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post #31 of 33
Harvard to Become Supplier of Stem Cells
Aug 24 2001 5:51PM

BOSTON (Reuters) - The nation's largest fertility clinic said on Friday it plans to begin providing Harvard University scientists with leftover embryos for stem-cell research by the end of the year in what could make the school one of the world's top suppliers of embryonic stem cells.
Harvard University said the decision by fertility clinic Boston IVF would be a major boost for its stem-cell research program. "We're pleased the work is going on here," spokeswoman Sally Baker said. "It's quite important."

Dr. Doug Powers, director of Boston IVF's laboratory, confirmed a Boston Globe report on Friday that Harvard researchers planned to offer the new stem cells to any interested scientist at no cost and with no commercial restrictions.

Researchers envision using the cells, which can transform into virtually any cell type in the body, to develop treatments for a wide range of medical conditions, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, juvenile diabetes and spinal cord injuries. The cells would be used to regenerate healthy tissue to replace tissue wasted by disease or injury.

Scientists who use stem cells provided by the Harvard-Boston IVF program would appear to be ineligible for federal funding for their research under a policy recently announced by President Bush.

Bush, in an Aug. 9 address, said government money would only be used to pay for research on stem cells already in existence at that time.

Extracting stem cells from an embryo destroys the embryo, which opponents consider akin to taking a life. Bush's policy was a compromise aimed at allowing research to go forward on stem cells that already existed without encouraging further destruction of embryos to obtain new stem cells.

The president defended his restrictive policy at a news conference on Friday, saying officials from the National Institutes of Health assured him there were enough stem cells available to allow scientists to determine whether their research could "yield the results necessary to save lives."


Boston IVF already has contacted donor couples for permission to use their embryos so Harvard can begin extracting stem cells, Powers told Reuters.

"Of the handful of couples we've contacted, they seem to be quite interested," Powers said, adding that a "decision to donate won't come up until they finish infertility treatment."

The arrangement between the fertility clinic and the university is part of a three-way collaboration with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit medical research and philanthropic organization in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

The lead researcher on the project is Dr. Doug Melton, chairman of Harvard's molecular and cellular biology department. Melton is also employed as an investigator for the Howard Hughes institute and receives funding to research diabetes treatments.

Several years ago, Melton, whose son has diabetes, approached Powers about getting leftover embryos to extract stem cells for his research, Powers said.

Boston IVF was one of the first centers in the United States to engage in the study of stem cells.
post #32 of 33
I am searching for a feline stem cell bone marrow transplant program for my cat. He has had two blood transfusions now and may only get two more which leaves us as few as 20-30 days.

He has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia and Immune Mediated Anemia.

There is more to stem cell research that what you hear about on T.V.

"Monkey" is only 5 years old. I intend to provide him the level of care I would provide a child, he is a dear member of my family. I ask him everyday to choose to stay with us. I have asked God to let him stay longer.

Stem cells are the foundations of healthy life and the rhetoric that comes from conversations about playing God is clouding the issue of modern medicine.

If you don't like modern medicine, you may go back into the jungle WITHOUT your antibiotics, vaccines, mortgage and BMW and long life. As long was have bright men and women persuing the enrichment of our society we will be faced with a generation of people that will hypocritically take a stand against something they are not yet educated on and perhaps for religous reasons until it comes to their family. I don't subscribe to religion which expects God to do everything for them without helping themseves first. Perhaps God gave us these tools, these doctors, these possibilites, do you know for sure that He didn't?

If you feel compelled to help me find a transplant program, please report back your findings here so that others can be helped by the information on this topic.

If you feel offended that I have a perspective on stem cell research that you don't identify with, try to better understand what stem cells are and that they are not limited to discussions about embryos. :-)
post #33 of 33
I think we are entering dangerous territory with stem cell research. Scientists are trying to play the role of God. It scares me thinking how many scientists are trying to legalize human cloning. A few months ago I read somewhere that this one place cloned your cats so that you can have them after they died. That is awful!!!!!!!! It makes me sick what scientists are trying to achieve in this world.
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