Research: Status and Ethics

Richard Deem, Evidence for God from Science (www.GodAndScience.org)

Stem Cell – Definition

A cell that has the ability to continuously divide and differentiate (develop) into various other kind(s) of cells/tissues

Introduction

Can we vs. should we

Dramatic advances of modern molecular genetics Should we ask the morality questions before attempting the “can we” questions?

Stem Cell/Cloning Topics         What are stem cells? History of stem cell/cloning research Possible uses of the technology Current status/knowledge Questions and known problems Legal considerations Politics Moral considerations .

and adult other tissues stem cells . but Fetal tissue. cord Multipotent can form a number of blood.Kinds of Stem Cells Stem cell type Totipotent Totipotent Description Each cell can develop into a new individual Examples Cells from early (13 days) embryos Pluripotent Cells can form any (over Some cells of blastocyst (5 to 14 Pluripotent 200) cell types days) Multipotent Cells differentiated.

Stages of Embryogenesis Day 2 2-cell embryo Day 1 Fertilized egg Day 3-4 Multi-cell embryo Day 11-14 Tissue Differentiation Day 5-6 Blastocyst .

Derivation and Use of Embryonic Stem Cell Lines inner cell mass Isolate Outer cells (destroys embryo) (forms placenta) Inner cells (forms fetus) Culture cells Day 5-6 Blastocyst Liver Kidney “Special sauce” (largely unknown) Heart repaired Heart muscle .

History of Stem Cell/Cloning Research    Who invented cloning and when? Stem cell research – a new field of study? History of human stem cell research History of embryonic cell research History of cloning/human cloning   .

the first bone marrow transplant was successfully used in treatment of SCID Since the 1970’s. bone marrow transplants have been used for treatment of immunodeficiencies and leukemias  .History of Human Stem Cell Research  In 1968.

Bone Marrow Stem Cells .

History of Human Embryonic Cell Research  1954 – John Enders received a Nobel prize in Medicine for growing polio virus in human embryonic kidney cells .

In 1998. James Thomson (University of Wisconsin-Madison) isolated cells from the inner cell mass of the early embryo. and developed the first human embryonic stem cell lines. John Gearhart (Johns Hopkins University) derived human embryonic germ cells from cells in fetal gonadal tissue (primordial germ cells).History of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research  In 1998. Pluripotent stem cell “lines” were developed from both sources   .

History of Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (Cloning)  1952 – Briggs and King cloned tadpoles 1996 – The first mammal cloned from adult cells was Dolly. the sheep. 1998 – Mice cloned 1998 – Cows cloned 2000 – Pigs cloned     .

History of Cloning      “CC” Carbon Copy 2001 – Cat cloned 2002 – Rabbits cloned 2003 – Mule cloned 2004 – Bull serial-cloned 2005 – Dog cloned .

Possible Uses of Stem Cell Technology     Replaceable tissues/organs Repair of defective cell types Delivery of genetic therapies Delivery chemotherapeutic agents .

and neuronal cells. hematopoiesis-supporting stromal. Multipotent adult progenitor cells have been shown to differentiate into functional. cartilage. adipose.  . hepatocyte-like cells. endothelial.Early Successes – Adult Stem Cells  Human mesenchymal stem cells turned on genes found in bone. muscle.

salivary gland. umbilical cord blood. muscle. heart. liver. cornea. peripheral blood.  . dental pulp. umbilical cord. cartilage. and adipose tissue. Adult stem cells have been isolated from amniotic fluid. pancreas. brain tissue. thymus. tendon.Early Successes – Adult Stem Cells  Human neural stem cells can migrate extensively in the brain after injection. skin.

.S. W.Early Successes – Human Cloning  2001 – First cloned human embryos (only to six cell stage) created by Advanced Cell Technology (USA) 2004* – Claim of first human cloned blastocyst created and a cell line established (Korea) – later proved to be fraudulent *Hwang. et al. Science 303: 1669-1674. Evidence of a Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cell Line Derived from a Cloned Blastocyst.  . 2004.

Cloned Human ESC Differentiate Into Different Tissue Types Neural Retinal Bone Cartilage Epithelial .

.Cloned Embryonic Stem Cells – Advantages/Problem s Advantages    No rejection “Prefect match” Only 10% of cloned oocytes became embryos 0% (0 out of 2061) survived to become a cell line Genetic donor was same as egg donor (i. won’t work for males!) Cost is high (health insurance probably won't pay)  Problems     .e.

It is unknown if stem cells cultured in vitro (apart from the embryo) will function as the cells do when they are part of the developing embryo  .Unknowns in Stem Cell/Cloning Research  It is uncertain that human embryonic stem cells in vitro can give rise to all the different cell types of the adult body.

abnormalities in chromosome number and structure were found in three human ESC lines.  Recently.Challenges to Stem Cell/Cloning Research  Stem cells need to be differentiated to the appropriate cell type(s) before they can be used clinically. .

