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Stem Cells Restore Sight For Corneal Disease Patients

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the soon-it'll-be-saline-&-stem-cell-solution dept.

Biotech 223

Sean0michael writes "Australian scientists have restored the sight of three human test subjects using stem cells cultured in contact lenses. All the patients were blind in only one eye. Two were legally blind, but can now read the big letters on an eye chart. The third could read the first few lines, but is now able to pass a driver's test. The University of New South Wales reports that these patients all had damaged corneas, and the stem cells came from each person's good eye. The best part: the procedure is inexpensive, raising hopes for being able to push this to the third world sooner than other, more expensive medications."

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Help! Help! My iPhone 3G is stuck in my butt! (-1, Offtopic)

whatwhatinthebuttbut (1569733) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215255)

Can someone from Slashdot be kind enough to help me extricate my iPhone 3G from the inside of my anus? Rob Malda shoved it up there and I can't get it to come back out.

Re:Help! Help! My iPhone 3G is stuck in my butt! (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215319)

Might as well just set it on vibrate and enjoy.

Re:Help! Help! My iPhone 3G is stuck in my butt! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215359)

That's why he needs it out, so he can set it to vibrate and put it back.

Re:Help! Help! My iPhone 3G is stuck in my butt! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215385)

+----------+
| FIX YOUR |
|  FUCKIN' |
|   CODE   |
+----------+
     |  |
     |  |
   .\|.||/..

Slashdot, you need to FYFC

Slashdot is in dire need of repair

When will they fix their fucking code?

Perhaps never!

Only time will tell...

!embroyonic (5, Informative)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215293)

Again.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Funny)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215373)

"The good news is no aborted fetuses were harmed in the course of these tests."

Re:!embroyonic (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215399)

Agreed!

In fact, I am not sure that there has been even one single break through that wasn't from adult stem cells.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215463)

In fact, I am not sure that there has been even one single break through that wasn't from adult stem cells.

That's due to your own ignorance not any actual facts. I found one example just in 2 seconds of googling. This FDA approved study [cnn.com] was based on a previous trial that was able to successfully restore locomotion to those with spinal cord injuries. It is not even the only example just the first one that I found.

Re:!embroyonic (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215699)

Ah, dude, he said breakthroughs, not research. I also did a google search and didn't find much that was successful, though there are hundreds of breakthroughs using adult stem cells.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215767)

Ah, dude, he said breakthroughs, not research.

I already told you what the breakthrough was. They were able to successfully restore locomotion using embryonic stem cells in people with spinal cord injuries.

I also did a google search and didn't find much that was successful, though there are hundreds of breakthroughs using adult stem cells.

Which are all using as a base the work of those working on embryonic stem cells. Anyone who thinks that none of these breakthroughs were based off of any work done with embryonic stem cells is just plain ignorant.

reason (2, Insightful)

Gary W. Longsine (124661) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216115)

"Most people are not very susceptible to reason." -- Leonard Silk [nytimes.com]

Re:!embroyonic (3, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216155)

I guess you failed reading class as well: "The tests could begin by summer, said Dr. Thomas Okarma, president and CEO of the Geron Corporation." You can't restore locomotion in patients from a test that hasn't been done yet.

And you're a real idiot if you think that the base work in embryonic stem cells has led to anything other than cancer.

Re:!embroyonic (2, Interesting)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216225)

I guess you failed reading class as well: "The tests could begin by summer, said Dr. Thomas Okarma, president and CEO of the Geron Corporation." You can't restore locomotion in patients from a test that hasn't been done yet.

Did you read what I posted? This study was being done based off the work of a previous trial. Here [jneurosci.org] is the trial that was done that precedes the FDA-approved study.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Transplants Remyelinate and Restore Locomotion after Spinal Cord Injury

Way to fail.

And you're a real idiot if you think that the base work in embryonic stem cells has led to anything other than cancer.

HAHAHAHAHAHA. That's a good one.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216345)

It was in RATS! And they had to inject them within 7 DAYS of the injury!

Re:!embroyonic (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216473)

It was in RATS!

So what?

And they had to inject them within 7 DAYS of the injury!

Which is pretty typical of initial trials. I never said this was a full-blown, ready to use treatment.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216371)

Just incase you don't bother to click on the article he provided, it was published in 2005. So, it's definitely been done.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216437)

And if you actually READ that study, the study was done on RATS, not on humans.

No wonder you've never heard of Humanae Vitae- you're as illiterate as any science-worshipper I've ever come across.

