Tag Archives: science

Repost: Adult Stem Cells FTW

A colony of embryonic stem cells, from the H9 ...
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This is a repost in light of the recent news that the news media finally picked up on the fact that adult stem cells are cutting the butter and embryonic stem cells are still only a load of hype… er, tripe.

Anyway, here’s what we knew 3 years ago:

In case you didn’t know: adult stem cells have been used for years to successfully treat a wide range of conditions successfully. Private companies have seen the success and have poured large amounts of money into programs exploring the benefits of stem cells derived from adult adipose (fat) tissue, marrow, and other sources.

So what’s all the hubbub over skin cells? And why are embryonic stem cells such a hot topic?

In a chokingly self-important article which seems to further support Dennis Prager‘s assertion that liberals can go their whole lives without meeting a conservative, Time Magazine claims the recent discoveries about the ability of skin-derived stem cells to differentiate (grow into different organs, technically called pluripotency) will not benefit the GOP. Come again? What does good science have to do with politics? And do you even know the history of the issue? I thought not, the MSM conveniently does not read any medical journals unless their tipped off by some juicy tidbit they may use to further their own radical agenda.

The article’s author, Michael Kinsley, says he has Parkinsons, a disease for which stem cells hold great potential in curing. Current Parkinsons treatments using embryonic stem cells turns the patients into shaking, slobbering babes incapable of the most basic self-care. Embryonic stem cells have a more direct and immediate potential for pluripotency as that is what they do: they turn into cells for each organ and tissue in the body. Unfortunately their growth is uncontrollable right now and they end up turning effectively into tumors in the brains of those who are injected with them.

On top of this, the ethical and moral issues involving the harvesting of human embryos are staggering and I fall in with those myriad souls who fight to stop the harvesting and destruction of human life with the goal of bettering human life. How far removed are we from Nazi Germany, when diabolical doctors of death practiced upon innocents by the millions to further the happiness of the rest of humanity? Is that a worthwhile trade?

In fact, to date there has not been a single successful treatment of any condition or disease using stem cells harvested from embryos.

Private sector investment has shunned embryonic stem cell lines, which means the only group which can be coerced into paying for these death-dealers research projects is… us. The government largess is available to any who crow loud and long enough, and it comes from yours and my pocket books and paychecks.

Private sector research has all gone towards adult stem cell research which offers very potent benefits over embryonic stem cells.

  • Adult stem cells suffer no chance of rejection from their host. Adult stem cells are collected from the person they will be used on, meaning the organs grown from them carry the exact biological and genetic “fingerprint” of the rest of the body, there is zero chance of rejection of these treatments.
  • Adult stem cells are given voluntarily as part of treatment. There is no moral or ethical morass involved in the collection of the these cells.
  • Adult stem cells can differentiate under controlled conditions. Unlike embryonic stem cells, which differentiate wildly and which we are currently unable to control, adult stem cells pluripotency can be controlled in application with greater reliability.

So we have an issue where the successful treatment and therefore all the private money has gone in one direction, but a few stubborn souls insist on using disinformation and outright lies to promote a morally reprehensible treatment system which would have been likely looked upon with distaste by most of the Nazi death doctors in hopes of getting us to pay for a treatment process with no current success and little promise.

“If human embryonic stem cell research does not make you at least a little bit uncomfortable, you have not thought about it enough.” ~James A. Thomson

UPDATE:

Hugh Hewitt references Charles Krauthammer’s article on the issue. Bush was right, technology vindicates morality:

Even a scientist who cares not a whit about the morality of embryo destruction will adopt this technique because it is so simple and powerful. The embryonic stem cell debate is over.

Which allows a bit of reflection on the storm that has raged ever since the August 2001 announcement of President Bush’s stem cell policy. The verdict is clear: Rarely has a president — so vilified for a moral stance — been so thoroughly vindicated.

Why? Precisely because he took a moral stance. Precisely because, as Thomson puts it, Bush was made “a little bit uncomfortable” by the implications of embryonic experimentation. Precisely because he therefore decided that some moral line had to be drawn.

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Merely Human: Science Vs. Religion

Elena Kagan in concert with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists fudges the facts regarding partial birth abortion to support her employer, then President Clinton.

Climatologists fear those with differing viewpoints so much they nudge numbers and massage facts, not substantially, but just enough, and very carefully control who gets access to their data.

A study finds children raised by adults living in homosexual relationships turn out OK, and then it turns out the study was run by a militant lesbian and contained unrepresentative samples that could not be construed in any way to represent a reasonable portrait of the general population.

I think it’s about time we set the 19th century idea of scientific infallibility to rest. It’s been dead a long time and the corpse is starting to stink.

Fourteen years ago, to protect President Clinton’s position on partial-birth abortions, Elena Kagan doctored a statement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Conservatives think this should disqualify her from the Supreme Court. They understate the scandal. It isn’t Kagan we should worry about. It’s the whole judiciary.Kagan, who was then an associate White House counsel, was doing her job: advancing the president’s interests. The real culprit was ACOG, which adopted Kagan’s spin without acknowledgment. But the larger problem is the credence subsequently given to ACOG’s statement by courts, including the Supreme Court. Judges have put too much faith in statements from scientific organizations. This credulity must stop.

The problem with science is the problem with religion is the problem with corporations is the problem with the poor: we’re all merely human. We’re incapable of unbiased action or thought, no matter how carefully we try.