 Possibility of rejection of stem cell transplants as foreign tissues is very high.Challenges to Stem Cell/Cloning Research  Stem cell development or proliferation must be controlled once placed into patients. .

and Mycoplasma possible. bacteria. fungi.Challenges to Stem Cell/Cloning Research   Contamination by viruses. . The use of mouse “feeder” cells to grow ESC could result in problems due to xenotransplantation (complicating FDA requirements for clinical use).

Legal Considerations: Embryonic Cell Research 1973 – moratorium on government  financing for human embryo research  1988 – NIH Panel voted 19-2 in favor of government funding 1989 – DHHS Secretary Sullivan extended the moratorium  .

but Clinton overrode the panel 1995 – Congress banned federal funding   .Legal Considerations: Embryonic Cell Research voted to override 1990 – Congress  the moratorium. vetoed by President Bush  1993 – President Clinton lifted the ban 1994 – the Human Embryo Research Panel favored research.

Legal Considerations: Embryonic Cell Research President Clinton August 25. but not embryonic cells On August 9. 2000. President Bush announced his decision to allow Federal funds to be used only for research on existing human embryonic stem cell lines created prior to his announcement . 2001.   allowed funding of research based on cells from (aborted) human fetal lines.

that among those are Life.Right to Life The Declaration of Independence of the United States guarantees “certain unalienable Rights. Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” .

Laws Banning Reproductive Cloning (as of 2004) .

Laws Banning Research Cloning (as of 2004) .

Worldwide Stem Cell Regulations  2003 proposal to ban reproductive and research cloning worldwide was tabled by the United Nations following objections by Great Britain and other countries The proposal will be taken up again in 2004. but dropped  .

Embryonic Reproductive Cloning Laws Worldwide .

Embryonic Research Cloning Laws Worldwide .

Stem Cells and Politics  The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative Nancy Reagan Michael Reagan Congress John Kerry     .

000. 2004 ballot initiative Established the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Run by an Independent Citizen's Oversight Committee composed of politicians. advocacy groups. and “executive officers” of universities Indebted the state of California for $3.The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative   November.000 in State General Obligation Bonds   .000.

000.The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative   ICOC requires grantees to purchase goods and services from California suppliers (> 50%) Established real estate development and facilities construction for research (up to 10% of total funding) 3% for general administration.000 per grantee/year   . 3% for grant administration Up to $6.

The California Stem Cell Research and Cures Initiative  Although the initiative purported to fund all manner of stem cell research. a clause prevents funding of any stem cell research other than embryonic stem cell research: “…other research categories funded by the National Institute of Health shall not be funded by the Institute”  Passed by voters. November. 2004 .

Nancy Reagan and Embryonic Stem Cell Research   Nancy Reagan pushing embryonic stem cell research as “cure” for Alzheimer's disease. would also become abnormal shortly after treatment  . if they worked. Alzheimer's disease is due to pathology that spreads from affected cells to healthy cells Stem cell treatments.

” Quoted ESC researchers who say that ESC are unlikely to cure Alzheimer’s Disease   .Michael Reagan: My Father Opposed Embryo Destruction  “…my father.” Called media references to ESC cures as “junk science. as I do. opposed the creation of human embryos for the sole purpose of using their stem cells as possible medical cures.

Congress Calls for Review of White House ESC Policy  206 representatives said that the current policy. instituted by Bush in August 2001. have slowed potentially lifesaving research (4/30/04) 58 Senators (including 14 Republicans) called for President Bush to reverse his ESC policy (6/4/04)  .

Kerry will put America back on the path of scientific excellence with a commitment to scientific research based on fact – not ideology.” .John Kerry Says Bush Has “politicized science”  “While the Bush administration has politicized science.

Moral and Ethical Considerations of Stem Cell and Cloning Research stem cells Adult   Embryonic stem cells   Embryo must be destroyed When does human life/personhood begin? Embryos (see above) Reproductive cloning  Human cloning   .

an embryo).” .e. A zygote is the beginning of a new human being (i.When Does Human Life Begin? Medical Embryology Textbooks Human: Clinically The Developing Oriented Embryology “Zygote: this cell results from the union of an oocyte and a sperm.. totipotent cell marks the beginning of each of us as a unique individual. Human development begins at fertilization… This highly specialized.

” . which will unite at fertilization to initiate the embryonic development of a new individual.When Does Human Life Begin? Medical Embryology Textbooksof Human Embryology Essentials “In this text. we begin our description of the developing human with the formation and differentiation of the male and female sex cells or gametes.

under ordinary circumstances. a new.When Does Human Life Begin? Medical Embryology Textbooks Human Embryology & Teratology “Fertilization is an important landmark because. genetically distinct human organism is thereby formed…” .

