposition to this change, a large portion of it coming from religious organizations. An example is the Catholic Church. This is the position of the US Conference of Bishops regarding the use of stem cells in medical research...

“NIH & Congress: Oppose Funding of Destructive Embryonic Stem Cell Research - Support Cures We Can All Live With!

Following President Obama's March 9 executive order, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed guidelines for federally funded embryonic stem cell research. The guidelines would - for the first time - use taxpayer funds to encourage the killing of embryonic human beings for their stem cells.

This marks a new chapter in divorcing biomedical research from its necessary ethical foundation, respect for human life at all stages.

Embryonic stem cell research treats innocent human beings as mere sources of body parts, as commodities for our use.

Even if, like the embryos targeted by the NIH policy, an embryo may be at risk of being abandoned by his or her parents in a fertility clinic, that does not give researchers or the government a right to kill that human being - much less a right to make the rest of us subsidize that destructive agenda.

Some in Congress and the Administration want an even broader policy. They want to obtain stem cells by destroying human embryos specially generated for research through in vitro fertilization (IVF) or cloning procedures - a "create to kill" policy.

Neither of these policies is ethical or promotes responsible science. They both violate the fundamental right to life.

Patients suffering from devastating illnesses deserve our compassion and our committed response - but not at the cost of innocent life. The Church supports ethical stem cell research and treatments that do no harm and respect the inherent dignity of persons - cutting-edge medical advances that are already benefiting patients with dozens of conditions in clinical trials.

It is time to focus on cures and treatments we can all live with.”

Embryonic human beings?? Body parts?? Abandoned?? Create to kill?? Respect??

These are outrageous distortions of plain facts. It is obvious that the US Conference of Catholic Bishops must not have done due diligence, know nothing of medical research, have no respect for my life nor of the millions of other afflicted persons, know nothing about the true nature of the materials being made available by President Obama’s executive order, and are doing their own parishioners a great disservice, nay, dishonor by opposing what is clearly one of the most promising areas in the search for cures and better treatments of disease.

My friends, embryos can hardly be called human beings, any more than a germinated seed can be called a flower, or squash, or seaweed. I encourage you all to research what embryos are. There is no basis in law, in ethics, in morals, in history, in medicine, in science, nor even in the bible itself to speak against the use of embryonic stem cells for legitimate purposes of helping find cures for many diseases afflicting millions.

Even the suggestion that the microscopic group of cells as it sits in a Petri dish is indeed a human being brings up a shipload of difficult questions which have never arisen before, such as when to grant citizenship and constitutional protections. Such ridiculous scenarios play out as to make one’s head hurt.

Consider the status under law of those who would potentially benefit from a cure using stem cells. If these embryos are to be considered citizens, what does that do to the status of the millions who have been born, lived as autonomous beings, and who have suffered for years with a myriad of disorders? Are they to be granted no rights? Are their rights to be held in abeyance while we take pity on these poor little Petri dishes? Am I not as worthy of consideration in the eyes of God, or the US conference of Catholic Bishops?

Further, let me point out once more that these embryos are actually being saved from being garbage. That’s right, excess embryos created at fertility clinics are routinely discarded! How could this be allowed if embryos are people? If their use in research is not allowed, then there is nothing good that can be said of their existence, and millions of people with many illnesses will be relegated to a status lower than the medical waste in the dumpsters behind fertility clinics. Is my life or yours not sanctified? I have raised children, paid taxes, voted. I’m a citizen. Do I have no rights at all? Will I not be allowed the right to seek a cure for my Parkinson’s disease? Will doctors be barred from even pursuing a most promising area of research on the grounds of wholly non-scientific dogma which has no basis in science, law, or indeed any religious text?

Rest assured that careful government oversight of the use of these controversial cell lines will continue, and researchers will have to adhere to a very narrow code of ethical use of such materials.

The deadline for public comments is May 26, 2009. See links below for the NIH draft document itself, lots more information, and instructions on how to comment online.

However ill-informed the position of those opposed to stem cell research may be, make no mistake – the opposition is organized and mobilized. Every one of us will have to make our voices heard again and again in order to thwart this threat to our rights and our very well-being.

On behalf of the afflicted, I urge you to 1) read the backward, ignorant, anti-science view of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops 2) go to the web sites below to learn more about the changes being proposed 3) most importantly, I urge you to make your opinion known to the NIH, and to the Obama administration, and to your own elected officials on every level.

I have informed the NIH of my approval of robust federal support for this and all research which could lead to the alleviation of suffering for millions of people now living with horrible diseases that you wouldn’t wish upon your worst enemy. I hope that you will do the same, and encourage your friends and family to do so as well. Thank you.

