When Obama ends federal embryological
stem cell research blocks 
Video
(Top Posts - Science - 012209 to 012309)


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Some Scientists Weigh In On Stem Cell Funding
  http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/18534511/detail.html
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Excerpts:

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"Which patient population will actually be the first
to benefit? I tell people it's actually cancer patients."

...

Technicians ... have found that cancers themselves
are actually maintained by a stem cell population.
So, they are working on ways to kill the cancer stem
cells without harming normal stem cells.

... the cancerous stem cells in the tumor represent less
than one percent of the total mass of the tumor. "Many
of the traditional therapies that we use to treat cancer,
treat the bulk of the cancer, but not the stem cell."

...

Targeting the cancerous stem cells is the key according
to scientists. "Which would lead us to generate more
efficient and safer treatment for cancer patients."

...

"It's very well documented that for every dollar that
the federal government invests in basic biomedical
research, there is a return of ten dollars."

...

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January 14, 2009

White House stem cell shift expected
  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7828800.stm
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Excerpts:

A major shift in White House policy on stem cell research
is expected when Barack Obama takes office.

The president-elect has been a strong supporter of embry-
onic stem cell research.

He is widely expected to lift restrictions imposed by Presi-
dent Bush in August 2001. In his inaugural speech, Presi-
dent Obama indicated he would restore science to what he
calls its rightful place.

Geron and Embryonic Stem Cell Research
January 14, 2009



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Geron, a biotech company based in "silicon valley" south of
San Francisco, is set to take embryonic stem cells into the
clinic.

[insert -- Note that California, independent of federal fund-
ing, has been working on embryological stem cell research
for years, while federal funding has been handicapped by
Bush restrictions. -- end insert]

...

Twenty or thirty years from now, hopefully I'll be full of
embryonic stem cell products that will keep me healthy into
my 90s and beyond.

"The impact of eight years under the previous administration
for stem cell research has really been devastating."

...

Geron wants to inject embryonic stem cells direct into the
spine of newly paralysed patients.

...

Geron's next application will be for a stem cell treatment for
heart failure. It's also working on treatments for diabetes, liver
disease, bone and cartilage repair.

...

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Michael J. Fox hopeful on Obama's
commitment to stem cell research
  http://tinyurl.com/MichaelJFoxObamaStemCells001
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Excerpt:

...

Fox, afflicted with Parkinson's Disease, expects a very produc-
tive "four-to-eight years", saying Obama "is a fan of science
and intellectual curiosity" and is committed to moving for-
ward with research.

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January 23, 2009

First Embryonic Stem-Cell Trial Gets
Approval From the FDA
  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123268485825709415.html
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Excerpts:

...

Geron Corp., a Menlo Park, Calif., biotechnology
company, is expected to announce Friday that it
received a green light from the agency to mount
a study of its stem-cell treatment for spinal cord
injuries in up to 10 patients.

The announcement caps more than a decade of
advances in the company's labs and comes on the
cusp of a widely expected shift in U.S. policy
toward support of embryonic stem-cell research
after years of official opposition.

...

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Graphic Displaying some of what
Geron is Working On Involving
Embryonic Stem Cells
  http://tinyurl.com/GeronEmbryonicStemCellBodyShop

Highlights:

Neural: Spinal cord and other
   degenerative nervous system
   diseases.

Cardiac Muscle: Heart failure,
   heart attack.

Osteoblast (bone): Osteoporosis,
   bone fractures.

Islet (pancreas): Diabetes.

Hepatocyte (liver): Liver failure.

Cartilage: Arthritis.
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...

Embryonic stem cells are the building-block cells
that help drive prenatal development. Geron has
developed banks of embryonic stem cells and
found a way to coax them into differentiating as
they do in nature into progenitors of specific cells
that make spinal-cord tissue, heart muscle, carti-
lage and other organs and tissues.

Spinal-cord injury is one of medicine's most debil-
itating conditions, typically causing paralysis and
other issues for which there are few, if any, effec-
tive treatments. The Geron study will enroll para-
lyzed patients who can be treated within 14 days
of their injury.

...

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January 23, 2009

California poised to be leader in stem cell
research
  http://tinyurl.com/CaliforniaStemCellResearch001
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Excerpts:

With President Barack Obama expected to lift
federal restrictions on human embryonic stem
cell research, California's taxpayer-funded in-
vestment has allowed it to build the infrastruc-
ture that puts it ahead of every other state.

The California Institute for Regenerative Medi-
cine, created and funded by the passage of Pro-
position 71 in 2004, has invested $625 million
in stem cell research, aimed primarily at basic
science and laboratory construction.

That investment, and the promise of a $3 billion
funding stream over 10 years, has given univer-
sities and research institutes the confidence to
create new stem cell programs.

And it has attracted scientists and biotechnology
companies to relocate here.

...

Such progress may put California at an advantage
for federal funding when restrictions are lifted and
scientists around the country join a long line to
apply for a limited amount of money.

Robert Klein, the stem cell institute's chairman,
and scientists around the state say they're optimistic
about the changes that will occur when Obama fol-
lows through on his pledge to work with Congress
and lighten funding restrictions that President
George W. Bush placed on human embryonic stem
cell research in August 2001.

"The federal restrictions created artificial barriers
and walls to research based on moral and religious
beliefs, and not scientific merit," said David Gollaher,
president of the California Healthcare Institute.

...

It remains to be seen whether Obama will issue his
own executive order that rescinds Bush's, or whe-
ther he will wait for Congress to pass a bill that
would create clear funding pathways for the research
as well as outline rules for how that research should
proceed.

...

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January 23, 2009

Green light for US stem cell work
  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7847450.stm
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Excerpt:

US regulators have cleared the way for the world's first
study on human embryonic stem cell therapy.

The move comes three days after the inauguration of
President Barack Obama who has been a strong supporter
of embryonic stem cell research.

Since 2001 there have been limits [insert -- severe
handicaps slowing embryonic stem cell research and
stemming investment in said field in the US -- end
insert] on federal funding for stem cells.

Geron Corp, the biotech company behind the research,
plans to initiate a clinical trial in patients paralysed due
to spinal cord injury.

The BBC predicted last week that the White House would
reverse the restrictions placed on stem cell research once
President Obama took office.

The US Food and Drug Administration gave the go ahead
for the research on Friday.

...

"What stem cells promise for a heart attack or spinal cord
injury or diabetes is that you go to the hospital, you receive
these cells and you go home with a repaired organ, that has
been repaired by new heart cells or new new nerve cells or
new islet cells that have been made from embryonic stem
cells."

...

Professor Chris Mason, an expert in regenerative medicine
at University College London, described the FDA decision
as "historic" and a "pivotal milestone in the development of
embryonic stem cell therapies.

...

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