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

1.  The stem cells used in this study were MOUSE stem cells.

2.  I don't see it at all discouraging that they did not manage to create
islet cells.  They managed to grow cells that produce insulin.  Considering
this technology is relatively new, this is a huge step.  We didn't go from
automobiles to space shuttles immediately, but managed to get there

3.  There are researchers and apparently some research to show that stem
cells may have a natural defense to immune system attacks.  Even if they
don't, the auto-immune response has to be addressed in ANY cure.  Should we
not look at any cure research because there will still be the auto-immune
response?  I certainly don't think so.

I for one am NOT happy with the idea of my son living the rest of his life
with this disease and I will do everything in my power to see that this
doesn't happen.  And I am firmly convinced that there will be a cure.  Of
course, I also like the research aimed at preventing the onset of diabetes
in the first place, but there is no reason it has to be one or the other.
And most likely a treatment that would prevent the onset of diabetes would
prevent the recurrence of diabetes in any new cure developed.


----- Original Message -----
From: "Ryan Bruner" <email @ redacted>
To: <email @ redacted>
Sent: Tuesday, November 19, 2002 1:51 PM
Subject: [IP] Re: Stem cell breakthrough? Not quite!

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> 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.
> Ryan
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