As conservative talk show host Michael Medved says, he admits he’s biased and is up front about it. No one can talk with him and not be aware of where he is coming from. And it is precisely this honesty, this up-frontness about his perspective that means you can learn the truth from him. It’s not that conservatives always tell the truth and liberals always don’t, it’s that when you know someone’s perspective and know they are not trying to obfuscate, you can see how their story fits into the bigger picture of Truth.

Compare the unabashedly conservative hosts on the Fox News channel. No one expects them not to be conservative (and even the liberals there trumpet the fact) and therefore, because there is no guise of infallibility or ruse of absolute even-handedness, they are the most watched news network, and the fastest growing too.

CNN pretends to be totally unbiased, and thus tip their hand. MSNBC proves everything.

I don’t care where you come from nearly as much as I care that you’re up front about it.

Being up front about your opinion shows that you respect others to be capable of informed decisions, and it shows you’re not so conceitedly ignorant you’ve convinced yourself you’re the only one right.

Science is made of human observation.The existence of biases in each and every human being means all observations and perceptions are biased as well. To deny the bias it to enhance the bias and the resulting skew in all your resulting data. You may be able to claim the scale cannot lie but you’re still going to interpret the data the way you want.

Science is not the holy pursuit of the epitome of truth, it is the headlong search for rationalization, for proving we’re not wrong.

The sooner we accept that science is just another human endeavor and therefore subject to all the faults and failures and stunning triumphs of all other human endeavors, the sooner we can get on with this crazy little thing called life.

Finding Proof In Silence

What is truth?

Perusing Hulu this morning I saw a National Geographic series “Mysteries of the Bible“. Considering the source is National Geographic I didn’t have much hope for the accuracy of the show but I started watching the first available episode anyway.

Episode 2 purports to investigate the historicity of the nativity narrative.

With an authoritative voice, the narrator begins a list of “fact” after “fact” intended to disprove the majority of the story of the birth of Christ.

Using phrases like “most historians” and an awful lot of “but’s”, the show, in the first 5 minutes, proceeded to claim that because only two gospels mention the nativity narrative and those two mention different aspect of the narrative, they must be disagreeing.

Just a thought experiment here: If my wife and I were to describe a trip we took together and I mentioned how beautiful the scenery was on the drive and she mentioned how pleasant it was at the lake we visited as our destination, would our two stories, through their difference, contradict each others?

I thought not.

Apparently, because one the the gospels only mentions the shepherds and another gospel mentions the wise men, and only one of the gospels mentions that there was a census that prompted Mary and Joseph’s trek to Bethlehem, those stories must be figments of the minds of the individual writers.

Using interviews with only a couple “experts” looking and sounding so very authoritative with their reasonable words, the show uses shoddy historical research. Actually I take that back, the show doesn’t even bother checking the historical proofs. The only document they use to support the nativity narrative is the Bible, which they’re trying mightily to disprove. If they can taint the Bible, they’ll have won the argument without a fight.

The problem is that there are a plethora of authoritative sources besides the Bible which can corroborate the historicity of not just the bare fact of Jesus’ birth, but the additional and critical details as well.

National Geographic knows the average viewer will not notice the lack of factual analysis. They know the average viewer tunes into the TV and turns off their mind, accepting anything and everything reported as fact, as fact. There is no critical thinking, no analysis.

This is a cherry picking attempt to discredit the Bible and one of the core narratives it contains. And it may end of shaking the faith of some credulous souls.

For my part I could only stomach 10 minutes of the show, and the logical fallacies, the complete and utter lack of historical data presented, the lack of alternate opinions presented all pointed to this being a hack job so overwhelmingly I couldn’t push myself to watch the rest.

Death Of FUD: Climate Alarmism

This polar bear doesn't give a hoot about Al Gore
This polar bear doesn't give a hoot about Al Gore

Gary Sutton, writing on Forbes.com, reminds us it wasn’t too long ago the official government position on the environment was that we were in the beginnings of the next great ice age.

More than the reminder of the untrustworthy nature of such pronouncements and official positions is the why behind such windy terrors. For the government it is control of the populace through fear.

It’s the job of elected officials to whip up panic. They then get re-elected. Their supporters fall in line.

Al Gore thought he might ride his global warming crusade back toward the White House. If you saw his movie, which opened showing cattle on his farm, you start to understand how shallow this is. The United Nations says that cattle, farting and belching methane, create more global warming than all the SUVs in the world. Even more laughably, Al and his camera crew flew first class for that film, consuming 50% more jet fuel per seat-mile than coach fliers, while his Tennessee mansion sucks as much carbon as 20 average homes.

For the researchers, scientists, and academics going along, it is money, support for their own strains of research.

You can’t blame these scientists for sucking up to the fed’s mantra du jour. Scientists live off grants. Remember how Galileo recanted his preaching about the earth revolving around the sun? He, of course, was about to be barbecued by his leaders. Today’s scientists merely lose their cash flow. Threats work.

Gary wraps up his arguments with a reminder that the climate is not the only weapon of FUD employed by those seeking power and control:

I can ask “outrageous” questions like that because I’m not dependent upon government money for my livelihood. From the witch doctors of old to the elected officials today, scaring the bejesus out of the populace maintains their status.

Sadly, the public just learned that our scientific community hid data and censored critics. Maybe the feds should drop this crusade and focus on our health care crisis. They should, of course, ignore the life insurance statistics that show every class of American and both genders are living longer than ever. That’s another inconvenient fact.

Read The Fiction Of Climate Science.

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.