Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Bishops condemn stem cell research

what a joke..............if they were in my FUCKING shoes, I guarantee they would reconsider

Bishops condemn stem cell research

By Barbara ListonFri Jun 13, 2:45 PM ET

Catholic bishops on Friday condemned the destruction of human embryos for stem cell research as a "gravely immoral act" in the organization's first formal statement on the issue. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted 191-1 to adopt the statement, without debate or discussion. "Harvesting these 'embryonic stem cells' involves the deliberate killing of innocent human beings, a gravely immoral act," the organization said. The identity of the one dissenter or the reason for his dissent was not made public at the gathering in Orlando. Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City, Kansas, said ballots are signed but are destroyed after they are counted. Naumann said the reason for the 'no' vote could be as simple as a disagreement with the phrasing in the document. "I'm assuming the person isn't going against the pope's teaching," Naumann said. The bishops' vote to adopt the statement, which will be distributed to Catholics in a brochure, came without debate. Hot button issues like abortion and stem cell research mobilized the Republican Party's conservative Christian base to help keep President George W. Bush in the White House in 2004. They may not have the same impact in the November election, as Republican candidate John McCain is viewed by many religious conservatives as soft on core issues like gay marriage and stem cell research. Individual bishops and conference officials have spoken out regularly over the years on embryonic stem cell research. But Bishop Arthur Seratelli of Paterson, New Jersey, said Catholics and the public generally remained confused about the moral and ethical implications of the research, and on the church's position. "U.S. Catholics and the general public deserve a clear, concise and unambiguous statement," Seratelli said. The formal statement on embryonic stem cell research is planned as the first of two related documents to be brought forward from the bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, according to Archbishop John Myers of Newark. Myers said a forthcoming longer, more pastoral statement directed especially toward married Catholics and those dealing with infertility will tackle the issues of in vitro fertilization and the adoption of embryos by couples. The spare embryos eyed by scientists for research are a byproduct of in vitro fertilization. Myers said the Holy See is studying the issue of embryo adoption. The bishops cautioned that stem cell harvesting from spare embryos will spur the creation of additional embryos for scientific purposes and cloning, which the bishops said "reduces human procreation to a mere manufacturing process." "It now seems undeniable that once we cross the fundamental moral line that prevents us from treating any fellow human being as a mere object of research, there is no stopping point," the statement said. "We therefore urge Catholics and all people of good will to join us in reaffirming, precisely in this context of embryonic stem cell research, that 'the killing of innocent human creatures, even if carried out to help others, constitutes an absolutely unacceptable act,"' it added, quoting Pope John Paul II in "The Gospel of Life." (Editing by Michael Christie)


Anonymous said...

Shame on them.

tom said...

I agree with you 100% Drew

K said...

Thanks for the information on how religion affects stem cell research.

We recently wrote an article on the moral issues of stem cell research at Brain Blogger.Stem cells are the very building blocks of life. But is it right to research stem cells; would the information found make it too easy to play god?

We would like to read your comments on our article. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

Well said !!! Here's yet another article on athletic talent being diagnosed with ALS and the irony is the ex-pro player's roommate also had ALS.

The link:

The article:
ST-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, Que. - His eyes glued to receivers as they tear along their routes, retired CFL player Tony Proudfoot felt right at home on the field Sunday for the opening day of the Montreal Alouettes' training camp.
The former all-star defensive back, who helped Montreal win a pair of Grey Cups in the 1970s, signed on as a guest coach to help the team's secondary prepare for battle this season.
For Proudfoot, his training camp duties come at a time when he's in the midst of his own fight.
About a year ago, the 58-year-old was diagnosed with a rare, incurable disorder called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
ALS, which attacks muscles and nerves, strikes two in 100,000 people at any given time. The illness eventually causes paralysis, and most die two to five years after diagnosis.
Proudfoot refuses to let his condition stop him from sharing his passion for football, and life.
"It's great to be on the field with the players, who are motivated and want to do a good job," he told The Canadian Press on Sunday, as the team's first practice wrapped up in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, east of Montreal.
"It's fun to be around young, motivated people, so I'm looking forward to my time here."
Proudfoot, who coached the Alouettes as an assistant during the 2001 season, said he will add another pair of eyes for devising coverage plans.
He also aims to help players with the cerebral aspects of the game by delivering war-room lectures on concentration and focus.
Recalling his first CFL training camp, he knows how the newcomers feel.
"It was terrifying," he said of his first practice as a rookie.
"The thing I learned very shortly (is) you have to make an impression, you have to do something good so the coach spots you. For many of the players, it's their first time in the CFL and so it's brand new to them. The size of the field, the motion, it's quite a bit of a shock to adjust out there."
When he was diagnosed last year, he immediately thought of his former Alouettes roommate Larry Uteck, who like Proudfoot, was a hard-hitting defensive back. Uteck died from ALS over five years ago.
Proudfoot learned that an usually high number of ex-CFLers - at least eight out of 15,000 all-time players - have also developed the disease.
He shared his findings with his doctor, who has since kicked off a study exploring the link between the disease and highly active people.
Dr. Angela Genge, director of the ALS Clinic at McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute, says there are few clues to its cause, but elite athletes are "overrepresented" on patient lists.
Genge said her study will survey athletes in the CFL, NHL, North American professional soccer leagues and possibly the NBA.
"We're starting to interview everyone," she said Sunday.
"It will take time to get the information, but no one has said 'no,' so it's going to work out very well."
Meanwhile, Alouettes president and CEO Larry Smith said Proudfoot's sideline presence during training camp will be a huge boost for the team.
"(He's) a great add-on for what we're trying to achieve," Smith said.
"I think it's recognition too for Tony that he's still a valuable member of our team."
When it comes to generating motivation in his players, Proudfoot, whose speech has become increasingly slurred as the illness progresses, said he won't dwell on his condition.
"Basically all of the players are here to get a job on the team, they don't really need any motivation," said Proudfoot, who played 12 seasons with Montreal and the B.C. Lions.
When he's not drawing up gridiron schemes, he's been busy trying to hunt down a cure for ALS.
The longtime Alouettes radio broadcaster wields his celebrity status to raise awareness and research money.
Along with the Alouettes, Montreal Canadiens and Montreal Impact professional soccer club, he is set to host a major fundraiser on June 13.
"A big part of my energy is (dedicated to) advocacy for ALS," he said.

