Tag Archives: medicine

Epic Fail: Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Epic Fail: For some things, there's just no excuse

Investors Business Daily reports the institute created by California Proposition 71 to research medical applications of Embryonic Stem Cells has quietly begun shifting it’s research focus to Adult Stem Cells.

Quick rehash: Embryonic Stem Cells are the result of abortions, the designer baby process, in vitro fertilization, and other procedures of a morally ambiguous to morally evil nature. Adult Stem Cells are derived from adult human adipose (fat) and other sources all given voluntarily, usually by the very person who will be benefiting directly from the treatment.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research (ESCR) = Morally murky, usually objectionable.

Adult Stem Cell Research (ASCR) = Morally good.

Now back to the story.

Five years later, ESCR has failed to deliver and backers of Prop 71 are admitting failure. The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state agency created to, as some have put it, restore science to its rightful place, is diverting funds from ESCR to research that has produced actual therapies and treatments: adult stem cell research. It not only has treated real people with real results; it also does not come with the moral baggage ESCR does.

To us, this is a classic bait-and-switch, an attempt to snatch success from the jaws of failure and take credit for discoveries and advances achieved by research Prop. 71 supporters once cavalierly dismissed. We have noted how over the years that when funding was needed, the phrase “embryonic stem cells” was used. When actual progress was discussed, the word “embryonic” was dropped because ESCR never got out of the lab.

Alan Trounson, stem cell pioneer in Australia and director of the California institute says “If we went 10 years and had no clinical treatments, it would be a failure.”

In other words, as I’ve mentioned here before, Embryonic Stem Cell Research fails. Epicly. Again.

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Proofs Against Moral Relativism

Some things just fail on their own
Some things just fail on their own

The best counter to moral relativism is still the quip “is that so?” delivered with the appropriate raised eye-brow.

Any sufficient response to that query must consist of a positive statement of an absolute value which proves moral relativism to be a fraud at best.

While academics and other invested relativists insist that such verbal slaughter falls far short of fully discrediting their preferred viewpoint, they must first dismiss the truism that any philosophy that is internally inconsistent cannot be truth.

But just in case one needs more proof, consider the idea of FGM.

Female Genital Mutilation, or Female Circumcision, is a barbarous practice found exclusively among cultures whose religions require extreme subservience of their women.

The ugly process ensures women will derive no pleasure from sex with the supposed goal of guaranteeing the servitude of that woman to her man in all matters of sex and children.

The side effects are pain during intercourse, increased pain and damage during childbirth, and increased chance of infection.

There is no way this practice is moral. It produces no realistic, practical, or natural good for the woman, and who could argue successfully such enslavement of women is good for the men?

In America, we can fix this. We can remove the terrible effects of this mutilation. We can restore pleasurable sensations during sex and lessen the pain of childbirth.

That is a moral good.

Now, if some still want to argue that all cultures and individuals can find their own good which may or may not also be good for someone else, let them defend FGM. Let them defend the pain and the suffering. Let them say that action of mutilation is the same, morally, as the American action of restoration and healing.

Reality . . . two millionths of a percent.

So, the swine flu is going to kill you, right?

Let me put this into perspective. Right now there are about 160 reported deaths from the swine flu world wide. This is not the number infected, but the number killed. But what does this number really mean.

First, compare this 160 deaths world wide to the 36,000 people who die each year in the U.S. to the common flu. In other words we are more worried about a disease that is at least 225 time less likely to kill us then the common flu.

So how has this flu affected the world population of over 6 billion people? Well, run the math and you realize that only .000002% of the world population has died from this disease, as opposed to the .01% of the world population that has been killed by genocide in Sudan since 2003 (675,000).

So why is there the worry? By last numbers there is between 2600 and 2700 reported cases of this flu for which there is supposedly no natural immunity. The fear is that a single sneeze could effect hundreds of people which could lead to a pandemic.

It is time for brief lesson on disease. Most  diseases inhabit our body for at least a day before they exhibit symptoms. This is because the symptoms are usually the result of the disease attacking our body and our body using its resources to attack the disease. In fact, for many cases of the common cold, by the time you exhibit symptoms, the cold is already destroyed in your body and your body is just tired from the fight.

