Embryonic cells and possible deafness cure

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7974795.stm

Friends, I need some help, and some support and prayers won’t hurt either on this one…

The article touts a possible cure to deafness via embryonic stem cells. Can some folks with expertise in the stem cell debate take a look at this article and comment? The article doesn’t address adult stem cells and I would like to know if there is any reason adult cells couldn’t be used similarly here - or if the promise of embryonic cells claimed here is not realistic.

I feel using embryonic stem cells is gravely wrong and even though I have a 7 year old daughter with inherited hearing loss, I must and will stay true to my moral principles. Rather than just debate the issue, I will now have to live it firsthand and my daughter will pay the consequences. Any information that makes the issue easier to explain and defend will certainly help. Thanks!

-Larry

There is one very misleading sentence in that article:

“Embryonic stem cells could change this because they have the unique ability to become any kind of human cell”

It should read:
“Pluripotent stem cells could change this because they have the unique ability to become any kind of human cell”

Embrionic stem cells are pluripotent cells, however they are the least effective of the pluripotent cells. Since the embryos are killed in extracting the stem cells, they can only be used on people other than where the cells came from in the first place. These cells would force the person receiving them to take anti-rejection meds for the rest of their life.

On the other hand, Scientists have found out how to convert certain adult stem cells from the person who needs them into pluripotent cells. They can then become whatever type of cell is needed and the recipient wouldn’t need to take meds because the cells have the same DNA.

So, any cure found from embryonic stem cell research would end up being worse than the same cure found through adult stem cell research, even if you remove the morality of killing the embryos from the equation.

Wow, that’s amazing. I was not aware of the rejection issues. I will assumeand hope I can find some links with this information - so I will certainly be researching. Thanks!!!

One of our posters on this forum has a site that links to various adult stem cell treatments that are going on now, and are in the works…go to this link:
repairstemcells.org

Thanks for the link, llroy, and to whomever has a role in providing the site. You have helped more than you know.

God Bless,
Larry

Here’s a show from Catholic Answers Live: Bioethics for the Rest of Us

http://www.catholic.com/radio/event.php?calendar=1&category=0&event=5581&date=2009-03-09

Check out the CAL calendar they have a lot of good shows on this subject from a Catholic perspective.

I would be very wary of any cure claimed to be developed from embryonic stem cells. So far, I have only heard lip service to all the wonders it will do, and in the meantime, adult stem cell research is adding hope and possibilities for all kinds of human miseries every week.

You’re so right!:thumbsup:

iPS cells are the future… ESC are not.

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