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[IP] Re: Stem cell breakthrough? Not quite!

An article on msnbc.com with the title "Stem cells treat diabetes in 
mice" talks about the success of them coaxing embryonic stem cells in 
mice into producing insulin in the mice.

Sounds great, right?  But, there are many problems not mentioned in the 
article to deal with.

1. The use of embryonic stem cells.  Using such cells is 
controversial.  (I, for one, am against it whole-heartedly.) Anyhow, 
there are still other problems even if this one were NOT an issue.

2. Not beta cells.  The cells they produced were NOT beta cells, but 
cells that produced insulin LIKE beta cells.  It did not have the other 
functionality of beta cells that would be important...and insuling 
production was only 10-15% of normal.

3. Diabetes is an AUTO-IMMUNE disease.  Here is a big problem that I 
haven't seen anyone address yet.  Diabetes is an autoimmune disease 
that caused the body to kill of the beta cells in the body.  There is 
no reason to believe that introducing new beta cells into the body 
won't experience the same demise as the "original" cells we were born 
with.  The antibodies that formed that killed off the beta cells to 
begin with are typically still in the body.  Even if the beta cells 
worked at first, within time, those cells would end up being killed off 
again.  Of course, if the source of the cells is from ANOTHER person 
(embryo, in this case), perhaps the antibodies would treat the cells 
differently.  Of course, then you are dealing with taking anti-
rejection medication for the rest of your life, which introduces 
complications of its own.

I, personally, don't see such techniques as the panacea that we are led 
to believe.  Even if they work out all of the hurdles, it will take 
likely take decades to do so.  To me, it would be better to find 
preventitive solutions for diabetes so that future generations can live 
diabetes free.  Sure, our generation will have to continue living (and 
eventually die) with the disease...but the end result is much better 
than having millions GET the disease only to have to cure them.  
Imagine if there were a diabetes vaccine, much as there has been for 
smallpox, etc., which is virtually eradicated from the planet today.  

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