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Federer & Rafa – no future in acting…

The weekend’s Australian Open was significant, apparently, as the first Grand Slam final in a decade not to feature either Federer or Nadal. If they are looking to diversify their earning options, a career advisor might recommend against acting: check out this attempt, above, at making an ad to promote Federa’s charity…

Meantime, Djokovic might make it on the big stage: here, Nadal is invoked in a few choice seconds at about 1min30…

ARTICLE: Gay marriage is not the cure

As an attempt to back up my comrade Jim Wallace in his entirely defensible and relevant comments about concerns parents have when schools promote homosexual behaviour to kids – a promotion that will become compulsory under laws for homosexual marriage – this brief and heavily pruned article was published HERE in The Australian on Friday 14th; just in time to weigh into the likely last few days of debate next week. References are included at the end:

Gay marriage is not the cure

  • From: The Australian, September 14, 2012
  • Spring has sprung, and thoughts turn to Tom Lehrer…

    A dying man on how euthanasia diminishes dignity

    A friend and mentor to many in Australia, Dr Nicholas Tonti-Filipini, writes with the clarity of a professional ethicist but also the authority of a man who has suffered long and knows his medical condition is incurable and progressive. Nicholas was the first full-time hospital ethicist in Australia, a past member of the Australian Health Ethics Committee, and many other senior roles in the regulation of bioethics state and federal.  LINK to his article in The Age; among the main arguments is this one, which I consider central the case against euthanasia – as a new injustice we do not need to have:

    Geron’s futile fiddling finally approved

    So the FDA has blinked, and the first patient has finally been injected with Geron’s dubious nerve cells derived from IVF embryos. The race is on to see whether the immune suppressive drugs (required to induce tolerance of the foreign embryo’s cells) or the still-risky cells themselves cause greater harm to these poor desperate individuals.

    The media, true to form, sit at the feet of the embryo-cell masters, and accept uncritically whatever is spun at them. So, in the premier current affairs programme in Australia, the ABC AM radio show this morning, journalist Kim Landers reports:

    Another cloning guru drops it for iPS

    From this week’s Nature Medicine interview, with former cloning advocate Prof George Daley, my favourite passage is this:

    “Q: Had you been working on cellular reprogramming before Shinya Yamanaka
    reported the first mouse iPS cells in 2006?
    A: Yes, I’d been thinking about reprogramming since the late 1990s, when I started to consider using embryonic stem cells to make customised cell therapies. That initially took the strategy of using cloning, though we never made human nuclear transfer effective… Once Yamanaka solved the problem, I turned around virtually my entire programme to take advantage of that breakthrough.”

    Can it be?! The official ISSCR line on stem cell science moves nearer ours…

    The times are a-changin’ when the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR), the peak-lobby-group that was scolded in Nature magazine for its disgusting deceit about cloned embryos not really being embryos (let’s call them something different, so the public does not take their moral status too seriously), now tells us something close to the truth about stem cell science.


    Watch and learn: cynical spin is subsiding in the face of scientific reality, and received opinion is starting to catch up with what we, at this site, have been saying for years.


    Sick Kidneys the latest to benefit from adult stem cells

    It is almost embarrassingly simple: gather bone marrow stem cells (not difficult, and not expensive) and squirt them back into a vein – then let them seek out and repair the damaged bits.


    And in case I have not mentioned it on this Blog, don’t forget that your own adult stem cells do not form tumours, and do not (of course) get rejected by your immune system… Unlike certain dodgy cells culled from an IVF embryo. Which, of course, have not ever been used in humans, for the very reason of tumour formation and immune rejection. But perhaps I had already mentioned that…

    Multiple Sclerosis: safety established – and an early hint of benefit – using adult stem cells

    More solid work from Prof Neil Scolding of the UK, published last week in the Journal Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics (part of the Nature group or journals). Here is the link to the abstract: http://www.nature.com/clpt/journal/vaop/ncurrent/abs/clpt201044a.html

    It describes a phase I trial (that means establishing that it can be done safely, but not yet establishing effectiveness) of mobilising marrow stem cells from MS patients. Take the marrow sample, and reinject a mix of stem cells into the circulation, to home in on damaged MS plaques in the brain and do some good…


    ESC ‘success’ in mice? Pity about the tumours

    Is this finally some good news for ESCs? Last week we hear that scientists have “successfully used mouse embryonic stem cells to replace diseased retinal cells and restore sight in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.” Then reality strikes:

    However, complications of benign tumors and retinal detachments were seen in some of the mice, so Dr. Tsang and colleagues will optimize techniques to decrease the incidence of these complications in human embryonic stem cells before testing in human patients can begin.


    Yeah, right… Optimise those techniques, decrease those teratomas… Touching optimism by Dr Tsang, the triumph of hope over experience.

    Again the eyes have it… more success with our own ASCs

    Only just noticed this one, although it was published in Stem Cells online last month.

    Another beautiful demonstration of the healing power of our own stem cells – here, patients with limbal stem cell deficiency (LSCD) had some residual limbal stem cells sampled, multiplied in a culture (that excluded any animal products) and reimplanted in sufficient numbers to help regenerate the patient’s own damaged cornea. All patients gained better vision and reduced discomfort.

    • News report from the British NHS, “stem cells restore sight”: here
    • And the full article from Stem Cells (while it remains available on the web): here

    The noughties – nought to show for ESCs

    Here is an amusing bit of spin from an ESC advocate “reflecting on a decade of stem cell research” – an end-of-decade review broadcast on the US National Public Radio yesterday.


    Note the usual distortion of the science. Because ASCs (adult stem cells) are kicking such great goals in the treatment of actual patients, they do not even get a mention! That would be impolite – a bit like avoiding praising the top student in the class, because it might harm the self-esteem of the idlers.


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