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U.S. Stem-Cell Research is Attacked in Appeals Court

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According to the Bloomberg Business Week, on Dec. 6, 2010 attorney Thomas Hungar tried to persuade a three-judge panel in Washington to stop federal funds for research on stem cells in cases where human embryos are destroyed or injured. A lower court judge had ruled that the research violated the 1966 Dickey-Wicker Amendment limiting stem-cell research. Thus that judge temporarily stopped funding, and the U.S. appealed.

Hungar said, “There’s no question they are trying to, and are, incentivizing the destruction of embryos in violation of the amendment.”

Beth Brinkman, a lawyer for the Justice Department, stated that the spending is legal because the government is not paying for the destruction of the embryos. She said that the stem-cell lines in the research were created outside of the government.

The government has maintained that without the ability to fund research on embryonic stem-cell lines, years of progress in trying to find cures for diseases and disorders will be lost, and in which case scientists will look to Singapore and China in the hopes of continuing their work.

In fiscal year 2010, the National Institute of Health (NIH) spent approximately $200 million to fund more than 200 human embryo research grants. Embryonic stem cells can grow into any of the 200 types of cells housed in the body. These cells have the potential to be used to repair cells damaged by injury or disease.
In March of 2008, President Obama opened up government funding for the study of embryonic stem cells. He did this by reversing an executive order of former President George Bush, whose order had limited research to about 20 lines of embryonic cells.

The NIH wrote new guidelines permitting research on cells derived from embryos that would otherwise be disposed of after in vitro fertilization procedures. This was in accordance with Obama’s order.

However, two doctors who are stem-cell researchers sued in August of 2009, saying that NIH guidelines breach the Dickey-Wicker strictures.

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Expert HERWriter Guide Blogger

stemcellblogger -Please tell us more about yourself. Is this your blog? Why are you interested in stem cell information? Do you have thoughts on any common misperceptions that people should know about?

December 9, 2010 - 5:45pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Pat Elliott)

As for the common misconceptions, these 2 articles should clear everything up!
# STEM CELLS 101 – short
# STEM CELLS 101 – long

March 15, 2011 - 10:43am
(reply to Pat Elliott)

Hi Pat-
That is indeed my blog. My interest in stem cells began here:
After practicing architecture from 1988-2004 I was commissioned to design an 8 story building in Bangkok, Thailand for the first commercial stem cell treatment facility in the world. In the 7 months I spent designing the building, I watched as they treated congestive heart failure patients who were stuck on transplant lists, hoping and waiting for a donor heart that might never materialize.

Hooked up to oxygen canisters, the patients were rolled in on wheelchairs with gray complexions and hung heads. Many of them returned months later on their own power with a smile on their faces and a bounce in their step. Many of these people doubled their ejection fractions (vol of blood pumped out of their hearts). Many of them went from Level 3 or 4 congestive heart failure (spending the rest of their short lives in a bed waiting for a heart transplant) down to Level one (playing tennis, making love to their spouses, chasing their grandchildren around).

This experience, coupled with a personal desire to find a treatment for diabetes (for someone very close to me) prompted me to research stem cells and I was quickly enthralled by the therapeutic benefits possible with adult stem cell treatments. These are adult stem cells found in everybody’s body, not the controversial embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cells are found in blood, dental pulp, bone marrow, mother’s milk, placenta, amniotic fluid, umbilical cords, teeth, fat, menstruation, etc.

The patients in the US have no idea that adult stem cells are treating over 100 diseases around the world for up to a decade…that there are thousands of clinical trials and peer reviewed papers from around the world proving their safety and efficacy. I wanted everyone to know that were options out in the world that were not available in the USA. I soon started writing about stem cells for some of the top stem cell doctors, scientists, patient advocacy and treatment facilities in the world and created my stem cell blog with ~1300 posts [http://repairstemcell.wordpress.com ] and ~1.5 million visits to date. I also wrote a children’s book on the subject to increase awareness [ http://bit.ly/StemCellBook4Kids ] and became involved in many, many…many patient groups around the world.

I currently spend a lot of time assisting patients with debilitating or incurable diseases in finding the best possible treatments and treatment centers for their condition, travel limitations, budget, etc. Give me a shout if you have any further questions. I'm happy to help in any way I can.

David dsgrano@gmail.com

March 14, 2011 - 11:58pm

Some additional information...
# STEM CELLS 101 – short
# STEM CELLS 101 – long

December 9, 2010 - 11:37am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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