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   WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama signed an order Monday that allows federal taxpayer dollars to fund expanded embryonic stem cell research, reversing one of his predecessor's policies viewed by many as blocking development of potentially life-saving medical treatment.

   The executive order undoes former President George W. Bush's directive that was based on his determination that using embryos to create additional stem cell lines was morally wrong and, therefore, research on those lines should not be funded by the government.

Obama, however, said he was ending what he believed was "a false choice between sound science and moral values."...

   Bush had limited the use of taxpayer money to research using 21 stem cell lines that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. While the Obama order reverses that, it does not address an earlier legislative ban ’ that remains in place — precluding any federal money to researchers who develop stem cell lines by destroying embryos....READ MORE

I happen to support the use of the embryonic stem cell research; but nobody explains what would happen if they suddenly found a cure for cancer or diabetes using these embryonic stem cell lines.  Will they simply ignore their findings?  Doesn't this discovery of a cure mean that millions of patients will begin demanding their 'stem cell' cure for their cancer or diabetes?

Will they be able to clone the embryonic stem cell that was used for the cure 'discovery' and just keep using it?  

I'll admit my ignorance, I really don't know the answer to this, do you?  Will they have to allow other embryonic stem cells to be produced to take care of all the sick people?  How will this be handled?

When Pres. Bush announced that he'd allow only the use of existing stem cells I asked the same questions.  What would he have done if that cure had been found during his administration?  Ignore it, or release even more?

Originally posted to cscmm on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 10:50 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the lines degrade (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cedwyn

    I am no expert, but I do know that a line cannot be cloned indefinitely, it degrades. But if a cure for a serious disease depended on stem cell supplies, I am fairly certain the resistance would collapse pretty quickly and we would be producing stem cells in industrial quantities. There's nothing preventing that now, private companies could churn them out all day long, but the pharmaceuticals don't see big bucks in it yet.

    Law is a light which in different countries attracts to it different species of blind insects. Nietzsche

    by Marcion on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 10:55:16 AM PDT

  •  Read "Legislative ban" (0+ / 0-)

    That means it's a law that was passed by Congress.

    The President can not overturn a law.

    We need to contact our Congressional representatives and ask them to introduce a bill that overturns the existing ban.

    "I'm stuck with a valuable friend. I'm happy hope you're happy too." - D. Bowie - on the housing crisis.

    by mungley on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 11:00:21 AM PDT

  •  I don't have the answers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley

    to your questions, cscmm.  I will be watching the comments to see if any reasonable suggestions/answers are posed.

    I like to envision that BigPharma would be head-explodingly outraged and whine about profit loss so loud that the heavens would shake.  Many of us waiting for what you suggest could/may happen, I suspect, would have a hearty laugh about this.  (Unfortunately their lobby is so appalling huge, I also envision a bailout would probably occur within a 24 hour period.)  

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 11:00:55 AM PDT

  •  I don't get this diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley

    What happened when they found a vaccine for polio? Measles?

    And saying "what if they find a cure for cancer" is simplifying something in a way that hurts the asking of the question.

    •  As I read it again, I get more confused. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mungley

      What would he have done if that cure had been found during his administration?  Ignore it, or release even more?

      These questions come from your own confusion. What the hell is "that cure"? And "release" what?

      •  I ask this because of where the cure COMES (0+ / 0-)

        from - Embryonic Stem cells.  Will we clone them, or make new ones?  I thought this was taboo!

        Coonsey's World http://coonsey.wordpress.com/

        by cscmm on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 11:34:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You don't understand the subject. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mungley

          You should read up on it and get back to us.

          And again, what the hell is "the cure"?

        •  You are barking up the wrong stem cell line. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Little

          The President's order has nothing to do with creating new lines.

          Your "What next?" question has absolutely nothing to do with President' Obama's executive order today.

          "I'm stuck with a valuable friend. I'm happy hope you're happy too." - D. Bowie - on the housing crisis.

          by mungley on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 12:19:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is about new lines, or at least newer lines (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mungley

            Bush limited the use of taxpayer money to only the 21 stem cell lines that had been produced before his decision. He argued he was defending human life because days-old embryos although typically from fertility clinics and already destined for destruction are destroyed to create the stem cell lines.

