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Finnish Patient Gets New Jaw from His Own Stem Cells

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the close-the-organ-banks dept.

Medicine 141

An anonymous reader writes with news out of Finland, where a patient's upper jaw was replaced with bone cultivated from stem cells and grown inside the patient himself. We discussed other advances in stem cell research a few months ago. Quoting: "In this case they identified and pulled out cells called mesenchymal stem cells -- immature cells than can give rise to bone, muscle or blood vessels. When they had enough cells to work with, they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient's abdomen to grow for nine months. The cells turned into a variety of tissues and even produced blood vessels, the researchers said."

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141 comments

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Reminds me of Alien vs Pred (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22281888)

A jaw growing in his abdomen? I've seen that film before...

The source article (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22281904)

Why not link to the original article [nimp.org] , and not some ad infested blog site. ?Cheers.

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282002)

Virus alert! I should've remembered NIMP...

Re:The source article (1)

SlashWombat (1227578) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282142)

Well it certainly breaks firefox. Didn't do anything malicious, although I did reboot rather quickly. Perhaps the poster would go and play on the freeway for his next trick!

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282704)

Grandparent's page tries to open a bunch of little GNAA shithead IRC links on IRC, as well as download that stupid movie the GNAA twits love to quote, as well as having a bunch of Quicktime files up, as well as attempting to open a bunch of homophobic newsgroups.

In short, typical GNAA crap. Hopefully someone bans the grandparent for this.

Re:The source article (2, Informative)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282014)

Don't click link. Page has nasty javascript and is not related to the article one bit!

Re:The source article (0, Troll)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282086)

Which link? First is on-topic reuters page, second links to slashdot article. I think you are just a troll.

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282116)

You fail. The parent referred to the troll post at score 0.

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282134)

Did you idiot even notice that the comment YOU are replying to is in turn a reply to another comment that's been moderated to -1 by now? One that also contains a link? And did it occur to you that THAT may have been the link the GP was warning about, not the links in the summary?

No, of course it didn't: you're just a stupid slashbot, after all.

Re:The source article (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282144)

Sorry, my bad. I didn't noticed it. I'm not slashbot, it was just a mistake.

Re:The source article (1)

cbart387 (1192883) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282402)

No biggie. When I first read the article a moderator had modded the post positive without checking the link. I was trying to bring attention to that. Unfortunely they have modded me positive which will probably lead others to the link so I failed :(.

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282506)

OK - it happens. (Sorry for calling you an idiot, BTW - I get a bit carried away at times. :/

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282964)

Talk about absurd conversation.. Are you sure you're not replying to yourself?

Re:The source article (1)

Rival (14861) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283026)

It is refreshing to see a misunderstanding resolved in a civil manner. Even an AC apologized!

+1 "Admits mistake" to Yetihehe and +1 "Courteous" to cbart387 -- both rare mods these days.

Thanks for raising the level of behaviour on the boards for a moment.

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282040)

don't click, nasty javascript

Re:The source article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282698)

*sigh*

These GNAA-clones have been around a while, and before that the actual GNAA was doing this. GET A CLUE ALREADY, NIMP.ORG IS LAST MEASURE.

Anyone not getting this should not be on /. anymore. *sigh*

I swear, I'll soon start spamming I'm Feeling Lucky Last Measures.

Re:The source article (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282976)

ah-hA!

Good one!

Mod this one the fuck up. Everyone else replying is a liar.

Bill Gates v2.0 (3, Informative)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22281920)

I have no doubt that Bill Gates has had himself cloned, or at least all his organs and tissues, for when his own parts wear out. Stashed around the world, as insurance against laws banning cloning.

And if it's not viable yet, they'll just keep cloning him until they get it right.

I know that if I had $100B, that's how I'd spend it.

Re:Bill Gates v2.0 (5, Funny)

ale_ryu (1102077) | more than 6 years ago | (#22281970)

If I had $100B I'd spend it on blackjack and hookers!
In fact, forget about blackjack.

Re:Bill Gates v2.0 (1)

Laughing Pigeon (1166013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282648)

If I had $100B I'd spend it on blackjack and hookers!

In fact, forget about blackjack.

No, better not forget about it, in the average /.-er's cellar playing a good game of cards will probably the most exciting part of their visit for them.

Re:Bill Gates v2.0 (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283284)

Yeah, we geeks are a sad species...

the slashdot version... (1)

whopub (1100981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284900)

If I had $100B I'd spend it on blackjack and hookers! In fact, forget about blackjack.
I'd spend it on hookers and computers! In fact, forget about the hookers...

