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Stem Cell Research

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by Texas Forever, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    This is w-a-y-y-y-y-y off topic, but given the breadht and depth of F-Chatters, I figured what the heck. Does anyone here know anything about adult stem cell technology? I'm about to make a small investment in a startup company. Pls feel free to send a PM or an email to mailbag at drtaxdotcom

    Thx
     
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  3. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

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    Dr "I'm not a Medical Doctor" Tax:

    From what I gather, it's pretty neat stuff. The cool application that I know of is for organ transplants. If one of my organs fail, and I get one from a cadaver, I will be getting a 75 year old organ, let's say. How long can that last me? If they take my stem cells at birth and then make an organ from those (not really sure about how any of that works), then I will be getting a brand new organ. This is obviously much better. Anyway, there's my limited knowledge.

    As for investing... is it in the U.S. or abroad? It's such a touchy subject, there's some risk involved just because the whole company might be shut down at any moment because the government decides it's no good.
     
  4. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Zack, you are right in that Stem Cell tech will eventually change everything. Imagine average life spans of 110 versus 80. Companies that sell life annuities will go broke.

    This particular approach is adult stem cell so it doesn't have the "baby killer" taint of embryonic research. But in the end, it will not matter. The "right to life" types can shut down federally sponsored research in the US. But it is a big world, and we are the only country with our head in the sand on this one. The rest of the world is going great guns.

    Thx, Dale




     
  5. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

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    Yeah, it seems like there's a great potential for amazing stuff. Frankly, I don't understand the moral issue. It come for the umbilical cord, which would otherwise be discarded...
    Best,
    ZJ
     
  6. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

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    I agree wholeheartedly, the cloning people Hitler argument does not wash. It could save a lot of lives.
     
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  8. Mitch Alsup

    Mitch Alsup F1 Veteran

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    Indeed, by playing ostrich, we are enabling the best medical research to take place outside the USoA. After a decade or so of successes, and finding patients using foreign developed treatments, we will have to invest monumential monies and time to catchup. Once it gets to the point that treatments are available outside and patented with out own patent system, our drug companies will find themselves behind the 8-ball. At this point, no morality issue can prevent a flood of research to regain our current lead in medical stuff.

    In effect, those with moral convictions are only delaying our race into this new field of medical technology. Sort of like protectionism.
     
  9. tifosi69

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    Good point, I think it is sad that people are having to die in order to fight this battle politically. I firmly believe that stem cell research COULD cure cancer, aids, all birth defects, etc. but there are TOO may politicians in the way and that includes the President, whom I normally support.
     
  10. Dave Radu

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    Drtax,

    In the past I've invested in company called Stem Research, Symbol STEM,
    made a little money a few years back. I bought it around $1.00, it made a run to around $12.00. It now trades for about $2.00 give or take a little each day.

    The problem is they are always on the verge of running out of $$$$. Research is very expensive and there is no current market yet. As long as they keep getting grants and investors they stay in business. This is a monthly problem and more risk than I could continue with.

    I'm sure you have done your homework and the new company paints a great outlook. Just be careful.

    Hope it all goes well for you,

    Dave
     
  11. Dom

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    OK, I'm going to throw in my $0.02 here as someone who works in the pharmacuetical/biotech industry.

    If you want to make money, stay away from anything where you try to help people. This is a very regulated industry, and mucho dinero is spent dealing with these regulations. In the end, when you come up with your super-duper drug/new technology to help people, well, everybody wants it for free.

    OK, but the companies are making money. I don't know, it just seems to me like there are better ways. The risks are high, the expenses are high.

    You are right about the potential for stem cells. But, it just seems as though if the right to lifers don't get you, then the "it causes cancer" or other freaks will be out to get you.

    Take GM foods, or growth hormones, for instance. Scientists can show us the safety, but nobody believes them. They'd rather expand on the unknown/unsubstantiated horrors that will happen when these evil industries take over our food supply...

    Dr. "Cynical" Dom
     
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  13. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

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    I know what you are saying, my brother has been in the pharma business fir 6 years.
     