To read the draft policy:
http://stemcells.nih.gov/policy/2009draft

For more information:
http://stemcells.nih.gov/index.asp

To give your opinion on what the NIH should do regarding ESCR:
http://nihoerextra.nih.gov/stem_cells/add.htm


Friday, May 15, 2009

Stem Cell Therapy May Reverse Symptoms of MS

Findings of a preliminary study give hope to people suffering from multiple sclerosis showing that stem cells extracted from these people’s own fat improved their condition, prompting calls for further scientific research to establish the potential benefits of the procedure.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is an autoimmune disorder – one in which the body, through its immune system, launches a defensive attack against its own tissues. In the case of MS, the nerve-insulating myelin comes under assault. The degeneration of myelin affects nerves by lessening their ability to conduct signals. These problems in nerve transmission cause complications in movement, sensation, cognition, vision and other functions. MS is also known to cause muscle weakness, severe fatigue, loss of balance and coordination, and depression. The condition has no cure, as current drugs only ease symptoms. Several studies have tried to give answers to what will cure MS, but the latest one seems to offer more hope than ever.

The current research involved three patients with MS. Cells taken from these patients through a procedure called stromal vascular fraction (SVF) were specially treated in the lab and then put back as infusions into the patients’ bloodstream.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/clutx3

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scientists Find New Way to Create Stem Cells

‘Chemical’ programming avoids problems genetic manipulation poses, study findsFrom Forbes.com

April 23 (HealthDay News) — Scientists have converted adult cells into embryonic-like stem cells by using chemical programming instead of genetic manipulation.

Gene manipulation is an older method that has posed the risk of serious health problems such as cancer, the researchers explained.

The ability to make stem cells without genetically altering them could lead to the development of many new types of therapies for a wide range of diseases, including type 1 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, the team noted.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/ca96qx

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Proposition 71 Living Up to Its Promises

Don C. Reed, Founder of Roman Reed Spinal Cord Research Act of 1999, edited my book Right to Recover.  SFWeekly.com ran a story about CIRM's effectiveness to find cures or treatments using blastocystic stem cells for research.  Read the story here...


Alan Selsor poses the question as to whether or not the $3 billion granted by Proposition 71 make California a new, cutting-edge industry that could, in turn, develop such cures and treatment? 

To that, I reply, "California (particularly San Diego) is already the stem cell research capital of the world. If CIRM hadn't had to fight court battles with the opposing religious right-wingers who are trying to stop the research, perhaps they could have focused on the research and found cure/treatments by now."

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Biotech firm Mesoblast gets approval for next stage of stem-cell research

BIOTECHNOLOGY firm Mesoblast has received approval at Melbourne's Epworth hospital to start a Phase II trial of its stem-cell therapy product for fusion of the cervical spine.

Mesoblast develops treatments for orthopaedic conditions, including an adult stem-cell technology aimed at the regeneration and repair of bone and cartilage.

The trial will compare the safety and effectiveness of Mesoblast's product, NeoFuse, against a fusion procedure using a patient's own hipbone.

Mesoblast shares were four cents lower at 73 cents at 3.04pm AEST on Tuesday.

Read more here.. http://tinyurl.com/c7y5cm

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What is Diabetes? Latest stem cell research for Diabetes

Read about how stem cell research is helping diabetes: http://www.prlog.org/10223216.html.

If you have diabetes and want to learn how to prevent amputation, you will find this book helpful: Keep the Legs You Stand On! (http://tr.im/i2v7)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Submit Comments to the NIH on its Draft Guidelines

Help ensure strong federal support for blastocystic (some call it embryonic) stem cell research. Submit comments to the NIH (National Institute of Health) on its draft guidelines.

For the next 3 weeks, until May 26th, 2009, comments on the guidelines will be accepted from you, me, everybody. Read how you can help by offering your opinion.
http://stemcellbattles.wordpress.com/2009/05/02/please-contact-nih/

Friday, May 1, 2009

Brand New Interview on Stem Cell Research

I was interviewed by Jaxx on her Blog Talk Radio Show this past week, Real Talk~Real Woman.

In this interview, you may learn:

  • Why Pres. Obama's decision to reverse Bush's limitation on research changed things for the better and how this may help you and your loved ones.
  • What potential do these cells hold?
  • What is the future of stem cell research?
  • Stem cell research from a spiritual perspective.
I also shared some spiritual understanding regarding when life begins, and discussed my other books.