Monday, December 17, 2007

swear to blog

Given that I am still suspended with pay, I have more time to read scientific journals. When I was on the job, outside of teaching Research Methods and a Theory class, lecturing around the country on prison health, writing grants and publishing scientific papers, I rarely had time to read scientific journals as I would have liked. Sure I did, but on my free time my preferences was to consume newspapers, books of history and fiction.

Recently I read an article that caught my attention in the Journal Cell. To summarize it, it revealed that skin cells could be used to make embryonic stem cells. This was without the use, need or requirement of an human embryo. This was amazing to me. I mean, just by adding 4 genes to a skin cell, they could be made in essence "Tab-la rasa" to develop any of the 220 known cell types of the human body (so much for the debate on stem cell research based on the creation and destruction of human embryos for the same purpose). These cells were named pluripotent stem cells.

Now this is why I love science and always wanted to be one, outside of Mr. Wizard and Mary Shelly. Namely because science forces one to make use of prior information and think outside the box - such to create just as writing does.

Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University of Japan and the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease in San Fransisco (in picture), found out he could try and do this procedure in mice. Taking it a step further, showing he could make these cells into any type of mouse cell, he used the cells he made to create 20 new mice. Although about 20 percent of the mice developed some form of cancer - he showed and did it.

I know that the replication studies in humans is some ways off, not to mention such studies in the mind of this humble scientist would have to be preceded by studies that show the procedure can be employed to make the 220 know human cell types in vitro first. Even with all of this, i do not think the debate on stem cell research is over. There is always room for the "holier than thou" to ad their two cents in two forms I figure. First President Bush, whose megalomania will lead him to say that he is responsible for the discovery via his policies that cut funding for human embryonic stem cell research and second, those who were against such research for theological reasons, who now will move the debate to saying only God can make life and man should not, even in the name of disease prevention and treatment, even if it from skin cells. Swear to Blog, i mean God.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy, u be dropping JE-WELS....You sure do make Mr. Wizard Proud, albeit u datin yourself LOL

SoCal Muchacha said...

But can Bush even SPELL megalomania?? ;) You are so dead-on with those who are going to "take credit" for this discovery. They'll twist it to their warped way of thinking instead of to the reality that due to their disgusting refusal to allow stem cell research to have gone full steam ahead long ago, countless individuals have not only suffered, but may have lost their lives when something might have been discovered earlier. Rant done.

And for those not old-school like some of us (cough-cough), here's a Mr. Wizard link (http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/). Mind you, what I saw were the Mr. Wizard shows in school MANY years later...okay, a few years later...damn, at least SOME years later. :)

Anonymous said...

Dr. Frakinstien, I mean Stephens, the mad scientist no doubt.

lindwee said...

I have read the poems,they are touching.
Will throw a book in future.

Thanks for stopping by mine.
Merry Christmas!

Cante said...

Nice science.

Blu Jewel said...

very interesting information you've shared (as always). Science fascinates me too. You know there is always someone waiting in the wings to take credit for something they didn't do; bush is no exception. Too bad he won't take credit for all the bullshit he's created for us though.

jali said...

Interesting post

... but ...ah...
Now a chick has to google all over the damn place.

Thanks.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

anon - thanks. and so im sagacious LOL

SoCal - all I can do is laugh. I know u saw mr. wizard on tape reruns.

Anon - so im a mad scientist, they say its a thin line between brilliance and insanity LOL

lindwee - thanks and let me know when the bok is finished.

cante - thanks and drop by anytime

Bku - u know u always welcone t your fav cable news station RDB

Jali - my fault, send the spoken word info again plsssss

BZ said...

I work at a renowned cancer hospital and read a similar article on our intranet. Very exciting for all, indeed. And I like the way you think (@ humor re: George Bush and the bible thumpers).

Too funny.

lea78 said...

I would only drown if you allowed me to swim in your mind. What happened to the short stories? ***patting my feet waiting on response and short stories***

the prisoner's wife said...

so...while you are doing all that traveling & teaching & mad sciencing (i know that's not a word) you should be listening to NPR. lol

i'm not a scientist by any means but i heard about this like 2 weeks ago because i listen to NPR. you missing out man. get your game up (lol @ me).

but yes...this is an interesting concept. the whole ethical question surrounding science is interesting. i believe in God and i believe God blessed some with the intelligence enough to become scientists & find cures, and make microwaves, and send people to the moon. it's all a continuation of the plan.

jameil1922 said...

stem cells are mucho interesting. we were just talking at work today about how suspended with pay is the dream. sigh.

dejanae said...