Re:!embroyonic (2, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216495)

And if you actually READ that study, the study was done on RATS, not on humans.

I did read the study and did know that. How does that make it any less of a breakthrough? Was the initial polio vaccine not a breakthrough just because it was only initially only worked on monkeys? I never once claimed this was some ready for human therapy but that doesn't make it any less of a breakthrough. In fact, it's because of that trial that the study I linked was approved and the ones running it admit to building upon the work of that previous trial.

No wonder you've never heard of Humanae Vitae- you're as illiterate as any science-worshipper I've ever come across.

Science-worshiper? Hahaha that's a funny one.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216893)

Don't reply to that guy, he is a cult fanatic. They dno't see reason. I went to his web site, it's full of logical fallacys and what I will kindly call ignorant misunderstandings.
that person thinks RERUM NOVARUM is a good economic model for crying out loud.
Well he claims to, I suspect you you moved into his house or started living on his property he would decide otherwise.

Re:!embroyonic (0, Flamebait)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216691)

How is it not a break through? becasue the tested using rats?

Science worshiper make no sense at all. IT'a about facts and studies. PROVABLE stuff.
Let me know when you idiots can cook up nay way to verify your religious hypothesis.

All test have shown there is no god. You got one that does?

Take your ritual cannibalism zombie savior belief to church and seek comfort in the other ignorant mean fuckers that think their belief trumpets peoples right, kindness, science and common sense.

Oh yeah, I have read the Church doctrine mother fucker, so bring it on.

I am not suprised you ahve no idea how and where they get Stem Cells.

If you are against this research, then you are also against in vitro fertilization. Funny, I have yet to find one of you righteous assholes who are against in vitro fertilization even though the by product is where they get the Blastocyst from; which isn't a fetus yet.
I am sick of you cock sucker forcing your belief down the throat of others. You don't like it? fine don't take any life saving treatments from it. Do not tell me what to do based on your made up shit.

the number 1 cause of atheism is studying the bible, dip wad.

You don't like science fuck face? get the hell off the interent becasue it is possible from science.
To quote Carl Sagan: "Science delivers the goods"

Re:!embroyonic (1, Troll)

sortius_nod (1080919) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216493)

I'd give up now, unfortunately the whole embryonic stem cell debate brings out the religious right who ignore studies. They seem use strawman arguments to try to push their own agenda.

The rest of us who do actually read studies and support embryonic stem cells know what you're getting at.

I bet these religious nuts don't even realise how much embryonic material (not just stem cells) are used in science. In fact, one of my friends when working in a neuroscience institution was quite frank with the fact she used aborted human embryos in her research. They keep it low key to stop the religious nuts from protesting or doing something destructive to the labs.

It seems the most ill informed people in the world would prefer to see adults die rather than an aborted embryo be used for research.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

djtachyon (975314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215949)

In the words of Peter Griffin: "Why are we not funding this?!" he asks after walking out of the stem cell research facility, completely cured.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216881)

Ah, well, Peter Griffin said it. It must be true!

Seriously now.

(You achieve partial redemption for quoting the Doctor.)

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216289)

"This is significant because it's the first clinical trial of a human embryonic-based product."

From that single line in the fucking article YOU posted you can find out that not only is this the FIRST approved research using Embryonic Stem Cells but in addition it is just research and NOT a breakthrough. Way too many people are way the fuck too stuck in their ideology to see the actual reality of the world around them.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216441)

I didn't say that study was the breakthrough. The breakthrough was the previous trial on which that study is basing it's work on. Please learn to read. The previous trial can be found here [jneurosci.org] .

Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cell Transplants Remyelinate and Restore Locomotion after Spinal Cord Injury

I'm pretty sure the fact that that trial was able to restore locomotion after a spinal cord injury would be a breakthrough.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216591)

I'm pretty sure the fact that that trial was able to restore locomotion after a spinal cord injury would be a breakthrough.

A breakthrough for paraplegic rats.

Using embryonic stem cells that have ALWAYS been approved for research and federal funding.

I know you want to make this look like Barry got into office and suddenly the lame started walking and the blind can see, but Barry had nothing to do with either the vision repair using adult stem cells or the approval of the TESTS to see if embryonic cells can restore nerve tissue in humans.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216383)

However, it's just a study. No "break" there. In fact, if you look, you will find that many uses of embryonic stem cells result in cancers or tumors.

Re:!embroyonic (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215547)

In fact, I am not sure that there has been even one single break through that wasn't from adult stem cells.