  14. formula1joe

    formula1joe Formula Junior

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    Not to cause a fuss, (I would love to be saved by this research if I was suffering from cancer or some other disease) but are we messing with mother nature here? If we all start living longer and the human population is not naturally thinned out, how does that effect the balance of the planet? I am not trying to sound like a tree-hugger here, but an expanding population with an limited resoures has to become a problem at some point.
     
  15. zjpj

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    Yeah.. Some Harvard Professor asserts that the whole human population doesn't have much mroe than 100 years left before we get overpopulated and destroy ourselves somehow. And that will be the end. I forget who it is.
     
  16. tifosi69

    tifosi69 Formula 3

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    No because we basically have the technology to synthetically reproduce almost anything mother nature can produce, and if we don't now we can develop it. Necessity is the mother of invention after all.
     
  17. racerx

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    I owned a stock named astrom biosciences a few years back. ASTM They have a tech that lets them multiply cord blood cells many fold. Have lost track of it recently. Based in chicago. And i must give mitch credit for being in favor of something.
    T
     
  18. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Okay I have to add my 2 cents to this discussion.

    I do have a problem with stem cell research. This is because many countries (maybe not the US) want to breed the cells, not just take them from the umbilical cord. This is 100% morally wrong IMO. You cannot breed another life to save your own.

    Their argument is that these cells have not yet reached a real thing yet, and I'm sorry but that argument does not wash with me, because if they left it alone it would continue to divide cells and create a human being.

    I also have an issue with parents using IVF to create another child as a donor to an existing child that has medical problems. Imagine how that feels to grow up knowing the only reason you came into existence is to help out your sister/brother. Imagine the risks you are taking with THAT newly born life that then has to be operated on to extract whatever for the other child.

    To get back to the point: Thus if somebody can find a way of ensuring that these idiot scientist and medical people will only ever use cells from the umbilical cord the I am all for it. But as has been proved over and over, you cannot trust a scientist ... as they have no morals! ... and they will do whatever they have to make their little experiment work.

    Thus we have to ban stem cell research IMO, and I'm sorry to have to say this, but we have to accept that we are not immortal and we are not going to live forever and some of us are going to suffer short and disappointing lives ...

    I personally wish (very seriously) that the medical profession would STOP trying to make wealthy people live longer and STOP trying to make every wealthy person have a child, and start concentrating on lifting the quality of life for ALL people that share this earth. How anybody could work in this profession at the research level and sleep at night, while 100's die from poor health care in some countries is beyond me. How anybody could work in this profession and continue to find ways to create a new life is also beyond me when we have a perfectly good system that nature has provided.

    The medical research profession is one fncked up area IMO.
    Pete
     
  19. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Pete, have another brew mate. Tough day, eh?

    First of, the research that I'm interested in is based on adult stem cells. In fact, if this stuff works, a doctor someday will harvest YOUR own stem cells and store them till you need them.

    Second, trust me on this one, if this stuff works, it will be so wide spread in application that it will be stunning. This will have a bigger impact on world wide heath than penicillin, which had a major impact on us baby boomers. That is, it is not unusual to have a baby boom following a major war. What was so unusual was that so many of us baby boomers lived -- due to penicillin.

    Will this research have a major impact on all of us? You betcha it will. You may even see lifespans grow by, say, 20% during my lifetime. For my kids, the potential impact is unthinkable.

    But make no doubt, you can't stop it. If you get a chance, pick up a copy of a book called "Guns, Grems, and Steel." Fascinating book.

    Dr "Frankenstein" Tax


     
  20. zjpj

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    Diamond's "Guns, Germs and Steal" - he squeezes all of human history into several hundred pages. The only thing I remember was that he was obsessed with the role of animal domestication. We had to read it the summer before my freshman year of college. And, ironically enough Dale, the next year's summer book was... Frankenstein.
     
