Diary

Never refer merely to "stem cells" and always promote iPS cells

Don’t you hate those commercial break teases for Late Local News urging you to stay tuned to find out what “prominent celebrity” was arrested earlier that night?

I get the same feeling whenever I hear anyone refer to mere “stem cells” or mere “stem cell research”, realizing that no significant information has yet been conveyed.

If I hear those near meaningless phrases from a liberal Democrat, I can usually conclude that the obfuscation is intentional so as to advance the lie that conservatives and Republicans are against all such types of research. Whenever I hear those phrases from a conservative, I know I am listening to a lazy thinker that is unwittingly aiding and abetting the opposition.

Speaking of mere stem cell research (SCR) is akin to referring to the deluge that lead Noah to build an ark, as a Spring shower.

There are many kinds of SCR, but only one type kills a human embryo which could have grown up to be President of the United States had it been implanted into a woman’s womb. Several types of SCR have produced breakthroughs in the treatment of disease. Embryonic stem cell research (ESC) is not one of them, despite over two decades of research. Adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood cells have produced such breakthroughs.

Moreover, “iPS” cells (pictured above) have made ESC obsolete, as Kathleen Parker brilliantly recounts in a recent column:

The insistence on using embryonic stem cells always rested on the argument that they were pluripotent, capable of becoming any kind of cell. That superior claim no longer can be made with the spectacular discovery in 2007 of “induced pluripotent stem cells” (iPS), which was the laboratory equivalent of the airplane. Very simply, iPS cells can be produced from a skin cell by injecting genes that force it to revert to its primitive “blank slate” form with all the same pluripotent capabilities of embryonic stem cells.

Hence, continuing to gather human eggs and sperm cells; fertilize eggs and sperm cells in laboratories; and harvest embryos to obtain the same kinds of cells one can get from the skin of an adult would be like carrying one’s dirty laundry down by the river while a perfectly good Maytag sits idle.

So, why do liberals still advocate ESC? Why isn’t iPS a household word? As to the latter, its probably because the exploiters of Michael J. Fox haven’t employed him to get off the meds to make it so one day at a time.

Before address the former question, let us revisit Parker’s documentation of the issue of which types of SCR have produced actual results:

Moreover, as Obama said, the majority of Americans have reached a consensus that we should pursue this research. Polling confirms as much, but most Americans, including most journalists and politicians, aren’t fluent in stem cell research. It’s complicated. If people “know” anything, it is that embryonic stem cells can cure diseases and that all stem cells come from fertility clinic embryos that will be discarded anyway. Neither belief is entirely true.

In fact, every single one of the successes in treating patients with stem cells thus far — for spinal cord injuries and multiple sclerosis, for example — have involved adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells, not embryonic. And though federal dollars still won’t directly fund embryo destruction, federally funded researchers can obtain embryos privately created only for experimentation. Thus, taxpayers now are incentivizing a market for embryo creation and destruction.

Before September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush made his first presidential address to the nation on the issue of federal funding for ESC and agreed to allow funding for ESC lines already in existence, but not for new lines, so as not to encourage the harvesting of embryos for the purpose of eventual destruction.

Neither President Bush or the GOP ever sought to ban private ESC or SCR of any kind. The only issue was federal funding. Yet, the left, with the help of lazy conservatives, has successfully conflated the issues in the public mind even after the iPS breakthrough.

Its time to get to work. This issue is very much akin to others that the left advances. Take welfare policies that have been proven failures. In the Stimulus bill, Democrats killed welfare reform despite its spectacular success. They feel better about themselves “helping” people with checks that make a certain proportion of they future voters for Democrats.

Likewise, the left says they are for saving lives via ESC, despite the fact that only adult stem cells have led to any life saving. Results are the reason that private donors have put their money into what works, and not ESC, hence the Left’s obsession with government funding for yet another failed policy.

But we are still left with the reason why they want to drag the laundry down to the river? Could it be that their real agenda is not saving lives and curing diseases? Could it be that they see poll trends away from abortion on demand and want to fix in the public mind that the “destruction” of a human embryo is a life-saving rather than the life-ending event that sane people know that it is?

One thing I am sure of is that the vast majority of Americans drive cars rather than ride horses to get from point A to point B, and that they would be aghast to learn that liberals insist upon using embryos to obtain a product that can obtained from the peelings of a man’s sun-burned back.

So, let’s be about the business of educating the public. In the process we can refute the lie of the that social conservatives are extremists, which lie too many secular conservatives advance in the name of supposed political practicality, some due to ignorance and some country clubbers due to opportunism born of their disdain for those that Nixon and especially Reagan brought into the party and which led to actual governing majorities and that displaced them as losing tax collectors for the welfare state.

Repeat after me: iPS, iPS, iPS….

And never, ever refer to mere “stem cell” research, nor let a liberal or lazy conservative get away with it in your presence.

President Obama recently lifted the Bush ban on federal funding proclaiming that scientific decisions be made based on “facts, not ideology.”

Obama wouldn’t know a fact if it hit him in the back while not bowing to Muslim potentates or bowing to the his far left ideological allies.

Mike DeVine’s Charlotte Observer, Examiner.com and Minority Report columns

“One man with courage makes a majority.” – Andrew Jackson

Originally published at Examiner.com where additional links for supporting information may be accessed.