Plenty of research is going on in embryonic stem cells, right now. Induced pluripotent stem cells were made using lessons learned from embryonic stem cells. That's a huge one right there. And the discovery of ESC itself was a significant advance.

You might not think of biology as being important beyond what diseases it can cure right now. /.ers tend to be annoyed by people who take this approach to computing. Hmm...

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216175)

Plenty of research yes. Plenty of failures yes. Huge amounts of cancer, yes.

Actual cures, no.

Re:!embroyonic (2, Insightful)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215661)

Well if you threaten to cut federal funding to any university or hospital that does research on embryonic stem cells, surprise surprise, there are going to be more breakthroughs from other cell types.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Informative)

Bryansix (761547) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216377)

I don't know if you forgot but there ARE other countries in the world besides the United States of America. Your explanation makes no sense.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216907)

True, but any one large country cutting spending on a science will lead to fewer results becasue less people overall will be doing that research.

WTF? (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216933)

Yes, I see... other countries exist on the planet, so if a country like say the United States were to divert its resources away from embryonic to adult stem cell research, it would have absolutely no effect whatsoever on the pace of development in either. :P

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216623)

Oh my god, this is SUCH BULLSHIT! No one ever threatened to cut funding to universities. You are either incredibly ignorant or are a lying bastard. Which is it? Oh, and another thing (since we know whom you're attempting to smear, here) George W. Bush was the FIRST ever US President to fund ANY embryonic stem cell research EVER! And he got constantly slammed as some fucking obstacle to it!

Re:!embroyonic (1, Insightful)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216735)

Well if you threaten to cut federal funding to any university or hospital that does research on embryonic stem cells, surprise surprise, there are going to be more breakthroughs from other cell types.

You're one of those who claims funding is cut if the amount of funding doesn't get increased as much as you want, aren't you?

Federal funding of embryonic stem cell research goes on, there are just limits on the use of new cell lines. It's an ethics thing. We already have some embryonic lines to work with, we don't need to continue what some people feel are highly unethical actions to get more, but the ones we have can be used and duplicated forever.

It's like, do we use the information that Mengele developed, or do we use the same techniques to get more information? After all, you don't want to be seen as someone who would watch humans die just so that some non-humans don't have to, would you?

Re:!embroyonic (3, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216483)

No fetus has EVER been harmed in ANY stem cell test or experiment. In fact THEY CAN"T BE becasue they weren't fetuses yet. They're not even 200 cells. Hell, more cell dies last time you sneezed.

There have been many, many, many break thoughs from harvested stem cell.

Dumbass.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215419)

How can you murder a baby with such beautiful eyes?

Please let me be born. [wikipedia.org]

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215823)

That is the saddest thing ever, no joke.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215865)

Oh he's so adorable! [gfmer.ch]

Re:!embroyonic (5, Informative)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215423)

Embryonic stem cells don't come from aborted fetuses. They come from in vitro fertilization. ESC are harvested 5 days after fertilization, abortions aren't performed 5 days after fertilization because you wouldn't know.

Re:!embroyonic (2, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216543)

Now you've done it.

People had the image of evil scientists watching abortions being performed through a hole in the wall, rubbing their hands together and twirling their mustaches in sadistic anticipation of fresh, fetal stem cells. It worked out well. They had a target (that didn't exist) they could all agree to hate.

Now those people will have to imagine evil test tubes and deal with the fact that many of them have used such services.

It's only a matter of time before we hear them cry out that they were raped by these doctors who harvested their children for profit and the evils of science, without having any reason to believe that it actually happened to them.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215487)

Aborted fetuses aren't used as a source of stem cells since all the cells would be dead. The embryonic stem cells are harvested from leftover frozen embryos from people doing invitro-fertilization that would normally just be thrown out.

Re:!embroyonic (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215525)

Too bad the pro-life wingnuts don't understand this concept.

Re:!embroyonic (1, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215683)

Yep, it's amusing that they'd rather have the embryos thrown away in the garbage or incinerated rather than be used to actually further medical science.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215913)

OR maybe we think that the embryos shouldn't have been created in the first place. Only take what you need for the in vitro fertilization and no more. Then you don't have an ethical dilemma about whether to kill them by throwing them in the garbage or kill them to experiment with ESCs. ESC research could actually induce fertilization clinics to make MORE embryos than they need, knowing they'll be used for research as well.

