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Who Needs Embryonic Stem Cells?

Cells can be “reprogrammed” to act just like embryonic stem cells, a Nature stem cell blog called The Niche reported.  This eliminates the need to use viruses or inserted DNA to induce the cells to become pluripotent.  The resulting cells are “morphologically indistinguishable” from embryonic stem cells, the article said.     The prior week, […]

Stem Cells Polarize Ethics

Adult stem cells are continuing to promise revolutionary therapies, while embryonic stem cells remain a political football even after Obama’s loosening of restrictions.  Some stories seem to suppress the word “embryonic” and just talk about “stem cells,” but there is a big difference in the ethics of one over the other.  Embryonic stem cells require […]

Elect Obama, Get Embryonic Stem Cells

President Obama is about to fulfill of his campaign promises: lifting restrictions on creating new embryonic stem cell lines (see Fox News).  The question now is, are they really needed?  They have yet to show any successes, while adult stem cells are enjoying an accelerating boom of amazing discoveries that could provide hope for some […]

Adult Stem Cells, +2; Embryonic Stem Cells, -1

Two more successes were chalked up for adult stem cell therapies recently.  Science Daily said that sufferers from Crohn’s disease may have a new treatment option by getting injections of their own bone marrow stem cells.  This “now constitutes a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease that sometimes does not successfully respond to drugs […]

Assassins Roam Our Highways

Slinking surreptitiously through our blood streams, the assassins prowl about, looking for their targets.  These are not terrorists or vigilantes.  They have a license to kill.  Be glad they are there; they have saved your life many times.  They are called natural killer cells.     PhysOrg reported on work going on at Howard Hughes […]

Obama and Stem Cells: Hope Chest or Pandora’s Box?

Any day now, as he promised, President Obama will likely lift funding restrictions on embryonic stem cell research imposed by former President Bush.  Bush had sought the council of leading scientists and ethicists before making his decision.  Obama, by contrast, will be yielding to the opinions of the scientific societies who have clamored for years […]

Immune System Has a Code, Language and Memory

“Decoding the language of memory cells” is the title of an article in Science Daily.  A researcher at the University of the School of Medicine is using the concepts of codes, language and memory to understand the way T-cells “remember” a pathogen to prevent later infections.  “We are currently figuring out which signals are important […]

Send the Brat Outside

Problem teens get dramatically cured by wilderness adventures, researchers at the University of Essex found.  Science Daily reported that young offenders came back from their hikes and sailing trips with increased self-confidence, teamwork, trust, a sense of belonging, and a desire to cooperate and take responsibility for their future.     Youths described initially as […]

Plants Heal Humans and Vice Versa

Flowers in your hospital room do actually make you heal faster.  A study by Kansas State researchers reported by PhysOrg found that more patients recovered from abdominal surgery faster with flowers in the room.  It may be due to more than the psychological benefit of enjoying their colors, fragrances and the get-well wishes behind them: […]

Who Wants Embryonic Stem Cells?

Amazing treatments continue to spring forth from adult stem cells – the stem cells with no ethical qualms attached.  With adult stem cells easy to obtain doing so much good, why would anyone want embryonic stem cells (the stem cells with ethical qualms attached), when no usable treatments have yet been found? Here are some […]

Nature Plagiarizes Behe’s Mousetrap

The prevention of genomic instability – and cancer – can be attributed to a “complex mousetrap” mechanism, said Robert M. Brosh, Jr (Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, NIH) in Nature.1  This not-so-subtle reference to Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex system described in Darwin’s Black Box even has a mousetrap illustration with the following caption: The BLM protein […]

What an Obama Presidency May Mean for Origin Science

Needless to say, the scientific institutions are thrilled that their favorite candidate won.  Editorials in both Nature and Science showed little objectivity about politics in the last few weeks.  Part of this is due to Obama’s promises to fund science heavily, including $150 billion to fight global warming with alternative energy (see Nature News).  Another […]

Nonsense and Nonscience

For an enterprise that prizes itself on objectivity and careful thought, science occasionally makes some outlandish claims.  Here are some things that slipped past the scientific method into the popular news media. As good as it gets:  Steve Jones says men have stopped evolving.  Better enjoy what you have, because it’s not going to get […]

Designed for Health

Recent science reports on physiology and health contain suggestions of intelligent design as well as challenges to evolutionary theory. “Amazingly elegant, amazingly precise and very complicated” kidneys:  Scientists studying the effects of hypertension on kidneys have found that ATP acts not only as an energy source but an extracellular messenger.  It’s involved in helping arterioles […]

Adult Stem Cells Race Ahead; Embryonics Falter

Major advances are being made with induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS), stem cells reconstituted from adult tissues, while interest in embryonic stem cells (ES) seems to be drying up.     Both Nature and Science reported advances in iPS technology last week.  Nature reported that the number of factors needed to reconstitute pluripotent stem cells […]
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