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What Are Stem Cells


What Can Stem Cells Be Used For? ... You can harvest adult stem cells from the individual to be treated. ... the 'ultimate adult stem cell' was announced 1/23 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: What Are Stem Cells

(No Transcript)
What Are Stem Cells?
  • Stem cells are specialized cells that can produce
    several different kinds of cells
  • Just like the stem of a plant will produce
    branches, leaves, and flowers, so stem cells can
    usually produce many different kinds of cells.

What Are Adult Stem Cells?
  • Over one trillion cells in your body. Most will
    only divide a few times.
  • Specialized stem cells continually produce new
    cells in certain tissues.
  • There are skin, bone marrow, liver, muscle, etc.
    stem cells.
  • These are adult stem cells.
  • No ethical difficulties

What Are Embryonic Stem Cells?
  • Blastocyst Inner Cell Mass
  • The Inner Cell Mass eventually forms all the
    cells of the body. These are embryonic stem cells
  • In order to retrieve them, the embryo is
  • Human ESC have been obtained from leftover
    embryos from fertility clinics potential immune
  • Many researchers attempt to refer to these as
    simply reproductive cells.

What Can Stem Cells Be Used For?
  • It is hoped that stem cells can be used to treat
    and even cure diseases like diabetes,
    Parkinsons, Alzheimer's, and brain and spinal
  • Embryonic stem cells offer the most hope since we
    know they can become any cell in the body.

The Promise of Adult Stem Cells
  • You can harvest adult stem cells from the
    individual to be treated. Therefore, there are no
    rejection problems.
  • Adult stem cells can switch tissues.
  • Adult stem cells migrate throughout the body in
    the blood.
  • The discovery of the ultimate adult stem cell
    was announced 1/23/02

The Promise of Adult Stem Cells
  • Last year the National Institutes of Health spent
    190 million on adult stem cell research and 25
    million on embryonic stem cell research
  • Clinical trials are already underway using bone
    marrow (adult) stem cells for treatment of heart
    attacks, liver disease, diabetes, bone and
    cartilage disease and brain disorders.
  • Adult stem cells can even be injected
    intravenously in large quantities and they will
    migrate to where the injury is located.

The Problem with Embryonic Stem Cells
  • The embryo must be destroyed.
  • The proper chemical signals to direct stem cells
    to turn into the cells you want are unknown.
  • Human ESC have been coaxed to differentiate but .
    . .
  • Immune rejection
  • In China a man with Parkinson's was treated with
    human ES cells which turned into a tumor
    (teratoma) in his brain that killed him.
  • The power of ESCs is also the source of their

The Ethical Dilemma
  • Embryonic Stem Cells (ESC) possess uncertain
  • The use of ESC requires the death of the embryo.
  • All therapies with any kind of stem cell are
    experimental and may not work.
  • Too much is being promised.
  • Coverage in the media has been biased and

The Humanity of the Unborn
  • The Argument from Biology
  • It is a human life at conception
  • The fertilized egg contains 46 chromosomes in a
    new and unique configuration.
  • Fertilization begins a directional process.
  • Separate from the mother, genetically distinct

The Humanity of the Unborn
  • Argument from Scripture
  • Thou shalt not murder. (Exo. 2013)
  • Hebrew and Greek do not distinguish between
    pre-born and born children
  • Gods intimate involvement in the development and
    life of the pre-born infant (Ps. 139 13-16)

Humanity of the Unborn
  • Psalm 13913-16
  • Isaiah 491
  • Psalm 515
  • Jeremiah 15
  • Luke 139-44

The Humanity of the Unborn
  • For You created my inmost being You knit me
    together in
  • my mothers womb. I praise You because I am
  • and wonderfully made Your works are wonderful, I
  • that full well. My frame was not hidden from You
    when I
  • was made in the secret place. When I was woven
  • together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes
    saw my
  • unformed body. All the days ordained for me were
  • in Your book before one of them came to be.

Psalm 13913-16
The Humanity of the Unborn
  • The Lord called me from the womb
  • from the body of my mother He named me.

Isaiah 491
The Humanity of the Unborn
  • Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the
    time my mother
  • conceived me. Psalm 515
  • Male seed combines with female seed to produce a

The Humanity of the Unborn
  • Now the word of the Lord came to me saying,
  • Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and
  • before you were born I consecrated you I have
  • appointed you a prophet to the nations.

Jeremiah 14-5
The Humanity of the Unborn
  • At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town
    in the hill country of Judea, where she entered
    Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When
    Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped
    in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the
    Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed
    "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the
    child you will bear! But why am I so favored,
    that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As
    soon as the sound of your greeting reached my
    ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

Luke 139-44
Saving Lives!
  • Clinical trials are already testing the treatment
    of Parkinsons using gene therapy and adult stem
  • Alzheimers is likely not treatable by stem
  • When we think about saving lives we must count
    the cost.
  • Is relieving the symptoms of disease worth the
    cost of the lives of the weakest and most
    defenseless members of society?
  • whatever you did for one of the least of these
    brothers of mine, you did for me.'

President Bush
  • Embryonic stem cell research is legal.
  • Federal funding of ESC was limited in August 2001
    to ESC already created.
  • Congress has prohibited federal funding of
    research harmful to the embryo since the Clinton
  • Adult stem cell research is being fully funded.

Senator Kerry
  • Wants full federal funding for ESC research.
  • Makes no public distinction between ESC and adult
    stem cell research.
  • Never warns that clinical trials are 10-15 years

The Problem with Therapeutic Cloning
  • In order to avoid the immune rejection problem
    with ESC, many want to clone the affected
    individual and use the ESC from their clone
  • Treats the human embryo as a thing, a clump of
    cells before 14 days and beyond according to the
    new law in New Jersey.
  • The basis of this ethic is strictly the end
    justifies the means.
  • Even the term therapeutic is problematic. The
    subject is destroyed.
  • Supposedly more ethical than reproductive
    cloning, the aim of which is at least to produce

The Future?
  • If we allow federal funding of ESC research, we
    have stated that our government supports research
    at any cost to human life deemed less than worthy
    as long as we can think of a good reason.
  • We would therefore endorse the view that the end
    justifies the means.

Politics ofStem Cells
Stem Cells Potential Politics
  • Potential of stem cells
  • Politics of stem cells

Stem Cell Research Options
  • Prohibit ES cell research.
  • Close off all federal funding.
  • Funding of existing lines.
  • Funding creation of ES cells.
  • Full federal funding of research.

Stem Cell Research
  • Adult stem cell research seems most promising (74
    clinical successes).
  • Embryonic stem cell research has been a failure
    (China man with Parkinsons developed grotesque
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