Re:Bill Gates v2.0 (1)

Albert Sandberg (315235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282998)

I know that if I had $100B, that's how I'd spend it. ...two chicks at the same time!

Slashdot users rape babies (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22281948)

You are all fucking bastards

New Body Parts (2, Funny)

hiruhl (1171697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22281968)

Does this mean I can have a second wee-wee?

Re:New Body Parts (1)

eitreach (1211194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22281978)

Just a second? You aren't thinking big enough. Four. Or six, that's the way.

Re:New Body Parts (1)

hiruhl (1171697) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282004)

Just a second? You aren't thinking big enough. Four. Or six, that's the way.
Hellz yeah, you're right! If I had one on each hip and the small of my back, I could have hula sex with four chicks! One over my nose and one behind my head, and I could redefine "chicken head".

Do you pedal-pumping type action with my feet would be overdoing it?

Re:New Body Parts (4, Funny)

ehrichweiss (706417) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282322)

This reminds me of an animation I saw on a "movie" called "Too Outrageous Animation" where a guy kept praying to Saint Martin to grant 4 wishes and his nagging wife said she wanted his body covered with cocks(fingers, tongue, elbows, etc.). St. Martin granted the wish and the husband was so enraged that he said he wanted his wife covered in vaginas. That wish was granted and then they both saw they could never go out in public and so they wanted none, the wish was granted. Then they realized they had zero sexual organs and wanted their old ones back; the wish was granted. The moral of the story was: Instead of asking for cocks and cunts, ask for brains instead.

Re:New Body Parts (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283620)

"The moral of the story was: Instead of asking for cocks and cunts, ask for brains instead"

So the sequel was a zombie movie?

Re:New Body Parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22284398)

Would you feel comfortable in public covered in brains? Me not.

Re:New Body Parts (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22281998)

I suspect that, given the right attitude and appearance, you can have as many as you like...

Re:New Body Parts (2, Funny)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282068)

Surely you could just reposition the large dick growing from your forehead?

Re:New Body Parts (1)

Perp Atuitie (919967) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283534)

It ain't heavy, it's my brother.

How much did it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282070)

How much did it cost him/her? $500k? $1M?

Re:How much did it cost? (2, Informative)

BrentH (1154987) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282158)

This is just a scientific trial, and they have social healthcare in Finland, so it didnt cost him a penny.

Re:How much did it cost? (3, Insightful)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282302)

It still costs money, regardless of who pays for it.

Re:How much did it cost? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22283008)

Well, not every country's health care system is out to turn a profit. However, your blanket statement is duly noted.

Re:How much did it cost? (3, Insightful)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282352)

Actually, it didn't cost him a cent. We have euros, you see.

Re:How much did it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22284074)

Actually, the euro has cents too. Eurocents. No kidding. I've got them in my wallet.

Re:How much did it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22284694)

Finland doesn't have cents. Five cents is the smallest coin.

Re:How much did it cost? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282214)

How much did it cost him/her? $500k? $1M?
In a newspaper article I read, it said it was more expensive than a transplant from hip bone or other traditional operation, but on the other hand the hospital bed time and recovery was drastically reduced. Not sure how much the total cost panned out because of that.

Re:How much did it cost? (1)

kabloom (755503) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282272)

I bet they got a big fat research grant for it.

Re:How much did it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282758)

32 us dollars, usually.

Socialized healthcare. <3

Re:How much did it cost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22283760)

32 us dollars, usually.
IANAL, or a health care professional, but I'd say if it was a routine operation, you'd have:
  • A visit to the dentists (7e)
  • A few (say 5--it's a fairly complicated operation) sessions with a specialist (11e a pop)
  • X-rays for the jaw (11e)
  • The operation itself (130e at most--again, fairly complicated)
  • A few (say 5 again) days in hospital (26e per day)
333e for a brand new jaw. Even if my calculations aren't be correct, they couldn't charge you for more than 590e per year--plus 12 per day spent in hospital. Oh, and it's 333e for any EU citizen [wikipedia.org] , not just Finns.

Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (-1, Troll)

Travoltus (110240) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282074)

to do this.

I hope they can expand this technology to replace embryonic stem cell harvesting in the future.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282094)

Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby

Cut it out. Please, just stop it.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282324)

It's a relevant comment, Alternative stem cell technology does have the potential to intrude upon embryo stem cell research and usurp its importance in the field of medical care. Why should we stop discussing the potential of one technology to replace another, highly controversial one? And why in God's name do we scream "please, stop" at one controvery while we engage in several other equally hot topics (that are nearer and dearer to geeks than fetuses)? "Kuill an unborn baby"? I've seen equally incindiary comments than that over music copying/piracy (there we go, there's one example), etc.

