With all the hoopla over stem cell laws, a lot of people are forgetting their usefulness. Wired
has an article that could change everything for those with macular degeneration, seniors and totally blind people.
Scientists have derived retinal cells from embryonic stem cells for the first time, in a breakthrough that could lead to the first therapeutic use of the controversial cells.
If animal studies go well, the researchers said they could begin testing the replacement cells in human eyes in as little as two years.
Wow! Could be testing in two years! Simply amazing stuff if you think about it.
... retinal cells derived from embryonic stem cells could actually give vision to those who are already blind.
"These cells actually make the cones and rods," said Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology and lead author of the paper. "We're in a position to not only maintain vision so you don't get further loss, but these cells appear to want to form entire eyeballs."
There's been a lot of outcry from people who do not understand embryonic stem cell research. Of course on the other side of the issue, people are pushing that stem cells will cleanse the world of all evils.
While there's a middle ground no one seems to be taking that course and are just focusing on one extreme or the other. Then there's the religious angle of playing God and the pro-lifer stance of killing embryos. With our current president I see even more regulation and restrictions on this form of research, he has already put limits on it.
President Bush has limited federal funding of stem cell research in the United States because the embryo is destroyed when scientists derive stem cells -- at the point when the embryo is a ball of about 100 cells approximately the size of the period at the end of this sentence. In 2001, Bush declared that no federal funds could be spent on embryonic stem cell lines developed after that date.
This is just another place where the President and I have differing opinions. In this world of overcrowding, starvation and disease what's an undeveloped fetus worth? Hell, you kill more life taking a shower than you do by taking an undeveloped cell structure and prodding it into forming life saving and life altering organs.
John Kerry says he will rescind Bush's stem cell restrictions, but I tend to feel more people will die in terrorist attacks with him in office than with all the stem cell research. Of course I don't consider it killing by using these undeveloped embryos. There's no brain, nerves or arteries in the undeveloped embryo because that is what stem cells turn into later on in the process.
Stem cells to me are like a computer without any program running. You can install a program into them and then they come to life and become what you've coded them to be. A computer when it is just sitting there has no life.