            The Obama order reverses that without addressing a separate legislative ban, which precludes any federal money for the development of stem cell lines. The legislation, however, does not prevent funds for research on those lines created without federal funding.

            Researchers say the newer lines created with private money during the period of the Bush ban are healthier and better suited to creating treatment for diseases.

            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            The diarist seems confused about the basics, and "the cure [??]".

  •  The existing lines.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tacet

    ....are more or less useless.  They're old enough to have degraded significantly, and for that matter they're heavily contaminated with non-human DNA as I remember.  (Mouse.)

    If they weren't so old and degraded they'd be useful for some research, but every time a cell divides you get a chance for the DNA and cell structure to degrade slightly.  These have been dividing for a very long time.  We need new lines.

  •  The wingnuts who opposed the research (0+ / 0-)

    would be shitting their pants trying to decide if they would use it

    "My case is alter'd, I must work for my living." Moll Cut-Purse, The Roaring Girl - 1612, England's First Actress

    by theRoaringGirl on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 11:18:05 AM PDT

  •  Well, it's a moot point now, anyway. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley

    They didn't find any miracle cures during Bush's term, which is no surprise since Bush did everything he could to make sure they wouldn't.

    Thankfully we have a rational man in office now.

  •  To my reading (0+ / 0-)

    two of the three major Republican factions, the moderate faction and the Right, would hardly bat an eyelash and embrace any such therapy.  The former operates on a cost/benefit/risk form of thinking, mostly.  The second operates on a privileges/all the best-for-me-but-not-thee approach to things.  (The latter are the people who want abortion banned for other people but available to themselves, that sort of thing.)

    The trouble is with the 63% faction of Republican-identifed people (24% of the population at large) that are strict "social conservatives".  Those people will b-tch and moan, will struggle with the matter and probably more often use such therapies than not.  The oldest and most determined will die out and the resistance will fade, but it will take a generation.

    Not that I think it matters.  We sort of know how to induce germline stem cell fate with external factors, which is identical or almost identical to embryonic stem cell fate.  In a couple of years the research will be complete and we will be able to induce this cell fate via injection of a purified synthetic protein/RNA mixture.  And we will know how to steer such cells to appropriate numbers and levels of differentiation.

    At that point the debate will veer away from stem cell therapies for somatic disorders (those will be pretty much treated as a given) and the argument will shift to what we do with induced germline stem cells.  Those, after all, can differentiated into gametes, and at the level of stem cells we can get multiple rounds of gene replacement by injection of DNA constructs and selection for those inserted by site-specific recombination.  (Sort of like gene knockouts today.)  It might be possible to change several alleles or problem mutations in a single generation.

    That will be the infamous "genetic engineering", of course.

    We can no longer afford to worship the god of hate or bow before the altar of retaliation. Martin Luther King Jr.

    by killjoy on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 11:19:02 AM PDT

  •  There is more and more concern... (0+ / 0-)

    that stem cells taken from one individual and used in another will cause an immune reaction.  Previously this was not thought to be the case.  
    The data is quite convincing according to a lead researcher at Stanford University," Wu said. "Based on these results, we believe that transplanting these cells into humans would also cause an immune response."

    Thus the widespread use of stem cells may be dependent upon the use of drugs to reduce the impact of the immune system, or the process may be dependent on recently announced abilities to generate stem cells from a person's skin cells.    Other possibilities is to use either an egg cell or a sperm cell from someone suffering from a disease and develop a process for creating stem cells from them.  I believe this has been done with eggs.  

    But I believe that the recognition that the immune system will be a barrier will make it a significantly more difficult process.  I have a rare eye disease that has been cured in mice which seems to be a contradiction.  Will research this further.

  •  i hope those so against it would (0+ / 0-)

    be able to be saved by a stem cell technique, but reject it due to its roots

  •  You are assuming that Bush thought that (0+ / 0-)

    much in advance.  He didn't.  His ban was nothing more than sop for the religious right that was taking its marching orders from the Catholic Church.

    ...testing the waters to take on Pete.

    by Steve Love on Mon Mar 09, 2009 at 01:34:44 PM PDT

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