You sound like a hypocrite.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

dnormant (806535) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282550)

And I'm going to call bullshit on you. Stem cell research does not, in any way, kill, or support killing, babies. Irresponsible people kill babies.

It's nice that they used this persons own stem cells but I would have supported using embryo stem cells instead of flushing them down the toilet.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

s16le (963839) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284932)

And I'm going to call bullshit on you.

Nobody cares what you "call," you're a slashdot user. That qualifies you to sell dvds at Best Buy, or drop out of junior college classes, and that's about it.

Next time you feel like posting a comment, just write it in a text file and forget about it, thanks.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282558)

I was not screaming "STOP" at the controversy. I was screaming "STOP" at yet another repeated falsehood. I am perfectly willing to discuss the "controversy" but not with such outrageous emotional overtones.

I have nothing against working multiple lines of research: one or both will pay off handsomely (or maybe another effort that's not even been thought of yet, but will likely benefit from current progress.) But the "killing babies" argument is getting old and tired, and is not relevant because nobody kills babies for the express purpose of acquiring stem cells. That's just a lie, pure and simple. They're discarded embryos that have no hope of ever being born ... this is just my own opinion, but if I'd had a mother that didn't want me, had aborted me and left me for dead, I'd rather have ended up in a research program than a medical incinerator. Maybe then someone else who might otherwise have died, or suffered horribly, would have some chance at life.

Nobody wants to deal with the real issue of why there are so many non-viable embryos available for research purposes in the first place. What? That's a complex psycho-socio-economic problem that has no easy answer and can't be solved by blowing up abortion clinics or passing a few laws? Huh. How about that for controversy. Perhaps we need to rethink some basic aspects of our culture and figure out where we went wrong. This so-called "controversy" over stem cell research is a symptom of some deeper issues. Issues that, I might add, aren't going to disappear just because our President doesn't understand that his moral sense is too simplistic to provide effective guidance in this area (among others.)

I get just as torqued off when people make similar irrational commentary on other equally-hot topics. So calling me a hypocrite is a bit off: I just want people to learn to think. Only then does a reasoned response that might actually improve matters become possible. Otherwise everyone is just stroking their egos and refusing to learn anything.

Look, this same technique is applied to many different issues. Take illegal immigration. As soon as anyone brings up the idea of enforcing the law as written, some asshole immediately starts crying "racism! racism!". At that point, any rational discussion becomes impossible, because anyone who believes we should enforce our own laws has now been labeled a bigot. Doesn't matter what the facts are any longer.

So, if you want to have a decent dialog about the use of discarded embryos in stem cell research, keep the "killing babies" commentary to yourself. It serves little purpose other than to polarize the participants and eliminate any possibility of rational discourse. The people who are performing this research (the ones who originally used embryonic cells) are not baby killers, not abortion doctors, they're researchers with a genuine desire to advance our scientific knowledge and help people. Such deliberate and malicious mischaracterization of others generally means that someone has a fatally flawed perspective that cannot be supported by reality ... and knows it.

Facts? You're in need of a few. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22283238)

The debate is centered on ethics. Most of the facts aren't in dispute, they just get ignored.

The facts simply aren't reasonably in dispute. We all know that a zygote is an immature homo sapien. We know that it doesn't have brain function until considerably later and isn't communicative until well after it's born. So the debate is whether or not that's the same sort of "human" that belongs in the term "human rights." That is, whether it is our intelligence or our humanity that makes us somehow worthy of the rights we all recognize.

This is the CORE of the debate, not something that can be dispensed with as a side issue. It doesn't matter if that's why someone is destroying embryos, the people who believe it's human life oppose it because they believe it's human life. There simply isn't a way around that! You're asking them to discuss why they oppose it while leaving out the main reason! Sure, there might be some people who oppose it due to other reasons (squeamishness, fear of science, or whatever), but there aren't too many of those. Then you go on to talk about the "waste" embryos as if those who oppose destroying them aren't opposed to the processes which leave them as waste! Did you not read the story yesterday with the Pope of all people condemning those very things?

Worse, you go on to illegal immigration and you again miss the entire point of the opposition's argument! They're against the laws as written, so of course they don't want to enforce them any more than your average Slashdotter thinks the NFL ought to be able to enforce the ban on TV screens over 56 inches which is also written into law. But you've probably never been through immigration, so you don't have much of an idea how byzantine it is. Nor would you know that the agency has been almost completely defunded so that they can't process your case in a reasonable amount of time. And God help you if they screw up at any point. Hell, they've deported American citizens caught in raids, taking months to review the case even when presented with a valid US birth certificate!

