embryo harvesting

The Biting Truth Some Pols Won't Acknowledge About Embryonic Stem Cells

You never know where you're going to find material for a blog post. For example, newspaper headlines can be inconspicuous and articles unsuspecting. So can key facts. In Thursday's Richmond Times-Dispatch, a small article by its medical reporter was headlined, "Dental building opening at VCU." I took a read because I'm interested in how VCU has decimated the historic fabric of the old MCV campus and surrounding neighborhood, and wanted to see if this building did more of the same.

But it was a good story about a dentist who donated more than 10 percent of the cost of the $20 million building, which will enable VCU-MCV to, among many other good medical deeds, train dentists for Southwest Virginia, which so desperately needs them.

(One recent year during the G.A., a bill to help foster more dental care in that part of Virginia came before a House committee. Before the patron could finish introducing the bill, the chairman asked, "Is everyone in favor of better dental care in Southwest Virginia? Bill is passed!")

It was a short article, but what struck me was this accidental, tucked-away tidbit:

Dentist W. Baxter Perkinson Jr. believes that one day the biological beginnings for replacement human teeth will be grown in laboratories. ...

"It's not just fantasy," said Perkinson, who donated $2.5 million for the $20 million building project. ...

"What we're hoping one day is we can put a material down in somebody's bone" and then a tooth abutment forms, said Perkinson. Researchers elsewhere are studying the use of stem cells taken from a patient's wisdom teeth to grow teeth. Studies in mice suggest it could be possible. (Emphasis added.)

When the Mainstream Media uses only "stem cells" they mean adult stem cells — any cells taken from one's own body are adult. But by leaving out that one small word, they try to leave the impression that all stem cell research is the same. It clearly is not. There are too-many-to-list breakthroughs via adult stem cell research, such as for wind pipe re-attachment, sickle cell anemia and multiple sclerosis, and none from embryos. 

In fact, according to a recent study by Northwestern University researhers, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there may be literally hundreds of medical advancements via adult stem cells, including:

. . . systemic lupus, system sclerosis, Type I ( juvenile) diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn disease, and cardiovascular diseases including acute heart attack damage, chronic coronary artery disease, and peripheral vascular disease.

Not only that, adult stem cells soon will be made to mimic embryonic stem cells, making embryo harvesting mute. Furthermore, none other than Oprah's favorite doctor says only adult stem cell research is the way forward.

So, now we have the real potential of adult stem cells growing new teeth, and maybe here in Virginia. Yet, some politicians here still sound the trite call for embryo destruction. It's time to ask them some questions — with bite.