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Sept. 5, 2003|
Adult Stem Cells Heal Human Hearts |
Evidence continues to mount that medical techniques using adult stem cells show greater promise in treating diseases than techniques using stem cells extracted from destroyed human embryos.
Researchers at a recent meeting of the European Society of Cardiology in Vienna report success in their experimental adult stem cell treatments of heart disease patients. The scientists injected adult stem cells that had been extracted from the patientsí own bone marrow into the patientsí hearts. The stem cells then helped to regenerate damaged heart tissue.
One of the physicians involved in the research stated that four of his five patients "had such a marked improvement in blood supply after stem-cell treatment that they were removed from the list of those needing a heart transplant." Another scientist claimed that, "This is the first approach where you have an opportunity to actually heal a heart."
A study just published in Nature Medicine provides additional confirmation that adult bone marrow stem cells can work wonders on damaged or diseased hearts. The researchers utilized stem cells from the bone marrow of rats and genetically modified the cells to survive longer than usual. They injected the cells into the hearts of rats that had heart attacks and found that the adult bone marrow stem cells restored eighty to ninety percent of the heartsí volume, and completely normalized the contracting functions of the heart.
At the same time, research using stem cells extracted from fetal tissue has been largely unsuccessful, even damaging to patients. A study just released in the scientific journal Annals of Neurology reports that recent experiments in treating Parkinsonís disease by using brain cells taken from aborted babies resulted in fifty-six percent of the patients developing unanticipated dyskinesia, a condition involving potentially-disabling repetitive movements. (CULTURE AND COSMOS, a publication of the Culture of Life Foundation, 9/2/03, http://www.culture-of-life.org)
This is what happened. The Senate refused to pass the bill unless it contained a statement, offered by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) reaffirming Roe v. Wade and stating that it was a good decision. Senate supporters of banning partial-birth abortion went along with it believing the offensive language could be removed in a later conference committee which would meet to iron out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill. (The House version carries no reference to Roe v. Wade.)
The House appointed its conferees, but the Senate refused to do so, planning to drag out the process indefinitely. Before senators left for the August recess, they finally reached a unanimous consent agreement to consider a motion to go to conference on the measure. The Senate will have 8 hours of debate on the Democrats' "motion to instruct conferees" not to report the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act back to them unless it contains the Harkin Amendment. Then, each side will have four hours to speak. After that vote, the Senate will appoint their conferees and the Conference Committee will begin.
Texans in particular should be reminded that Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, who supports legal abortion until viability, is among those who voted for the Harkin language reaffirming Roe. She is rumored to be considering running for Governor of Texas in 2006. Republican Senators Murkowski (AK), Campbell (CO), Chafee (RI), Collins (ME), Snowe (ME), Specter (PA), Stevens (AK), and Warner (VA) joined Sen. Hutchison in voting for the amendment, which was offered by pro-abortion Democrat Tom Harkin (IA).
Reports from Capitol Hill indicate the motion will reach the Senate floor on or about September 15.
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