When Does Human Life Begin? What Do Medical Doctors Say?  Dr.”  Dr. Alfred Bongioanni (University of Pennsylvania): “I have learned from my earliest medical education that human life begins at the time of conception.” . Jerome LeJeune (University of Descartes): “after fertilization has taken place a new human being has come into being.

”  Dr. life is present from the moment of conception. Micheline Matthews-Roth (Harvard University Medical School): “It is scientifically correct to say that an individual human life begins at conception” .When Does Human Life Begin? What Do Medical Doctors Say?  Dr. Hymie Gordon (Mayo Clinic): “By all criteria of modern molecular biology.

Embryo Is Not a Person
“Persons . . . are members of a social community that shapes and values them, and personhood must be defined in terms of interactions and relationships with others.” Susan Sherwin. 1999. Ethical Issues: Perspectives for Canadians. Ed. Soifer, Eldon. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, p. 267

Embryo Is Not a Person – Rebuttal
Personality definition problems
   

Does a human non-person exist? What traits define personhood? Who makes the definition? Society has excluded certain humans from personhood before (e.g., African slaves, Chinese, etc.) Should we make a new list of human non-persons?

Embryo Is Not a Person – Rebuttal

The lack of certain personality traits would remove from personhood:
 

Those who are in a coma Elderly with degenerative disorders (Alzheimer's, etc.) Mentally deficient
  

Genetic Neurological disease Mental illness

Is is okay to consider these human beings as non-persons?

Definition of Personhood  One who is consciously performing personal acts  eliminates those who are sleeping  One with a present capacity to perform personal acts  eliminates those who are in a coma .

Definition of Personhood  One who has a history of performing personal acts  eliminates one who was in a coma from birth. but wakes up  One with a future capacity for performing personal acts  makes those who are dying as nonpersons .

Implications of Functionally-Defined Personhood  Newborns lack the ability to perform personal functions – in fact. newborn humans are less capable physically and mentally than virtually all other mammals  Therefore. on the basis of functionally-defined personhood. newborns fail the test could be killed on the basis of “nonpersonhood” .

like blood cells or other parts of the body This single cell is unique from both the father’s and mother’s cells and is the beginning of every new human being Rebuttal:  .At Conception. It Is Only a Single Cell Claim:  Fertilized eggs are single cells.

Should we allow killing of children? Rebuttal:    .Only a Small Percentage of Embryos Implant Claim:  Embryos are only potential life. Most do not result in births 25-33% of women become pregnant in the first month 33% of implanted embryos die before birth There are countries in which over 25% of children die before age 5.

so why not do research on them?  .Frozen Embryos Are Going to Be Discarded Anyway  Proponents of human embryonic stem cell research say that embryos from IVF are going to be discarded and. so. should be used for research Prisoners on death row are also going to die.

Devaluation of Human Life  Right now it is only 5-12 day embryos When science discovers it is impossible to produce organs/tissues in the absence of surrounding developmental processes. scientists will demand the tissues be allowed to “mature” prior to harvest  .

Christian Arguments and Response   We may not do evil so that good will result (Romans 3:8) Humans are created in the image of God before birth The human soul begins before birth  .

And the same one fashion us in the womb? (Job 31:15) Yet Thou art He who didst bring me forth from the womb… Thou hast been my God from my mother's womb. Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. (Psalms 22:910) For Thou didst form my inward parts. 24 .Bible: Human Life Begins Before Birth     "Did not He who made me in the womb make him. for I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:13-16) See also Isaiah 44:2. I will give thanks to Thee.

I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.When Does Ensoulment Occur?  John the Baptist: "For he will be great in the sight of the Lord. and called me through His grace… (Galatians 1:15) Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit." (Luke 1:15) Paul: But when He who had set me apart. even from my mother's womb. And before you were born I consecrated you. while yet in his mother's womb. and he will drink no wine or liquor." (Jeremiah 1:5)   .

and premeditated   .Murder Defined by the Bible  People are not to be murdered because they are created in the image of God. with premeditation (Joshua 20:3) Killing of embryos is intentional. (Genesis 9:6) Murder must be intentional.

Biblical Arguments: Summary  The Bible indicates that God recognizes human beings as persons prior to development in the womb Bible defines murder as being intentional and premeditated ESC research destroys embryos that are considered as ensouled human beings   .

but IVF and cloning not mentioned in the Bible Problems with cloned animals – most suffer premature aging and other genetic problems.Morality of Human Reproductive Cloning   “Be fruitful and multiply” – assumed to be natural. Might be avoidable with better techniques? Biblical basis to condemn human reproductive cloning?  .

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