So when you say that the opposition's case "isn't based on facts" I'm hearing that you don't really understand the opposition's case. Because that's what you're showing me. Believe it or not, I'm NOT ignorant of what a zygote or blastocyst is. I know the difference between pluripotent and multipotent stem cells, as well as the rationale behind the use of each. I even know a little about immigration law, despite being a US citizen who hasn't had to suffer going through it.

You? You can't even state the opponent's case in a reasonable manner. Believe it or not, I can engage in calm and rational debate. I won't throw out my case as a prerequisite, though, nor will I agree to the stipulation that the facts "aren't" on my side simply because you disagree with my interpretation of them. But I won't yell and scream at you when I ask you to pin down exactly what makes a human "human."

I don't have to. All I have to do is extend your "logic" to its breaking points. Given your display of the ignorance of our arguments, you don't seem to understand that your blind spot is a mile wide.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (2, Insightful)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283444)

First off: I am a Christian, and anti abortion.

Before you cast my comment aside, let me say that in many respects I agree with you.

Crying "killing babies" is a mantra created for influencing the masses. I realize that there is a huge gray area as far as abortion goes. Sometimes it is necessitated because the mothers life is in danger, other times the fetus is dead.

Killing the fetus for the simple expedient of harvesting stem-cells makes me uncomfortable, and I would vote against it if ever given the chance. Using unborn (through natural death - rejection in the womb for instance) fetuses for that purpose makes me less uncomfortable.

I am however all for exploring means that would make it unnecessary to use a fetus for the purpose of harvesting stem-cells, but making blanket uninformed decisions is wrong and trying to get the masses involved by preying on their fears is wrong.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (2, Informative)

Rankiri (1002633) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284010)

Just to make you feel more comfortable, it's called embryonic, not fetal cell stem research. They call them embryos on the earliest stages of growth, generally from the moment of fertilization until the end of the 8th week of gestational age. They call them fetuses thereafter. The embryos used for harvesting human embryonic stem cells are typically four or five days old. They look like a hollow microscopic ball of cells and called the blastocyst.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (2, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284098)

Well, I'm atheist and I'm anti-abortion, mostly because I see most of them as being the result of irresponsible behavior, and a further unwillingness to take responsibility for one's actions. I would think that most people don't believe abortion is a good idea, it mostly comes down to what criteria get applied for it to be permitted. Some would say when the mother's life is at risk, some would say when a woman is impregnated after a rape, others say it's the mother's choice ... others say never, ever. As usual, there's a middle ground that has to be found and some people will just have to accept that, whether they want to or not.

Obviously, as someone who doesn't believe in a human soul I'm at best only peripherally concerned with that aspect of the abortion controversy, however I do believe that a society such as ours should maintain some self-respect, some respect for each other. The problem is complex, however, and simply outlawing abortion without honestly and openly discussing the underlying cultural and economic concerns that affect abortion rates is pointless. Failure to address those issues will only make matters worse.

Regardless, I agree with you that abortion won't be dealt with in a responsible way unless we stop with the fear-mongering and irrational arguments. That applies to a whole host of other problems that are facing our society right now, from foreign policy to illicit drugs to stem-cell research. Unfortunately, many, many people simply cannot see past their own worldview, won't compromise under any conditions, refuse to accept that the other guy might have a point. Other people are just ignorant and believe whatever they're told by the latest talking head. As a consequence, sometimes very little progress gets made.

And that's too bad.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (3, Insightful)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283878)

>>Take illegal immigration. As soon as anyone brings up the idea of enforcing the law as written, some asshole immediately starts crying "racism! racism!". At that point, any rational discussion becomes impossible, because anyone who believes we should enforce our own laws has now been labeled a bigot. Doesn't matter what the facts are any longer.

Well, as a parallel example, some states still have anti-sodomy laws on the record. If you were to recommend "enforcing those laws as written," don't you think people would be right to decry you as anti-gay?

The laws already on the record aren't automatically morally neutral. They may very well be racist laws. You certainly don't have to try too hard to find laws that WERE explicitly racist in our nation's recent history. If you're going to argue in favor of current immigration policy, you're going to have to come up with a better argument for why the current laws are acceptable than merely that they're the current laws.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284410)

{sigh} you, like most other posters here, completely missed the point. What I'm trying to get across is that laws will not get changed in any intelligent way unless we stop calling each other names, stop trying to scare each other, and look at what's really going on. I don't care what particular issue you want to talk about: immigration, stem-cells, abortion, foreign policy, War on Drugs, War in Iraq, TSA, Copyright/Patent Reform, you name it.

