January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Embryonic stem cells

2 min read

What’s the Witherspoon Institute? Most of you know about the 2 scientists who for their own reasons want to kill embryonic stem cell (ESC) research and with it the hopes for millions of people. Relatively new on most of our radar screens, however, is an extremist right-wing “think tank” called The Witherspoon Institute, which I refer to as the “Witherspoon Gang” because of their negative, yet powerful agenda. You know how some “elite” fraternities are in college are very snobby? These Witherspooners are basically …Read More

4 min read

What with the Mississippi “personhood” amendment up for a vote today and also the Vatican Adult Stem Cell Conference beginning tomorrow, I thought today was a good time for a post about adult versus embryonic stem cells. Does stem cell research have to be either/or? Adult or stem? Can’t someone be for both adult and embryonic stem cell research? Can a scientist study both? In fact, most scientists are working on both adult and embryonic stem cells, which are both very cool. So if …Read More

2 min read

Tomorrow night voters in Mississippi will vote on the so-called “Personhood Amendment”. If passed, the amendment would make a fertilized egg by definition a human being with the same rights as a living, breathing, thinking, walking person in the state of Mississippi. The consequences are not clear, but possibilities include such things as complete bans on all abortion and many forms of contraception, outlawing embryonic stem cell research, and throwing women in jail. Polling indicates that the amendment will most likely narrowly pass, but it may …Read More

3 min read

I’ve posted before about the propaganda machine that is actively promoting an anti-embryonic stem cell agenda. This machine is still out there and as many of us discussed at the recent World Stem Cell Summit, it seems to be working far better than our efforts to promote our cause. What do the folks on the other side do to so effectively get their message across? Below are my impressions of their top 5 tactics. Every single one of these tactics is a part of …Read More

2 min read

Drs. James Sherley and Theresa Deisher are the two adult stem cell researchers who sued the federal government over federal funding of ESC research. They claimed that NIH funding of ESC research violated the law and also was unfair to them. This case has been bouncing around in various courts over the last couple years and at one point last year caused chaos through an injunction barring NIH funding of ESC research. Much to the relief of the stem cell research community, the plaintiffs …Read More

2 min read

Monday I did a post in response to an item that appeared in the Secondhand Smoke Blog by Wesley J. Smith where he invoked the opponents of ESC research favorite term to contrast so-called adult stem cell research with ESC research. In addition, he implied that George W. Bush deserved some of the credit for advances in non-ESC research such as iPS cell work. I found this an astonishing argument. In response to Mr. Smith’s piece, I registered a comment on it to voice …Read More

3 min read

U.S. Federal Judge Royce Lamberth dismissed the lawsuit of two self-proclaimed “adult stem cell” researchers against the government to block federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. (update: you may find a 2020 take on this whole saga to be of interest). Lamberth was the one who originally seemed to buy into the arguments of the plaintiffs that they were up against unfair competition at NIH and that embryonic stem cell research was really part of the same experiment, the same research as the …Read More

2 min read

A Federal Appeals Court ruled 2-1 today to overturn Judge Lamberth’s injunction against federal funding of ES cell research. Great news! You can read the decision here (warning: big pdf). A key part of the ruling was the following: “the plaintiffs are unlikely to prevail because Dickey-Wicker is ambiguous and the NIH seems reasonably to have concluded that although Dickey-Wicker bars funding for the destructive act of deriving an ESC from an embryo, it does not prohibit funding a research project in which an …Read More

2 min read

What’s going on with legislation on ES cell research in Minnesota? I blogged before about how Oklahoma legislators were heading toward passing legislation that would make it a crime to do ES cell research. Unfortunately, that legislation just passed. As if that were not bad enough, now potentially life saving research in Minnesota is starting to come under attack.  A Minnesota anti-abortion group is pushing legislation, which very well may pass, to ban human cloning.   The hidden agenda here is to ultimately make …Read More

1 min read

The Oklahoma State Legislature is reportedly poised to potentially pass an outright ban of ES cell research. While in the past similar legislation was vetoed by previous Oklahoma Governor, Democrat Brad Henry, current Republican Governor Mary Fallin is likely to sign the legislation. The Oklahoman newspaper website today contains a factually incorrect, inflammatory piece by Dr. Dominic Pedulla, equating ES cells to abortion. Dr. Pedulla refers to “embryonic patients” in talking about the few day old clusters of cells that make up the human …Read More