So, I get the swine flu and a day later I exhibit symptoms and am quarantined, etc. How many people did I interact with the day before? How many hands did I shake? How many times did I lick my finger and rub it against something?

How many people did those 2700 confirmed cases interact with before (and even after) the disease surfaced? I would estimate about 54,000 people (20 interactions per person). So why aren’t there 54,000 people infected. Why aren’t we all wiped out as our body has “no natural defenses”?

The reason is because this is a created or imagined disease. It is sort of like the monster you feared when you were younger because you believed he was in your closet. There was some minimal evidence of a monster (boards creaking, darkness), but the reality was that your mind created the monster and cause you to be afraid of him.

So we have this monster before us. There is some evidence before us as we look at the deaths and infections, but the reality is that we have allowed ourselves to be scared into a fear. The media has become our brain as they show pictures of people wiping the legs of a school desk (honestly, who will be licking the legs of a school desk?) and have traveled to Mexico to show the place this all started and have told us that buildings have been shut down for this virus.

This is the monster that we have allowed our brain to create a monster for us where, in reality, there is nothing (or almost nothing). Sure, we should be concerned about this, but worried? No way.

In fact, what this really reminds me of is the movie “Wag the Dog”. Anyone seen it? The premise is that a “war” is made up by the political administration so that people will be distracted from the real issues surrounding the administration. Our media, finding nothing to report on the administration (since the administration is doing nothing good, but the media can’t report that) needed something else to scare us with. Something to distract us from the real news. Their answer . . . Thank God for Swine Flu!

The reality is that AIDS and HIV continue to kill millions, genocide continues to be acceptable in Africa, abortions of black babies continues to exceed the number of live births of black babies, and we recently rewarded large companies dieing in a capitalist society by changing the rules for them. But no, the real news that we should all “obviously” be worried about is that a disease that pales in comparison to any other disaster we have been facing for years may be sitting at our door ready to pounce on us when we are not looking.

‘Fat Gene’ No Excuse

Once again it is proven there are very few things in which we humans, as independent moral agents, do not have a choice.

It was not good to criticize an obese person because they may have been a carrier of the ‘obese gene’ and therefore had no choice whether they were chunky not trim, but studies out recently point to the fact that exercise counteracts the effects of that gene.

WebMD: Exercise Can Overcome Obesity Gene

The study showed, as past research has, that people with certain variations of the FTO gene were more likely to be overweight. However, the researchers found that being genetically predisposed to obesity “had no effect on those with above average physical activity scores.”

LATimes Blog: Lessons From The Amish: We’re Not Doomed To Obesity

OK, folks, it’s time for another round of Health Lessons We Can Learn From the Amish. Four years ago we discovered that the Amish maintained super-low obesity levels despite eating a diet high in fat, calories and refined sugar. They key was their level of physical activity — men averaged 18,000 steps a day, women 14,000. That’s monumental compared to the paltry couple of thousand or so most of us eke out in a day.

A recent study revealed even more about the Old Order Amish: They maintain low obesity levels despite having a gene variation that makes them susceptible to obesity. The secret here? You guessed it — lots of physical activity.

The important thing to remember is that we have choices, and our response to those choices affect out lives. If we are slothful and do not maintain our bodies by diet and exercise, we have none but ourselves and the choices we are responsible for to blame for the fat adorning us.

Ynnuf Ffuts

Anybody else think the average IQ of people in the news is falling faster than the thermostat in Chicago this winter?

In case you still think they actually have anything to add to any debate anywhere, these juicy tidbits ought to rearrange your thinking:

  • Healthy Lifestyle Is the Secret to Longer Life, Researchers Say

    Not smoking, regular exercise, maintaining normal weight, and avoiding diabetes and high blood pressure seem to be the secrets of living to age 90, researchers say.

    No! Really?

  • Some with chronic illnesses function as well as healthy peers

    Even people who develop heart disease or diabetes late in life have a decent shot at living to 100, according to a study published Monday.

    “You don’t necessarily have to be in good health for all of your life to attain age 100,” said Dellara Terry, the study’s lead author and an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

    It’s a choice. It is always a choice. Humans are moral directors: we decide. When faced with a challenge, true strength tries harder.

I laugh.