So excuse me, but the fact that those immigration laws are on the books means they're on the goddamn books until Congress decides to change them. You sir, are going to have to come up with a better argument as to why those laws should be blatantly ignored other than that certain people happen to disagree with them. Those who disagree, oddly enough, are those who benefit the most economically by breaking them, at considerable cost to the rest of society. The burden is on you to show why that is a good thing, not on those that are simply calling for proper enforcement. Should you feel that the laws are unjust ... do what you can to get them changed! Don't go around saying that it's okay to break them just because you think they might be racist. As a general principle, the Rule of Law is better than no law at all. So far as laws against Sodomy and Suicide, and unenforceable laws is concerned, the answer is that they're unenforceable and consequently irrelevant to this discussion.

Furthermore, I don't really understand how you can call a nation that accepts people from literally every country on the planet as being in any way racist. The truth is that some people (for very self-serving reasons) want the flood of illegal Mexican immigrants to continue, and the best way they can find to do that is to shout down any opposition by calling them racist. By doing so, they immediately smear said opposition, forcing them to defend themselves against a charge that in this society is arguably worse than calling them child molesters, and shuts down any possibility of rational discourse. That, of course, is the whole point: to prevent the idea that maybe America doesn't want to give away the candy store from being openly talked about.

Who knows, perhaps we really should just fire all the border guards and just open up completely. Let everyone in that wants to be here, forget about such nonsense as cultural assimilation, and citizenship, forget about our traditions and forget about what it means to be an American. Because, you know, who the hell needs those? Really, we're just a nation of foreigners, right? Being an American is no different from being a Mexican or a Canadian or a German or a Frenchman or anyone else, and besides, they're entitled to pig a share of our goodies, since after all they're people too and have a right to take whatever they want because we Americans just don't deserve it anymore. Does that sound a bit ridiculous to you? It does to me too, but it's seems to be the prevailing attitude nowadays. It's one Hell of a way to run a country, let me tell you.

Regardless, if that's how you think our laws and politics should work, fine ... but don't expect me to agree.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

ZombieRoboNinja (905329) | more than 6 years ago | (#22285022)

>>So far as laws against Sodomy and Suicide, and unenforceable laws is concerned, the answer is that they're unenforceable and consequently irrelevant to this discussion.

Our current immigration laws ARE unenforceable. Our economy is currently dependent upon having a ton of illegal immigrant workers. Moreover, much like those sodomy laws, they've never BEEN enforced.

>>Furthermore, I don't really understand how you can call a nation that accepts people from literally every country on the planet as being in any way racist.

http://www.umass.edu/complit/aclanet/USMigrat.html [umass.edu]

Granted, this site is hardly unbiased, but it's hard to argue that before 50 years ago our immigration laws were anything but racist. Thus, when people start bringing racism into immigration debates, it might be a good idea to research and consider the history of their argument rather than dismiss it out of hand (even if they don't articulate the issue very well).

>>What I'm trying to get across is that laws will not get changed in any intelligent way unless we stop calling each other names, stop trying to scare each other, and look at what's really going on.

And what I'm trying to get across is that sometimes issues are more subtle than you might initially think, and that what you consider "calling names" might have some actual basis in reality.

To bring this back to stem cells - it's clearly true that right now, nobody is killing fetuses specifically to harvest stem cells. But what if researchers found a miracle cure for, say, cancer that required non-immortalized fetal stem cells? At that point, there's probably a lot more demand for stem cells than can be provided by donated aborted fetuses, and we're stuck with a black market for cloned or (more gruesomely) specifically harvested fetuses. This is the long-term fear when it comes to fetal stem cells, and it's a fear you'd do better to address than to dismiss as hysteria, even when it's expressed in a shorthand manner like "stem cell research kills babies."