But it's nice of you to put words in the mouths of people like me to tear down to benefit your argument. You could call it a strawman. Congratulations on the insightful mod since that strawman was pretty tough to tear down.

Re:!embroyonic (4, Insightful)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216099)

OR maybe we think that the embryos shouldn't have been created in the first place.

Well then it's amazing that not a single one of the embryonic stem cell whiners have ever publicly stated this.

Only take what you need for the in vitro fertilization and no more.

But one doesn't know how many are going to be needed which is why they make and freeze so many. If you knew anything about how in-vitro fertilization works you'd know that there are usually a very small likelihood of successful implantation which is why they have to create so many.

Then you don't have an ethical dilemma about whether to kill them by throwing them in the garbage or kill them to experiment with ESCs.

There is nothing to kill. These are just clumps of undifferentiated cells.

ESC research could actually induce fertilization clinics to make MORE embryos than they need, knowing they'll be used for research as well.

And yet they don't need to since the fertilization clinics already had way more than they can use even before embryonic stem cell research started.

But it's nice of you to put words in the mouths of people like me to tear down to benefit your argument.

I didn't put in words into anyone's mouth. I was just describing the ultimate reality of what happens when the frozen embryos aren't allowed to be used for research. They are incinerated or simply thrown away.

You could call it a strawman.

Outlining the consequences of what happens when the embryos aren't allowed to be used isn't a strawman.

Congratulations on the insightful mod since that strawman was pretty tough to tear down.

You didn't tear anything down. You just basically repeated the wacko nonsense that comes from the religious right.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216207)

Well then it's amazing that not a single one of the embryonic stem cell whiners have ever publicly stated this.
 
I have, hundreds of times. The Roman Catholic Church is probably the biggest "embryonic stem cell whiner" there is, and THEY predicted this development of reproductive research back in 1976 (Humanae Vitae, encyclical of Pope Paul VI).
 
  But one doesn't know how many are going to be needed which is why they make and freeze so many. If you knew anything about how in-vitro fertilization works you'd know that there are usually a very small likelihood of successful implantation which is why they have to create so many.
 
Which is why for Catholics, IVF is as big a sin as abortion (and is in fact the same sin).

Re:!embroyonic (0, Troll)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216283)

I have, hundreds of times.

Gee, why wasn't I surprised that some nobody that no one has ever heard of would say this?

The Roman Catholic Church is probably the biggest "embryonic stem cell whiner" there is, and THEY predicted this development of reproductive research back in 1976 (Humanae Vitae, encyclical of Pope Paul VI).

But their objection is over it being the "murder" of the ball of cells not a complaint that "too many are being made".

Which is why for Catholics, IVF is as big a sin as abortion (and is in fact the same sin).

Wow, then you are even more backwards and stupid than I thought.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216453)

You mean kind of like how you called curing rats a human trial above?

Or maybe how stupid you are not to realize the ethical dilemma of creating another human being for the sole purpose of replacement parts?

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216759)

Ironic that you are proof some people should abort.

Re:!embroyonic (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216287)

Well then it's amazing that not a single one of the embryonic stem cell whiners have ever publicly stated this.

Funny, I know quite a few people that have. Maybe the bias lies in your selection of sources? Your characterization of people that disagree with you as whiners indicates you wouldn't be receptive to the position anyway. Perhaps you've heard of it but dismissed it because it doesn't fit with your "insightful" strawman?

But one doesn't know how many are going to be needed which is why they make and freeze so many. If you knew anything about how in-vitro fertilization works you'd know that there are usually a very small likelihood of successful implantation which is why they have to create so many.

So keep the egg and sperm separate. No combination = no life. Neither differentiates spontaneously. As is, you have multiple implantations in the hope that at least one will stick. That brings up a further ethical dilemma, create a new Octomon producing 8 kids at once, or abort the other ones that took to benefit the preferred embryo(s).

There is nothing to kill. These are just clumps of undifferentiated cells.

That's your OPINION. You can't back it with science since it is more of a philosophical question. I'm an atheist and yet I maintain that life begins at the moment of conception based on science as well.

nd yet they don't need to since the fertilization clinics already had way more than they can use even before embryonic stem cell research started.

Which proves that they were already overcreating them. What happens, if there is a run on ESC research and clinics begin to run out? Deliberate creation of new embryos for research?

I didn't put in words into anyone's mouth. I was just describing the ultimate reality of what happens when the frozen embryos aren't allowed to be used for research. They are incinerated or simply thrown away.