  21. PSk

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    No, not at all :D

    Yes I understand that, but you have missed my point slightly. If we allow any stem cell research at all, then somebody will breed cells, as England I think has already allowed. You cannot stop these people, it is all of nothing IMO.

    Yes you are probably right ... I don't know?

    Why do you want to live longer? ... Most old people that I know get to a point where they are simply tired of growing old. You will say that if we could live longer and stay younger, etc. that everybody would want to ... I'm not so sure. Would our quality of life improve, or would we simply become lazy, ie. why do it today?, we've got plenty of time ;)

    Yes that is what worries me with these medical research people, they have NO controlling boundaries ... Not long ago I watched a documentary about one of the probable creations of AIDS in humans. These medical research idiots used monkeys to create a vaccine for the 'poor' people of Africa. They did fnck all checks and in the process killed over 400 monkeys and FORCED these people to take their wonderful vaccine. The theory is now that some of these monkeys had AIDS and thus the vaccine transferred it to humans. Interesting to note that these Belguim medical scientists denie most of this (ie. the use of monkey kidneys to grow the cultures) when the investigators have many documents signed by these same people proving this 100%, ie. that they did use monkey kidneys for this vaccine.

    These are the same idiots that you trust with stem cell research? ... I don't trust anybody that is trying to break new ground and come up with something, because they are chasing a dream and reason goes out the window.

    Just think for a second: Imagine being a parent in that African country forced by medical research 'salesmen' to vaccinate your children ... and then watching your children die from a dreadful disease injected into your child. I cannot imagine the feeling of guilt and pain those parents must have had.

    I also cannot believe that 'western' medical people FORCED these people to have these vaccinations, and they did!. A medical trial should involve a percentage of the population not the whole lot ... shame on that medical team.

    I have lost a lot of faith in the medical profession after watching that show, and also the comments above in this same thread, also state the reality, if there is NOT money in it they are not interested. How pathetic, the one thing that should have absolutely nothing to do with money and it all comes down to how much money somebody (and you!) can make out of it. That is not how health and somebodies life should be treated.

    Your enthusiasm for stem cells is confused with your lust for making bucks from it ... :(

    Pete
     
  22. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Oh Baby, I love it when you talk dirty!

    Actually, I'm not investing all that much. Indeed, I wouldn't even call it investing at this point. It is most like betting on which sugar cube a fly will land.

    But I have grown fascinated with this technology. I didn't know squat before I started looking into it. This is very heavy stuff.

    But I do think that you are being a bit cavalier about people wanting to live longer. My father-in-law is in ICU with a bum heart as we speak. Trust me on this one, he would do anything just to be able to watch the sun rise one more time. Moreover, I'd do just about anything to help him achieve that goal.

    Just a thought, Dale
     
  23. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    You know, it is really too bad that professors have to ruin a great book by making it a textbook. <Sigh>.

    A long time ago, in another place far, far, away, I was an Anthropology major. (Mainly because Anthro attracted more hippie chicks than just about any other subject, except Child Psych.) Back then, it was strictly forbidden to even mention the idea of cultural evolution because to do so would imply that certain cultures, e.g., the Judo/Christian European culture, were better than other cultures, e.g., the Comanches whose main claim to fame was cutting off thier captive's gentials and stuffing them down their throat.

    Even though this myopic thinking defied all common sense, Anthropology became the first bastion of PC thinking. I really didn't care all that much at the time (see comment about hippie chicks). But it was interesting, all these many years later, to finally read an intelligent examination of why the Europeans kicked ass all over the world.

    What was more interesting was the comparison between Europe and China when it came to technology. Very interesting in light of the recent Euro concept.

    Save the book and read it sometime when you don't have to read it. You'll get a lot more out of it.

    Take care, Dale







     
  24. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Yes I 100% agree with you, and would do the same. I unfortunately watched my Nana die slowly from parkinsons disease over many agonising years and it was absolutely no fun for her. Yes, I bet if stem cells could have fixed her problems we would have jumped at it.

    BTW: I do want pass on my best for your father-in-law. Makes these discussions difficult when we are personally affected, etc.