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (0, Flamebait)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284664)

"Nobody wants to deal with the real issue of why there are so many non-viable embryos available for research purposes in the first place. "

This is where your argument is flawed. If it were only discarded embryos used in the process, there might not have been so much fuss. But even scientists that favor embryonic research admit that there just aren't enough discarded embryos for their research. To do it properly, they'd have to have a continuing, and large, supply. The only way to do this viably would be to either harvest them, or produce them en masse, via some kind of factory. I don't know about you, but the prospect of creating massive numbers of human life...even embryonic human life, for the sole purpose of then destroying it to harvest resources just opens up all kinds of pandora's boxes. Add to that the fact that thus far, embryonic research has yet to come up with any of the real world successes that experimentation with adult lines has, and you can see both moral and practical arguments against embryonic research.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283710)

The word "unborn" has about as much relevance to reality as the word "undead".
They are not words one uses to have an intelligent discussion with.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282414)

I hope that ESCR can be made to produce ESC with out killing embryos. ESC are much more flexible than adult stem cells. Try healing a problem in an organ that repairs very slowly, thus does not produce very active adult stem cells.... like the kidney.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (1)

Insanity Defense (1232008) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283520)

I hope that ESCR can be made to produce ESC with out killing embryos. ESC are much more flexible than adult stem cells. Try healing a problem in an organ that repairs very slowly, thus does not produce very active adult stem cells.... like the kidney.
That has already been done. (http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13170-stem-cell-breakthrough-leaves-embryos-unharmed.html [newscientist.com] )

For the first time, human embryonic stem cells have been obtained without having to destroy the embryos they came from.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22283022)

Yes, the religious right yet again has shown the way claiming the moral high ground. We must embrace the "Sanctity of Life" protecting the unborn from conception to birth, because after that you're on your own.

Re:Wow, they didn't even kill an unborn baby (0, Flamebait)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284792)

Does anybody really give a fuck about unborn babies? No. The only people who care about unborn babies are unborn babies themselves.

So Tell Me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282132)

I wonder how much guvment funding this had. Is anyone in the US pursuing this line of work? Why not? All in all it seems that this kind of approach (using various adult steem cells) has far out stripped fetal stem cells in terms of therapeutic value.

Re:So Tell Me (1, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283370)

The brouhaha over fetal stem cell research was largely amplified by the pro abortion lobby. They fear laws that call an embryo a life form or offer any protection to them. Adult stem cell research has been extremely fruitful, and there really is no reason to be growing and destroying embryos for research that has yet to show much promise.

I'm sure researchers in the US are looking into similar techniques since so far adult stem cell research has shown real theraputic results whereas fetal stem cell research has not.

It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is here.. (4, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282194)

I have a mandibular excess and a maxillary deficiency (meaning my jawbone is too big and my upper face area is too small), which leads me to grind my teeth, get some major TMJ pain, and end up with ruined and crooked teeth. I've looked at all the surgeries (major, like taking your jaw OUT of your mouth entirely), and they didn't seem worth the risk. The long term problem is I'll lose all my teeth. I was the freak with the toothbrush in school, who flossed and brushed and rinsed 3 times a day. Today I'm the root canal and filling king, because of the jaw issue.

When stem cells are available to regrow teeth, it will take off. The problem is that I expect the ADA (that's the lobbying group to keep dentists expensive and rare, like the AMA is a lobbying group to reduce the supply of doctors and rape the patients' wallets) will fight it tooth and nail. They'll do it under a mask of "religion" by a group controlled by them, but it will happen.

Here, again, we see a market phenomenon that will either be over-regulated by the government so that it takes too long and is too expensive to bring to market, or we'll see a complete destruction of a huge opportunity to fix problems. I am willing to take a risk to deal with the teeth issue today, and I'm probably going to have to do it in India or China because I know that we won't get any favor here if it competes with the strong lobbying cartels, like the crooked dentists (or the doctors, or the CPAs, or any number of groups who have "associations" to harm consumers with bad legislation).

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (4, Insightful)

Watson Ladd (955755) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282206)

Do you really think the ADA will be against a procedure that requires much oral surgery, and associated fees? They don't make money off people without teeth, so it is their best interest to encourage you to keep them.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

Danimoth (852665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282382)

There is a huge market for artificial teeth. Two of the people I work with have lost teeth recently and have gone in for artificials, its a 6 month long process that costs around 10 grand. Its in a dentists interest to keep the patient with poor teeth.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283234)

And? Instead of artificials you're selling them real teeth, where's the big difference?

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (-1, Flamebait)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282458)

The ADA is only one thing: a lobbying group. For years they've fought the amalgam reduction plans, saying mercury in teeth is safe. I've watched the pro-health group show case after case.

The ADA backs flouride in toothpastes -- the very chemical that weakens teeth. They back flouride in water, too.

Yes, they'll fight stem cells. We've seen successful trials in the UK to regrow teeth, why not here in the US?

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (2, Interesting)

GrievousMistake (880829) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282652)

Where on earth do you have it from that fluoride weakens teeth? I've never heard anything like that. What I learned from chemistry is that fluoride strengthens the enamel.
Besides, everyone knows the fluoridation of water is a commie plot to impurify our precious bodily fluids.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282716)

The ADA backs flouride in toothpastes -- the very chemical that weakens teeth.

