Confessions Of A Political Junkie: Shameful

October 12, 2004


It is probably proper for the Kerry campaign to use Christopher Reeve's death for political purposes. Reeve was, after all, a die hard lefty who would undoubtedly support Kerry and would, if possible, campaign for him.

Nonetheless, it is rather shameful for John Edwards to say, "When John Kerry is president, people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk. Get up out of that wheelchair and walk again." And yes, he did say it.

The fact is that stem cell research will not benefit those with spinal injuries. The problems with the spin are the result of scarring, something stem cells will have not effect on. Stem cells might help cure Parkinsons or relief strokes, but the paralyzed will not walk and the alzheimer plagued will not begin remembering again based on stem cell research.

John Edwards and John Kerry -- panderers until the end.

Posted by Erick at October 12, 2004 01:28 PM | TrackBack

Quoting "John Edwards and John Kerry -- panderers until the end."

Well, fortunately the end is near. November 3rd they go back to being nuisances.

Posted by: LargeBill at October 12, 2004 10:44 PM

Bravo, Erick. You hit the nail on the head with this one. Kerry and Edwards will not win because they are using these vacuous arguments intended to sway emotions. They cannot prove their statements (this one in particular) or detail their policies. This will largely not fly with American voters. I am coming closer and closer to a prediction of a solid win for Bush (not a landslide).


Posted by: Jim Pfaff at October 12, 2004 02:29 PM

Stem cell research and in particular embryonic stem cell research is an active area of research ((in spinal cord injury)text added for clarity). All one needs to do is examine the extensive publications using the PubMed Central database at the National Library of Medicine. Below is the cite for a 1999 paper published in Nature Medicine [December 1999 Volume 5 Number 12 pp 1410 - 1412]

TITLE: Transplanted embryonic stem cells survive, differentiate and promote recovery in injured rat spinal cord

AUTHORS: John W. McDonald, Xiao-Zhong Liu, Yun Qu, Su Liu, Shannon K. Mickey, Dorothy Turetsky, David I. Gottlieb & Dennis W. Choi

Here is part of a response to a query regarding the authors use of appropriate testing criteria

"We used the well-accepted BBB open field locomotor rating scale, designed to measure functional changes in voluntary hindlimb function, particularly in intermediate portion of the scale (8-12). Although reflex-like movements can contribute to lower BBB scores (1-4), we feel that the voluntary weight-supported ambulation that we found in rats transplanted with embryonic stem cells, but not in control rats, is promising. Finally, although we agree that serotonergic or noradrenergic drive is important for proper locomotor function, it is clear that myelination of long tracts, impaired in diseases like multiple sclerosis, is also important for such function."

Are the rats walking no but clearly the ability of embroyonic stem cells to differentiate is at the very least promising as can be evidenced by the continued efforts in the scientific literature.

As to the scarring issue the researchers used a standard laboratory simulation of real spinal cord injury ... namely adult rats were contused at T7-9 cord level with an electromagnetic or weight drop device.


Posted by: Dawit at October 12, 2004 02:15 PM
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