there's always that struggle between ethics and innovation

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

BZ - long time no see, bible thumpers , now hats funny

Lea - thanks hon and u can swim in my mind anytime albeit i should be drowing in u. send me an email and i will stop that fot patting
TP Wife - i do each day, all things considered LOL. But i mis it everynow and then for sports talk, not to mention they likely focused on the folk from Univ of wisconsin (the fowleres) beside NPR doesnt provide info on reactants, enzymes and other thermo-kenetic procedures that explain how the experiment was conducted or worked, in case i wanted to try it on my own

Jameil - i guess, but i had 11 papers under review and in press that i dont know whats up since the cut off my email. Not to mention im one of the top researchers they have

Dejanae - but there is noithing ehical about this, except if they start selling kits for folks to make their own slaves or ilegal aliens LOL...i dont want to give anyone no ideas

Sincere said...

Okay so you suspended? Did I miss something? Anyway, that'll give you time to catch up I guess.. You killing me with these Bush jabs!! lmao

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

sin - been suspended since 1st week of august read live free or die

That Girl Tam said...

I am a HUGE stem cell research supporter. My stepdad (r.i.p.) was part of a clinical stem cell research trial back in 1998 @ UCLA. I could go into the whole story about how my parents think he got on the list simply because someone made an error by marking him down as a white man (which he was NOT - just hella high yellow). Or how every patient on the research floor was white...but again, that's another story for another time.

Stem Cell research was relatively unknown to the common citizen, but when they proposed to cure his cancer by removing healthy stem cells, freezing them, wiping out his immune system, using large doses of chemo and radiation - AND THEN PUT THE HEALTHY STEMS BACK INTO HIS BODY - we didn't believe it would work. Hell...THEY didn't believe it would work...but it DID.

My dad had a rare form of non-hodgkins lymphoma that was in late stages by the time he was diagnosed. By then, it was pretty much all over his body. They performed the procedure about 2 weeks after his suggested "death sentence" (they gave him 6 months). At the time of his death (non-cancer related), he had been cancer free for 8 years.

I honestly don't give much thought into HOW the stem cells are collected...all I know is that it WORKS...my dad was living proof.

That's my story...and I'm stickin to it. Great post!

KimPossible said...

Interesting blog. We all like to get our own glory right? We like to get the attention that someone else deserves. Great blog. Keep in touch.

KimPossible

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

tam - glad to here that and pop's must have been vry proud of his daughter - u

Ki - thanks for your support

Mizrepresent said...

So what will they fight about now...since no Stem Cell?

Queen of My Castle said...

Very interesting to say the least. I have mixed emotions on this topic, as I have to research it from all views before I actually form an opinion.

mp1 said...

I really need to follow in your footsteps, homes!

mp1 said...

I really need to follow in your footsteps, homes!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

miz - u can best belive a zealot will think of something

queen - y the mixed emotions?

wretched - i would be honored and flattered

jameil1922 said...

ok i just read why you're suspended. that's not cool.

MrsGrapevine said...

Now you're just show off your ingenuity of knowledge.

Kayos said...

I know it's none of my business but how did you get suspended with pay?!

I miss Mr. Wizard's world. He's the whole reason why I became a scientist. Man, talkin about old times.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

jameil1922 - yep foul huh

grapevine - ow am i doing that, im not showing off, im not a pedantic

Kayos - there is a post on the side under classic RDB called live free or die read it and u will see why

Luscious Librarian said...

We all get up in arms about what we should and should not do in the interest of science because of moral reasons, but as one of the 'faithful' I think that the argument is futile. There will always be mad scientists who will try anything and if God truly is in nature there will either be a) dire consequences (a la 'I Am Legend [good movie by the way] or b) downright failure.

Nature keeps a balance, no matter what, even if it has to wipe out half of us to do it. I really think that's why we have so many life threatening diseases now. Our population growth is outrageous.

Bygbaby said...

damn, i wish i could be suspended with pay for 2 months!

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

libribarian - god did give US scientist our minds so it is his work we do

ByGbaby - u a fool folk, just finish that phd

Deirdre said...

To be quite honest, most of this went over my head but I was glad to read the links as well.

I tell you I learn something new everyday...and with you it seems like every blog! lol:)

Ehav Ever said...

That is an interesting development. Also, I too was influenced by Mr. Wizard's World.

In terms of the ethics of the science there is a saying in Judaism, that if man can think of it and actually create it it isn't against the will of God. Or else wouldn't be able to do it. It is simply a matter of HOW many uses his abilities. Not as much playing God, but using tools responsibly has always been the problem.

Torrance Stephens bka All-Mi-T said...

Deirdre - im sorry, i tried to simplify it


Ehav Ever - mr wizard was the bomb, in fact he was the one who motivated to learn how to make them LOL

Anonymous said...

Very Interesting!
Thank You!

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