[citation needed]

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

dada21 (163177) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283040)

Unfortunately I am on my cell phone PDA (where I browse and post to slashdot from regularly) so I can't do an easy Google search. Please double check my spelling here, but look up the report by Dr. Hardy Limeback regarding skeletal fluorosis. Limeback was a shill for the Canadian Dental Association (Canada's lobbying group) regarding fluoridation support, but has since changed his mind. I believe his changeover happened in the late 90s, but I stay on top of what he has been writing. Since he has "come out of the fluoro-closet," other researchers and scientists are starting to see the problems with fluoride.

Fluoride MAY make enamel in teeth stronger, but it is now seen to make bone structures (hips and limbs, as well as jaws and teeth) much weaker over time. Also, it seems that the toxic level of fluoride may now be actually much lower than what the ADA and AMA have specified since the 50s when the research was "confirmed."

One thing I don't necessarily agree with is the conspiracy advocates against fluoride. Here is their story, which I again don't really think is a correct theory: during WWII, fluoride was an excess waste chemical that was found to protect bones from nuclear pollutants. The idea was the add fluoride to water to protect people from a nuclear war, but also to pad the pockets of the chemical companies. Since then, the profits from adding this waste material to water have been high, so they've continued the conspiracy. Again, I don't think it holds water, but I have not discounted it completely.

As more and more medical experts refine their research into the long term effects of fluoride, it becomes obvious that it is a poison, detrimental to human growth and strength, and a major profit point for large State-enabled industry. I stopped drinking flouridated water 8 years ago (and stopped using fluoride-based toothpaste), and my lifetime problem with my teeth has turned around significantly. In the first 24 years of my life, I had over 30 cavities, including multiple in the same teeth. In the past 8 years, I've had 2. In the past 5 years, I've had zero, and there is are signs that some of my teeth may actually have partially healed themselves (somehow!).

My dentist has, for the past 5 years, been taking some patients off of fluoride consumption and he thinks it has helped more than 80% of those with severe dental problems.

Sidenote: I also stopped consuming sugar and many products which sugarize in the mouth (many wheat products, some corn products, etc). This may have something to do with having a healthier mouth!

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283350)

Careful with including your childhood into that number, the milk teeth are much weaker than regular teeth.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284306)

Sidenote: I also stopped consuming sugar and many products which sugarize in the mouth (many wheat products, some corn products, etc). This may have something to do with having a healthier mouth!

Given that sugar can be directly associated with just about every common disease from which man suffers, lowering your sugar intact will absolutely result in a healthier body and mouth. Most nutritional research indicates low caloric diets result in both healthy bodies and younger looking skin and hair, and a longer, healthy lifespan to boot. Low caloric diets are almost impossible with highly processed, sugary foods.

In nations where high levels or processed sugars have been introduced to the indigenous populations, disease rates rapidly rise and lifespans rapidly shrink; with poor oral health following.

I have absolutely no idea if fluoride harms the body. But without a doubt, reducing ones sugar intact, doubly so for processed sugars, will improve ones overall health.

Ironically, a popular sugar substitute which is labeled as a significant health risk to humans, is drastically safer and extremely well documented to be so, safer to humans than highly processed beat and cane sugars.

To be clear, I'm not declaring any company is evil or that sugar is the work of the devil. I am saying that sugar is extremely well documented to be directly associated with just about every common disease which afflicts mankind. Having said all that, I enjoy a good dessert as much as the next guy.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

curmudgeous (710771) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282358)

...I expect the ADA ...will fight it tooth and nail.

No pun intended, I'm sure. :)

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (3, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282646)

Well, as an American citizen who is watching his country's slow fall from being the leader in technology and scientific research to a relative backwater, I'd say it's a good thing that other nations are investing more and more in science, so that when the time comes I'll be able to fly somewhere to get state-of-the-art treatment if I should ever need it.

Re:It'll take off when cosmetic replacement is her (1)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283322)

I hate it when religion is used as a front for political/financial agenda...

New body parts for everyone (1)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282262)

Hopefully this research goes to something useful, like helping me grow multiple prehensile penises that shoot pheromones and aphrodisiacs.

Maybe it would help.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282306)

they attached them to a scaffold made out of a calcium phosphate biomaterial and then put it inside the patient's abdomen to grow for nine months.

...if the guy pulled his head out of his ass.