You were putting words in the mouths of the people that disagree with you. You might not wish to accept it, but you were. You were arguing your view of their position ("they'd rather...") neglecting to state any opinion of your own. Hence, you were putting words into the mouths of others.

Outlining the consequences of what happens when the embryos aren't allowed to be used isn't a strawman.

Pretending that there are only two choices IS creating a strawman. It deliberately ignores other choices to make it seem like they don't exist.

You didn't tear anything down. You just basically repeated the wacko nonsense that comes from the religious right.

No, I didn't tear anything down. YOU created a strawman for yourself to tear down. You seem to have a lot of problems with logic... you might want to take a debate class because you're all over the place. You've given no supporting argument of your own position, and have done nothing but resort to creating strawmen and mocking those that disagree with you. That might win you a political election, but it doesn't make your argument sound.

Re:!embroyonic (0, Troll)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216415)

Funny, I know quite a few people that have.

So name these people who have publicly gone out and said this.

Maybe the bias lies in your selection of sources?

My selection of source is are the people who vocally go into public and state their opposition.

Your characterization of people that disagree with you as whiners indicates you wouldn't be receptive to the position anyway. Perhaps you've heard of it but dismissed it because it doesn't fit with your "insightful" strawman?

Again, you use this term strawman but don't seem to know what it means.

So keep the egg and sperm separate.

So you want them to separate each individual egg and sperm? That is an impractical amount of work which is why they just do it en masse. You have fun separating the millions of sperm from each other from a sample of semen and see how practical what you state really is.

That brings up a further ethical dilemma, create a new Octomon producing 8 kids at once, or abort the other ones that took to benefit the preferred embryo(s).

It's her body she can do with it what she will.

That's your OPINION

Which is based on science.

You can't back it with science since it is more of a philosophical question. I'm an atheist and yet I maintain that life begins at the moment of conception based on science as well.

Then please link to this science that shows this.

Which proves that they were already overcreating them.

Please see above. Doing what you claim is just outright impractical.

What happens, if there is a run on ESC research and clinics begin to run out? Deliberate creation of new embryos for research?

If people consent to have their eggs and sperm being used to create more ESCs then sure.

You were putting words in the mouths of the people that disagree with you.

Nope, just describing the ultimate consequences of your position.

You might not wish to accept it, but you were. You were arguing your view of their position ("they'd rather...") neglecting to state any opinion of your own. Hence, you were putting words into the mouths of others.

Well considering that the fertilized eggs are going to be thrown away or incinerated because the clinic doesn't have space to keep them, if you object to the research you are in effect saying you'd rather have them destroyed then put to good use.

Pretending that there are only two choices IS creating a strawman. It deliberately ignores other choices to make it seem like they don't exist.

Nope, that would be a false dichotomy or false dilemma. Get your logical fallacies right please.

No, I didn't tear anything down.

I know you didn't. You failed to do anything at all but repeat more Religious Right bullshit.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216229)

But it's nice of you to put words in the mouths of people like me to tear down to benefit your argument. You could call it a strawman. Congratulations on the insightful mod since that strawman was pretty tough to tear down.

Yeah, you're right. It was kind of a strawman, largely because it was too specific.

"I have no idea of what I'm talking about, I can't be arsed to find out, and my imagination of what is going on outrages me!"

There. That's not a strawman at all.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216209)

Yep, it's amusing that they'd rather have the embryos thrown away in the garbage or incinerated rather than be used to actually further medical science.

I take it you're unfamiliar with embryo adoption [google.com] ?

Re:!embroyonic (1)

JeanPaulBob (585149) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216245)

In other words, I'd rather that these extremely immature human being were given the chance to continue maturing toward adulthood, rather than being tossed aside OR killed for parts to help others.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216521)

In other words, I'd rather that these extremely immature humans were given the chance to continue maturing toward adulthood, rather than being tossed aside OR killed for parts to help others.

My brother is an extremely immature human. What you are describing is an embryo. An embryo is a multicellular diploid eukaryote in its earliest stage of development that has no more in common with a human being then an ant. (And before you say it, the fact that the embryo cells may becomepart of a human being doesn't matter. I can eat the ant and it will become a part of a person too.)

Re:!embroyonic (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216223)

Yep, it's amusing that they'd rather have the embryos thrown away in the garbage or incinerated rather than be used to actually further medical science.

They're trying to prevent dead fetuses from developing monetary value. Though I agree that they're not listening to reason, I wouldn't quite phrase it the way you did.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216259)

They're trying to prevent dead fetuses from developing monetary value.

