nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Media: Adult Stem Cell Research Far Ahead Of Embryonic

Well, duh...embryonic stem cell research was restricted for 10 years.

Many authors, myself included, have made the case that we were doing just fine without much embryonic stem cell research.  I've modified my position--just a bit--based on a recent study that said adult stem cells retain the ability to revert to their adult tissue type (skin, liver,etc).  See my post here.  But I commented at the time that this may be a minor inconvenience rather than a big stumbling block to using adult stem cells.

For those of you who haven't been paying attention much to stem cell ethics, there has been a real reluctance by some to sanction the use of human embryonic tissue for research.  There are ethical arguments on both sides of the issue, and I won't adjudicate them.  My position was that if adult stem cells are doing a great job, why bother with the moral and political polarization that accompanies embryonic cell use?

So,  I'm not surprised that looking back, when researchers were forced to develop techniques to harvest and produce adult stem cells, they did so with a vengence.  There have been several news articles in the last few days documenting that adult stem cell treatment modalities have exploded.

And after 10 years, they certainly should be in a dominant position as far as stem cell therapies are concerned.

But, give the newly unleashed (to some extent) scientists who would prefer embryonic cells a few years and let's see what happens.

However, there have been a rash of stem cell con artists that prey on the vulnerable who have incurable problems.  Always consult your physician.

If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.

Doc D

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