March 06, 2009

Stem Cell Research Turns My Stomach

Life begins at conception and when I read this article, I felt nauseated. We treat the unborn like trash and stem cell research using human embryos is horrendous to me. I'm sure the countless aborted babies are used for this research as well - tragic...

But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:14


Obama to reverse limits on stem cell work
Print By Associated Press Writers Ben Feller and Lauran Neergaard
March 6, 2009
source

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama is expected to sign an executive order on Monday reversing restrictions on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. The long-expected move is likely to stir up not only the promise of scientific breakthrough but also the controversy over where government crosses a moral line.

Obama will hold an event at the White House to announce the move, a senior administration official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the policy had not yet been publicly announced.

Under President George W. Bush, federal money for research on human embryonic stems cells was limited to those stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. No federal dollars could be used on research with cell lines from embryos destroyed from that point forward.

Obama's move is expected to lift that restriction. The official said the aim of the policy is restore "scientific integrity" to the process.

Embryonic stem cells are master cells that can morph into any cell of the body. Scientists hope to harness them so they can create replacement tissues to treat a variety of diseases - such as new insulin-producing cells for diabetics or new nerve connections to restore movement after spinal injury.

"I feel vindicated after eight years of struggle, and I know it's going to energize my research team," said Dr. George Daley of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and Children's Hospital of Boston, a leading stem cell researcher.

Rep. Jim Langevin, a Rhode Island Democrat who is paralyzed from the chest down from a handgun accident that occurred when he was a teenager, called the executive order an "extremely exciting development."

"Signing this executive order sends a clear signal around the world that our nation supports research based on science, not politics," Langevin said in a written statement.

Such research is controversial because embryos must be destroyed to obtain the cells; they typically are culled from fertility-clinic leftovers otherwise destined to be thrown away. Once a group of stem cells is culled, it can be kept alive and propagating in lab dishes for years.

There are different types of stem cells, and critics say the nation should pursue alternatives to embryonic ones such as adult stem cells, or those found floating in amniotic fluid or the placenta. But leading researchers consider embryonic stem cells the most flexible, and thus most promising, form — and say that science, not politics, should ultimately judge.

"Science works best and patients are served best by having all the tools at our disposal," Daley said.

Obama made it clear during the campaign he would overturn Bush's directive.

During the campaign, Obama said, "I strongly support expanding research on stem cells. I believe that the restrictions that President Bush has placed on funding of human embryonic stem cell research have handcuffed our scientists and hindered our ability to compete with other nations."

He said he would lift Bush's ban and "ensure that all research on stem cells is conducted ethically and with rigorous oversight."

"Patients and people who've been patient advocates are going to be really happy," said Amy Comstock Rick of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research.

The ruling will bring one immediate change: As of Monday, scientists who've had to meticulously keep separate their federally funded research and their privately funded stem cell work - from buying separate microscopes to even setting up labs in different buildings - won't have that expensive hurdle anymore.

Next, scientists can start applying for research grants from the National Institutes of Health. The NIH already has begun writing guidelines for what embryonic stem cell lines will qualify under Obama's ruling. Among other things, the guidelines are expected to demand that the cells were derived with proper informed consent from the woman or couple who donated the original embryo.

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PSALM 139

12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb.
14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.
15 My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.
17 How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!

PROVERBS 6

16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

PERSONAL: My Pro-Choice Decision

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