No they aren't. If that was what they were doing why do they never say that? It's always about preventing the "murder" of an undifferentiated ball of cells.

Though I agree that they're not listening to reason, I wouldn't quite phrase it the way you did.

The way I phrased it is the ultimate consequences of their actions. Ban their use for research and they get thrown out.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216353)

If that was what they were doing why do they never say that? It's always about preventing the "murder" of an undifferentiated ball of cells.

Because words like 'murder' punctuate the point and make it easier to get their message out. It's sort of like how Palin tried to attach the word 'terrorist' to Obama, and sadly, with some success.

They don't like abortion to begin with. If abortions start saving lives, they fear that it becomes a 'pro', thus making it harder to outlaw.

I'll admit, though, that I am guilty of generalizing.

The way I phrased it is the ultimate consequences of their actions. Ban their use for research and they get thrown out.

It attributed the wrong intention to their actions in order to make them look silly.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215697)

Too bad the public at large doesn't understand this concept.

Fixed that for you. The anti-ESC crowd is running a very successful misinformation campaign. I'm not sure if it's intentional or not. It's all the more astounding because so many scientists who work on this are professors, teachers, yet they have so far been totally unable to get across to most people that these are never from aborted fetuses, they never can be.

Even GP got it wrong

Aborted fetuses aren't used as a source of stem cells since all the cells would be dead.

Not true, plenty of studies are done off of live aborted tissue. For example, studies on human brain development. [nature.com] The reason aborted embryos aren't used is that the ideal time for harvesting ESC is at 5 days, before the embryo implants and before you would know you're pregnant. That, and there are thousands of IVF embryos not being used for anything.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215811)

There's some people who argue a concept called "respect for the planet". It's almost as if they have some form of problem with reengineering the globe, for example if you mention global geo-engineering they seem to get all upset. As if the globe is anything but a mechanical system that we can rebuild as we see fit.

There's some other people who argue a concept called "respect for life". It's all unscientific and illogical nonsense.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215971)

only one planet.

Lots of lives, and even then we kill loads of animals for food each year. Culturing a few cells isn't exactly creating some conscious being and then killing it.

Re:!embroyonic (2, Insightful)

citizenr (871508) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216001)

"The good news is no aborted fetuses were harmed in the course of these tests."

Why is it a good news? I don't care about fetuses or some occult opinions.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216857)

Strange usag eof the word "occult." Since Christianity is one of those belief systems that typically includes no-abortion, and since you aren't referring to stem cells specifically here, I'd venture to say you're calling Christianity occult?

The word occult comes from the Latin word occultus (clandestine, hidden, secret), referring to "knowledge of the hidden"

And, of course, the word is typically used to describe a specific "occult" religion. Which Christianity is not... neither the Latin definition nor the religion.

Unless you're trying to say that the opinion (of not wanting fetuses aborted) comes from "hidden knowledge." As opposed to a purely scientific view, I suppose, which determines when human life begins by ... ?

This story reminds me of a joke! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215381)

Why is Stevie Wonder always smiling? He doesn't know he's black!

Now why would you want to use stem cells when all they would do is make Stevie Wonder look in a mirror and never smile again. Are you against smiling, you insensitive clod?!

Re:!embroyonic (5, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215449)

Which is to be expected. Controlling the differentiation of a cell is still not completely understood and difficult to do. It is easier with partially differentiated cells, and hence with stem cells from the tissue that we wish to regrow. Therefore, the first practical treatments and applications of stem cell research will be using adult stem cells.

Where embryonic stem cells come into play is by helping understand this differentiation process better. Increasing our knowledge will enable us to develop treatments that aren't possible using adult stem cells, but it will also likely contribute to having safer more effective adult stem cell treatments treatments. It may even shed some light into the entire aging process and cell life-cycle. They are very important things to be studying.

To put it succinctly, adult stem cells are currently at the R&D stage, embryonic at the pure science stage. Both are important.

Re:!embroyonic (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216131)

FTA: "To obtain the stem cells, Dr Watson took less than a millimeter of tissue from the side of each patients' cornea. "

Yep, not embryonic. For all the hype of embryonic stem cells, we've yet to see *ANYTHING* good come out of them.

Re:!embroyonic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216435)

Well yea except of course for the research that led them to this. Embryonic stem cell research has created an adult stem cell program that is now an engineering problem instead of a research problem.

Stem Cells are Amazing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215311)

Yet we don't know how to use them very well yet. Right now the most advanced treatment with them is 'stick them in the damaged tissue and hope for the best'.