Anonymous said...

New research findings - new Hope !!!

The link:

The article:NEWS RELEASE
JUNE 16 , 2008
Lou Gehrig’s Disease Protein Found Throughout Brain, Suggesting Effects Beyond Motor Neurons, Find Penn Researchers

PHILADELPHIA –Two years ago researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine discovered that misfolded proteins called TDP-43 accumulated in the motor areas of the brains of patients with amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. Now, the same group has shown that TDP-43 accumulates throughout the brain, suggesting ALS has broader neurological effects than previously appreciated and treatments need to take into account more than motor neuron areas. Their article appeared in last month’s issue of the Archives of Neurology.

Image of TDP-43 distribution. Red, orange, and yellow depict areas of highest density of TDP-43 pathology.

Click on thumbnail
to view full-size image

(the image is awesome)

“The primary implication for ALS patients is that we have identified a molecular target for new therapies," says co-author John Q. Trojanowski, MD, PhD, Director of Penn’s Institute on Aging. "The other implication is that new therapies for ALS now need to go beyond treating only motor neurons.”

Traditionally, ALS has been diagnosed based on muscle weakness and neurodegeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons that extend from the motor cortex to the spinal cord and brainstem motor neurons, which directly innervate voluntary muscles. For example, if you want to wiggle your big toe, the signal travels from the motor neuron in the cortex at the top of your head to a synapse on the lower spinal cord motor neurons in the lower back, which, in turn transmit the “wiggle” command by sending a signal to the muscles that move your big toe. Patients with ALS cannot wiggle their big toe or complete other voluntary muscle movements, including those carried out by their other extremities and eventually, by the diaphragm that moves air in and of their lungs.

The study was conducted by examining post-mortem brain tissue of 31 ALS patients. The accumulation of TDP-43 was imaged by detecting TDP-43 with an antibody specific for this protein. TDP-43 pathology was observed not only in the areas of the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary movements, as expected, but also in regions of the brain that involve cognition, executive functioning, memory, and involuntary muscle control. TDP-43 pathology was not observed in any of the controls that did not have ALS.

The pathological TDP-43 observed in ALS brains is different in two ways from normal TDP-43 that is found in most cells. The ALS-associated TDP-43 includes fragments of normal TDP-43 as well as other abnormally modified forms of TDP-43, and it is located in the cytoplasm of neurons; whereas, normal TDP-43 is found almost exclusively in the cell nucleus. In ALS, the pathological TDP-43 accumulates in large “globs,” mainly in cell bodies.

“Our observation of TDP-43 in the brains of ALS patients suggests that ALS and two other neurodegenerative diseases called ALS- PLUS [ALS with cognitive impairments] and FTLD [frontotemporal lobar disease] may all have the same underlying molecular pathology involving abnormal TDP-43,” says Trojanowski. “This constitutes a paradigm shift in the way we think about these diseases.”

Current research is focused on understanding the basic biology of TDP-43 in cell culture systems. The research team is now trying to find out whether pathological TDP-43 causes nerve cells to lose their normal function or if they take on a toxic function. “The over-riding goal that drives our work is helping ALS patients,” says Trojanowski.

Felix Geser, of Penn, was lead author on this study. Linda Wong, Maria Martinez-Lage, Lauren Elman, Leo McCluskey, Sharon Xie, and Virginia Lee, all of Penn, and Nicholas Brandmeir, of Albany Medical College, Albany, NY were co-authors. This research was supported by grants from the National Institute on Aging.