Top-grade stem cells seen boosting research trials

It seems the use of embryonic stem cells is likely to expand.

Scientists have made the first human embryonic stem cells of a high enough grade to use in patients and deposited them in a public stem cell bank for development in human trials by drug companies and researchers by 2014.

“This first batch of cells is the culmination of nearly 10 years of research. This is a significant milestone,” said Peter Braude, who led the King’s team.

The hope is that the cells will be grown and processed by the bank to feed cell stocks for human trials and, beyond that, patient treatments.

The UK Stem Cell bank already has more than 90 research grade stem cell lines for use in laboratory studies, but as yet has no clinical grade xeno-free lines for use in human trials.;ylt=AsA8pFOdLN1kR86fdSGun73yWed;_ylu=X3oDMTRvNXU5YzEzBGNjb2RlA2dtcHRvcDEwMDBwb29sd2lraXVwcmVzdARtaXQDTmV3cyBmb3IgeW91BHBrZwM0MmZhNjEzMy03OTQzLTMwYWQtODhlYi04ZWE4M2E2N2YyZTYEcG9zAzUEc2VjA25ld3NfZm9yX3lvdQR2ZXIDZWQ1YjE4YTAtMjAyMy0xMWUxLWJlZGYtZGU3MTgxNWI4YTYz;_ylg=X3oDMTM1ODNhYm1tBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDNTQxZGE1YTMtMDE1NS0zOGM4LWIxMGItNTNlMWEyM2E4OGU0BHBzdGNhdAN3b3JsZHxldXJvcGUEcHQDc3RvcnlwYWdlBHRlc3QD;_ylv=3

If I understand the article correctly, the clinical use of embryonic stem cells in humans has been delayed because of problems with purity.

The problem with the use of embryonic stem cells (coming from someone who is applying for a PhD in the field) is that they have to come from you. In other words, if you want a new kidney, the thought is that you take the nucleus from one of your cells, place it in an egg, let it grow for a little, and then manipulate it to form a kidney. The only problem is that the egg is usually not your own egg, so there right away is an issue with rejection (which is the whole problem that stem cells is supposed to get around). Then beyond that, you have the problem of generation time. These cells take time to grow, and even the fastest growing bacteria take 20 minutes to divide just once, so it takes a while to grow a whole organ. Finally, there are the ethical issues in that growing organs this way necessarily kills a human being.

The other option for stem cells is called induced pluripotency. With this method developed by Professor Yamanaka, you can turn one of your own cells into the pluripotent state such that it can develop into anything that you want to. With this method, there is no killing of a human being, and there is no chance of rejection since it only uses your own cells. But again, we have the problem of generation time. Also, this method is prone to forming cancers, but then again so does the use of embryonic stem cells. More time and research are needed.

It’s very sad that in a few years embryonic stems cells will be another hidden sin that the secular world will force upon people. Not only that but it’ll provide yet another hurdle to end abortion by having billion dollar pharmaceutical corporations defending their use of destroyed embryos with “The economy will collapse! Killing embryos is too big a business to fail!”

If I understand the news article correctly, the achievement described is a step away from needing human embryos as a source of embryonic stem cells. Instead, the newly established cell lines would be propagated extensively and indefinitely.

If I understand the news article correctly, the achievement described is a step away from needing human embryos as a source of embryonic stem cells. Instead, the newly established cell lines would be propagated extensively and indefinitely.

For embryonic stem cells at least one fertilized embryo had to be destroyed. This only makes it a difficult topic to stand against. The secular eye will discard that one life created and destroyed and instead look at the thousands of adults, and children they save with the stem cells.

This situation is really the biggest utilitarian question the world has to face. “Is it right to create and then destroy say 1-100 fertilized human embryos in exchange for having a limitless supply of stem cells that will be used to save tens of thousands of people from possibly hundreds of diseases and injuries?”

The Catholic Church says that is never acceptable. The secular world will only see the Church once again as a backwards anti-science organization and then go on to claim that the Church would rather have people die rather than be cured by embryonic stem cells.

Oh, to be sure, there are still moral objections to their use. I simply wanted to point out that the scenario you painted as needing abortions to provide industry with embryos isn’t likely. The cell lines exist and can meet needs simply via propagation.

But as you pointed out, that doesn’t mean those cell lines are morally in the clear.

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