Texas Governor Rick Perry Announces Expansion of Adult Stem Research

Dwayne Horner
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Posted: Feb 12, 2009 4:45 PM
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Much debate has existed between the use of Embryonic Stem Cell Research versus Adult Stem Cell Research. An early issue in the pre-9/11 days of George W. Bush's presidency was the funding of ESCR and outrageous claims that he didn't care about helping those stricken with a variety of diseases.

Today, Texas Governor Rick Perry announced Texas will invest $5 million to expand and recruit researchers to the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) College of Medicine’s Institute of Regenerative Medicine at Scott and White. Not for embryonic but adult stem research.

Why, two reasons: embryonic stem cell research has proven to be flawed and Perry is an ardent supporter of life.
From Governor Perry's Press Release: “Commercialization of adult stem cell research will provide much-needed solutions for Texans suffering from various tissue and organ disorders while protecting the unborn from exploitation,” Gov. Perry said. “This investment will promote innovation and commercialization in this evolving biotechnology sector and attract top researchers and outside investment to the Institute of Regenerative Medicine.”
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Going back to the fall of 2001, there was a lot of debate on the subject of federal funding of ESCR.  President Bush, after much time and research, decided to allow the federal funding of ESCR only in a very limited way: existing lines harvested prior to his decision would be eligible for tax-dollar funding.

As a sufferer of Diabetes, a cure would certainly mean a lot to me. However, I am not going to put myself ahead of my convictions on life, which is why I am against embryonic stem cell research from a moral standpoint. Bradley Mattes, Executive Director of the Life Issues Institute, wrote:
"The San Francisco Chronicle reported that doubters are coming out of the woodwork.  Paul Billings, who studied stem cells' effects and co-founded a stem cell bank, said that hopes for major new medical treatments based on embryonic stem cells are "very remote".  "The problems are so complex that we're not likely to be able to tackle them with the stem cell gambit in the foreseeable future."

it is also important to understand that science also dictates the choice of adult stem cell research as the route to go. We are now learning problems associated with embryonic stem cell research:

A devastating result occurred at Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

In some of the patients, the implanted embryonic cells apparently grew too well, churning out so much of a chemical that controls movement that they writhed and jerked uncontrollably.  Dr. Paul E. Greene called the uncontrollable movements developed by some patients as "absolutely devastating."  He said, "They chew constantly, their fingers go up and down, their writs flex and distend.  It's a real nightmare.  And we can't selectively turn it off.  No more fetal transplants.  We are absolutely and adamantly convinced that this should be considered for research only."
With known problems with ESCR, it's only wise to look to adult stem cell research and its results. Forbes :
  • Researchers at Harvard Medical School say adult stem cells may eliminate the need for embryonic ones.  The researchers experienced a permanent reversal of Type 1 diabetes in mice by killing the cells responsible for the diabetes.  The animals' adult stem cells took over and regenerated missing cells needed to produce insulin and eliminate the disease.  The results hold promise for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus and more than 50 other ailments.
  • Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago extracted the adult stem cells from the blood of two Crohn's patients and successfully used them to rebuild their faulty immune systems.
  • New research in the UK on rats indicates that transplants of adult stem cells can help stroke victims regain movement, senses and understanding.  They also show that the adult cells were more effective than cells from aborted babies.
  • The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York came to similar conclusions.
  • Researchers at the University of South Florida in Tampa have found that adult stem cells from the umbilical cord blood may be able to help repair damaged brain tissue after a stroke.
  • Scientists at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ have found that bone marrow cells may be converted into replacement nerve cells, able to treat brain and nerve injuries.  Dr. Ira Black and his team were able to convert 80% of the bone marrow cells into nerve cells.
As you can see, the moral route and scientific route points to adult stem cell research. Thanks to Governor Perry for recognizing this and his efforts to increase the research that delivers results.