    My main problem with stem cell research is the fact that, yes we can get them from umbilicle cords, yes we can grow our own (somehow) but we can also breed them. This last part I have a problem with as personally I could not live with the thought that somebody was denied life to save mine.

    Also I am not happy with modern research as we are getting closer and closer to playing with nature (I bet some said the same 200 years ago ;)) and it does not sit right with me. Where will it end? Will we be able to choose exactly how our children will look?, and what sort of personality and skills they will have?

    Will we, as a visiting lecturer at my university graduation dinner said in his speech, have a chip inserted into our head so that school is no longer required ... this caused one of those long quiet sessions in the audience, including my parents and now wife. And I can tell you this lecturer was 100% serious and thought it was the way of the future and a brilliant concept that he was working on ... :(

    Everything comes with a cost, we though do not seem to have any control over where the medical profession travels.

    Anyway, again all the best for your father in law.

    Pete
     
  25. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Five Time F1 World Champ
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    Thanks, he's a tough old guy. We're hoping he pulls through.

    Dale
     
  26. Dom

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    I resent that.


    I am a scientist, and I'd like to think that I have quite good morals, in addition to being smart. I also resent that you are calling all scientists idiots.

    I have worked very very hard to get where I am, and consider myself fairly intelligent. My work is helping people to live better lives. And, I am paid quite poorly to do so, IMHO.

    Your generalizations help no one, and make yourself look bad.

    Scientists are people, and there are good ones and bad ones.

    Dom
     
  27. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

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    Dom - I definitely know that it's pretty hard. I worked at the Center for Blood Research several years ago. It was full of people with MD/PHD degrees doing post-docs. They are in their thirties and making peanuts. And most scientists have to give a gigantic percentage of any income from discoveries to the institution that they are working at... It's not all about personal gain; most, I would hope, are actually trying to make a difference in the world.
     
  28. PSk

    PSk F1 World Champ

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    Okay fair point:

    But as has been proved over and over, you cannot trust SOME scientists ... as they have no morals! ... and they will do whatever they have to make their little experiment work.

    Unfortunately just like everywhere else, a few bad eggs make the majority look bad. In the end I am sure there is some board, body, group or club that you belong to, and that is who you should be upset with because you belong to a group that does not appear IMO to have enough control of its members.

    The general public (of which I am but one) are not as happy as you think about your work and its direction.

    While I owe you all graditude for my and my children's health in many cases because of the clever things you have invented, I am 100% not happy when I see on the news that some 'idiot' in Italy has gone against the rest of the worlds condemnation of cloning a human and continued research, etc. and that is just one example of what we the public know about.

    Another really annoying one that really pisses me right off, is the genetic tampering of our food. We were told by a body of scientists, or whatever, that this was all about making safer and better quality food ... I naively thought yep sounds like a good idea, but have since learnt that this is all about making the plant sterile so the farmers HAVE to buy seeds from a large greedy company that the likes of you guys work for. Thus now if that company goes bust or something goes wrong in their wonderful plan, we the rest of us, have the possibility of starving to death as naturally that lovely company made sure no farmer was allowed to grow traditional plants anymore. I watched a documentary about this too and was shocked and amazed at how intelligent people could go down this path ... ie, taking something absolutely critical to our survival and genetically modifying it so that it can no longer be grown naturally.

    Thus in the end I admire your intelligence and dedication to your job, but I do not admire the fact that your company is using your skills like a pawn on a chess board for their financial gain, or whatever they have planned. Undoubtably they sell this to you as a gain for man kind, etc. but unfortunately where money is involved that is BS.

    I'm a computer consultant, no where near as clever as you are. I work in the telco industry and I know that everything I do is to save the company a buck or 2, or otherwise make a buck or 2 ... but even so it amazes me how the possible cancer causing mobile phone (which is the core of my business) is one day proven to be dangerous and the next proven very much not to be ... we ofcourse will never know the truth, as money is involved and a mere life is not as important!

    Pete
     

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