Dentists have been doing this for years (5, Informative)

teethdood (867281) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282438)

IAADWDI - I Am a Dentist Who Does Implants

There is no such thing as an "upper jaw." We have various bones forming the base of the skull and associated teeth structures (aka maxilla) and a lower jaw (aka mandible).

Dentists have been using stem cells for years. In certain situations when there are not enough bone to place dental implants, dentists would place bonegrafts mixed in with blood drawn from the hip marrow. You get around 5-10 stem cells for every million blood cells but that's all it takes to convert the bonegraft into the patient's own bone (the stem cells become osteoblasts). The only difference in this study versus what we have been doing is that they place the bonegraft with stem cells into the stomach for osteoconduction versus us placing the material into place right off the bat. Typical wait times for us is only 6 months before the bone is deemed solid enough for implant placement.

Re:Dentists have been doing this for years (3, Funny)

Seraphim_72 (622457) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284182)

A nerd Dentist....who knew? Tell me your practice is in Minnesota.

And in other news (5, Funny)

loafula (1080631) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282510)

The pope just shit a brick

Re:And in other news (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22282958)

The pope just shit a brick



Why? Didn't you know that the pope endorses stem cell research? [catholicnews.com]

"How can I not feel compelled to praise those who dedicate themselves to this research and those who support it and its costs," the pope said Sept. 16

Re:And in other news (2, Funny)

AndGodSed (968378) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283360)

No he didn't, that would be shattering HIS dignity... he quietly passed wind, in anger...

Re:And in other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22284224)

Come on, lets not be crass.

You should have said "The pope just pooped a brick."

Try and say that 10 times fast.

Bad tag (3, Insightful)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282598)

What bonehead tagged this "whatcouldpossiblygowrong"? That tag is for describing situations where some kind of decision could easily have unforeseen consequences affecting numerous people. What could possibly go wrong here is that this guy could, at worst, die. This one guy.

Stop overusing that tag! </rant>

Re:Bad tag (1)

Faylone (880739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283568)

Perhaps they're worried the jaw will grow out of control and start feeding on children?

Re:Bad tag (1)

Dorceon (928997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22284202)

Maybe the jaw is played by Yul Brenner.

Wait till the plastic surgeons hear about this... (1)

Firas Zirie (1179357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282612)

Daddy's little girl can then go into the doctor's office and say: "I want to look like Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/whatever the slutty starlet flavor of the month is!" A vault of casts from different star's bodies is opened, and they stuff the parts into our victi.. err patient's already over sized abdomen. Then they tear off her body parts one by one and replace them with the "improved" versions. Everyone will end up looking like Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Wait, is that why... oh crap! Ridiculously impossible ideas aside, this is great news, seriously. No no don't worry, I wouldn't want to look like Tom Cruise either.

Re:Wait till the plastic surgeons hear about this. (1)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282950)

How long till this, in some form, is used to increase breast size? It seems growing a jaw would be more difficult than growing new/more breast tissue, and they would be "real". Just inject some "breast stem cells" directly into the breast and watch em grow :). I for one welcome our new larger breast female overlords.

Re:Wait till the plastic surgeons hear about this. (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283312)

How long till this, in some form, is used to increase breast size? It seems growing a jaw would be more difficult than growing new/more breast tissue, and they would be "real".

Women with real breasts larger than a D-cup frequently seek breast reduction surgery, natural breast tissue isn't strong enough to support that much weight in an aesthetically appealing way. When science comes up with a way to make a 40 year old's natural breasts perky again, then plastic surgeons will have to rethink their business model.

any pics? (3, Interesting)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22282892)

Of the proto-jaw as it's taken out of the abdomen?

So come to finland, yanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22283296)

We'll kick your asses solid. But don't worry, if your jaw disappears in the tussle, we'll grow you a new one on the taxpayer's dime.

Hey! (1)

smurphmeister (1132881) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283380)

Is that a jawbone in your abdomen, or are you just happy to see me?

Well, maybe it's not stem cells but... (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283546)

A woman gets badly burned, and they graft skin from her husband's ass to rebuild her face. After the series of operations, she looks great.
She says, "Honey, how can I ever repay you?"
He says, "I get paid back every time I see your mother kiss you on the cheek."

new tag proposal (1)

penapoco (690908) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283672)

from the shouldnt-they-have-tried-it-on-andrew-morton-first department

My father was talking about this (1)

bytesex (112972) | more than 6 years ago | (#22283690)

He works together with some ostheopath.. eh.. ist, well, a bone surgeon anyway, who makes these 'scaffolds' out of (dead) coral, cause it has a structure that's perfect for the injection of cells. He lives on Aruba, you see. So that's why. Don't know any more about it though - *mumble*.
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