Publishers Blocked Amniotic Stem Cell News For 7 Years
Today marks the first day that the 110th Congress will address the hypocrisy of Embryonic Stem Cell Research while calculatedly ignoring other stem cell research that proves to be more promising, faster, easier and more ethical.
The last two weeks have been pivotal in this debate ever since Nature Biotechnology published a study that was co-authored by researcher Paolo De Coppi and Anthony Atala through Harvard and Wake Forest Universities, 7 years ago. The study details advances in stem cell research that could be achieved faster and safer with amniotic fluid than could be achieved with embryonic stem cells. In addition, it is being reported that the amniotic stem cells don’t have the propensity to turn into runaway cancer like tumors as has been demonstrated in many embryonic stem cell trials to date.
You would think that this research would be hailed by Democrats and other proponents of stem cell research, but you would be wrong. For all the advances that have been made in non-embryonic forms of stem cell research the Democrats in Congress still glom onto the one form of stem cell research that is the least likely to show promise for a variety of reasons, both scientific and political. In other words these politicians would rather have a completely manufactured political issue than fund research that has demonstrated the most promise and would have the least resistance from an ethical point of view.
There is no greater indicator of how true this statement is than the fact that Paolo De Coppi has unsuccessfully been trying to get his research paper published for the last seven years. Luckily I came by an Italian newspaper while researching the study that included the following statement by Paolo:
However, he disclosed that he had the impression since 2001, when he first started presenting his work at conferences, that the scientific establishment, which has invested heavily in embryo research, was resistant to the prospect of amniotic stem cells proving useful.
“It took seven years to get our paper published…it was rejected four times. “We had the impression that many of the criticisms raised (in rejecting the paper) were motivated by a resistance to the idea of finding an alternative to embryonic stem cells because the American scientific community fears restrictions on research with embryos. [emphasis mine]
“We could have had the discovery published sooner by opting to send our results to a less prestigious journal,” De Coppi said.
“But that way we would have lost credibility with the scientific community.
“Therefore, we decided to overcome the hostility”.
The publication of the paper in Britain’s leading stem-cell journal has electrified the research community.
In the paper, De Coppi and Atala present evidence of amniotic cells diversifying into various kinds of bodily tissue - a result previously only thought possible by using embryos.
Let’s see, if I do the math 7 years comes at just about the same time that John Edwards was furthering the completely ludicrous notion that Republican’s were blocking research that would have had Christopher Reeves walking in no time. Now it turns out that politically motivated scientists, publishers and even people who fund research were the ones blocking information that points to a slightly different picture; one that exposes the hypocrisy of embryonic stem cell politics.
But the breakthrough goes beyond the potential for embryonic stem cells because the researchers discovered Y-chromosomes in the cells that originated in the readily available amniotic fluid. The importance of this find is staggering because it means that the cells are derived from the baby in the womb. This is an important aspect for potentially creating lines of cells that can be easily introduced into the body of a sick child without rejection. Thus all mothers should be freezing amniotic fluid as an insurance policy in case their child gets ill.
Perhaps one day the hypocrites in Congress will stop blocking the most promising forms of stem cell research for the single purpose of buying votes based on fear and ignorance. Perhaps, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it.
Terry Trippany is the editor at Webloggin.