But the funny part is (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215323)

That wearing Glasses has become a fashion statement. Yes, you can go and buy Glasses with lenses that do nothing so that you look more fashionable.

But seriously - that is cool beans. But if the Stem cells come from the other eye, does that mean I'm producing stem cells right now? Can I harvest it and fix my liver from a night of overdrinking? FRIDAY HERE I COME

Re:But the funny part is (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215443)

does that mean I'm producing stem cells right nowProducing them? I have no idea. Do you have them? Yes you do. However, stem cells like these are different than embryonic stem cells in that they are already have a predisposition of turning into cells of a certain type, where embryonic stem cells can be coerced into turning into any type.

Re:But the funny part is (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215513)

Can I harvest it and fix my liver from a night of overdrinking?

Perhaps. I can't address the value or therapeutic effectiveness of stem cells based on your liver, but I can tell you a couple of other factors to consider.

  1. Liver biopsies probably don't feel good. Especially that "sticking a long needle into your belly and sucking out a bit of liver." DIY may not be your best approach here.
  2. I think it'd work best if you had some stem cells from before you started to degrade your poor liver (i.e., before you started drinking hard). Not just before one specific binge, but before you took up binge drinking entirely. So, I think it's already too late.

Oh, yeah, don't forget to ??? and Profit!!

Re:But the funny part is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215561)

What is "cool beans"?

Re:But the funny part is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215895)

Cold-press coffee.

Re:But the funny part is (2, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215585)

Wearing glasses as a fashion statement isn't new at all. It occurred at least as early as the early Renaissance when glasses were considered a sign of wealth (because you could afford them) and education (because you presumably needed them to read).

Very Surprised (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215377)

Wow, I didn't see this one coming.

Re:Very Surprised (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215669)

Wow, I didn't see this one coming.

Didn't predict what was going to happen? That was very short-sighted of you.

It was blindingly obvious, after all.

Yes, yes, I'm an insensitive clod. I understand this, and apologize in advance to my sight-challenged friends who are listening to this via text reader or reading it via braille.

Types of stem cells (4, Interesting)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215429)

The article doesn't go into very much detail on what the stem cells really were or how the were produced, so I assume what they refer to as "stem cells" are really multipotent stem cells (or so-called progenitor cells [wikipedia.org] ), rather than the pluripotent stem cells that are obtained from the embryo and that can differentiate into any adult tissue. Multipotent stem cells are found in many regenenerating tissues, such as epithelia and bone marrow, but it should be noted that they are not stem cells in the sense that they would retain the ability to differentiate into any cell type.

Re:Types of stem cells (4, Informative)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215531)

The article doesn't go into very much detail on what the stem cells really were or how the were produced,

They weren't produced. They were somatic stem cells that were in the patients good eyes.

so I assume what they refer to as "stem cells" are really multipotent stem cells (or so-called progenitor cells [wikipedia.org])

No, you would be wrong. As the summary and the article state these are adult stem cells [wikipedia.org] or somatic stem cells as they are also called.

Re:Types of stem cells (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216143)

1. I would presume they were produced from cells harvested from the good eyes.

2. Adult stem cells are multipotent progenitor cells.

Re:Types of stem cells (1)

harryandthehenderson (1559721) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216189)

2. Adult stem cells are multipotent progenitor cells.

Sorry, but no. Progenitor cells are differentiated. Somatic stem cells are undifferentiated.

Re:Types of stem cells (1)

ChinggisK (1133009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215535)

The article doesn't go into very much detail on what the stem cells really were or how the were produced, so I assume what they refer to as "stem cells" are really multipotent stem cells (or so-called progenitor cells), rather than the pluripotent stem cells that are obtained from the embryo and that can differentiate into any adult tissue. Multipotent stem cells are found in many regenenerating tissues, such as epithelia and bone marrow, but it should be noted that they are not stem cells in the sense that they would retain the ability to differentiate into any cell type.M

I don't know what most of those words mean, but judging from TFS where it says that the stem cells came from each subject's good eye, I'd say you're right, they aren't embryonic stem cells ;-)

I'm THRILLED by this (4, Interesting)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215627)

I had Lasik done when I was 20, back in the late 90s. Six good years of eyesight later, I started to develop an abnormality in my right now. Now, in my early thirties, I've been diagnosed with keratoconus in my right eye, and I might possibly have it in my left. While Lasik doesn't explicitly cause keratoconus, we also didn't know back in the 90's that some people might have corneas with hidden defects that might not take too well to a laser shaving off a couple of layers. So if they can come up with a way to take stem cells and create whole new corneas to replace damaged ones, then I for one will be anxiously awaiting the day when it becomes available in the United States (about ten years from now most likely, given the FDA's restrictions). I'd like to have normal eyes again, and not worry about one day having to undergo a corneal transplant. So this is AWESOME that they can do that. More power to stem cell research!!!!

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (1)

Acer500 (846698) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215963)

Indeed, sounds promising

A bit offtopic, I use glasses right now (myopia, -7 diopters IIRC) and several people have asked me why I haven't had surgery yet.. I don't really think surgery would change my life all that much, do you think your benefits outweighted the (possible, in your case real) dangers?

BTW I do sports with sports glasses - think Kareem, it's annoying at night after I took off my glasses, but not much else.

Good luck with the keratoconus.

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216777)

Yes, even now I'd have to say that the benefits outweighed the dangers. Before I got the lasik done, I could only see about four feet in front of me and then everything was a hopeless blur. Afterwards of course, I could see perfectly. The two biggest benefits though were: 1) I was 20 when I had it done, and so that meant for a vast majority of my twenties, I didn't have to wear contacts or lenses. I got to live life as someone who had perfect eyesight and never once had to worry about falling asleep with the lenses in, or breaking glasses; 2) even now with the keratoconus, I still see well enough during the daytime that I can ride a bike or do chores or read or play video games (which I couldn't before the lasik). At night I can't see much compared to when I have visual aids, but that's fine with me. So when I get depressed about the keratoconus issue, all I have to do is go for a run in the early morning as the dawn comes up without my glasses or lenses, and realize that I couldn't have done that before the lasik. My eyesight is STILL better. Hope that helps.

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28215977)

I also have recently found I have keratoconus (for those that don't know, it means your cornea is wasting away, and when it gets thinner, it looses it's roundness, making the front of your eye more cone-shaped, which normal glasses and contacts cannot correct), from what I have read, if you have in one you, you almost definitely have it in the other, albeit its almost always much less severe. The bad thing is all the treatments at the moment are a case of "It may restore some eyesight, but most likely, it'll slow or stop it getting worse, so get used to nasty Rigid Contact lenses for the rest of your life. As you can imagine, I can't wait for further research in this area! If it's as cheap and simple as they make it seem, and the result can be enhanced with further research, it's a dream come true for Keratoconus sufferers.

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216429)

Me too. I'm thirty now and I've still got one good eye but if this technique can be used in ten years to even just reinforce damaged corneas so they won't deteriorate further and need transplants I'll be a happy man !

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216621)

I'd probably kill myself if I went blind.

And I'd probably have a couple of failed attempts since, you know, I'd be fucking blind.

Re:I'm THRILLED by this (1)

Xaedalus (1192463) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216819)

As opposed to fucking sighted? Either way, you're still fucking... I'd keep living for that

Any numbers? (2, Interesting)

gringofrijolero (1489395) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215673)

Inexpensive? That's a very relative term..

Dead babies in peoples eyes? (0, Offtopic)

docbrody (1159409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215807)

What is the world coming to? Now they are killing dead babies and putting them into peoples eyes! The insanity!!!

Re:Dead babies in peoples eyes? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215919)

Clearly stated !embroyonic (meaning NOT babies)

The Sanity!!!

Re:Dead babies in peoples eyes? (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 5 years ago | (#28215933)

It dawned on me NOW that you must be joking. "Killing dead babies" haha, how do you kill something thats already dead, zombies excluded.

Re:Dead babies in peoples eyes? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216185)

I watched them liquefy the dead and make them into eye drops for the living...

Re:Dead babies in peoples eyes? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216467)

Visine Green is made from PEOPLE!

Nothing to see here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28216361)

Draconian patents will slow down the development of this method and the blind ones will remain blind.

Why aren't stem cells the normal repair mechanism? (1)

Adammil2000 (797026) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216787)

Since stem cells are so good at regrowing things that normally don't regrow on their own, I wonder why evolution hasn't created adult organisms that use stem cells as their normal body repair system. Clearly such a capability would provide a huge survival advantage, so why don't we see it happening in nature on its own?

Wait... (0, Troll)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 5 years ago | (#28216813)

So what number "stem cell" treatment discovery is this. And once again it's based upon adult stem cell. :P

I'd rather be a troll, than an ogre!

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