Month Archives: October 2010

Adult Stem CellsBest-Kept Secret, Treating Multiple Sclerosis

by David Prentice

October 6, 2010

Adult stem cell success treating patients has been noted as the best-kept secret in the galaxy” by Dr. Jean Peduzzi Nelson of Wayne State University. In her recent Senate testimony she described the case of Barry Goudy, who had relapsing-remitting MS. Barry had numerous relapses and medication was not helping his condition. He was treated as part of a study conducted at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and received his own adult stem cells in 2003. His MS symptoms disappeared in 4 months, and he continues to be symptom free today.

Barry is not a single case. Results were published in 2009 in Lancet Neurology by Burt and colleagues, where they reported that they had reversed the neurological dysfunction of early-stage multiple sclerosis patients. As Dr. Burt noted:

This is the first time we have turned the tide on this disease.

These were patients who were still having relapses despite interferon beta treatment. All of the treated patients stopped the normal progressive worsening associated with MS, and a significant functional improvement was noted in these patients.

In a similar study published in 2010, University of Bristol researchers led by Dr. Neil Scolding describe the one-year follow-up of six patients who showed improvement in muscle function. Patients stabilized or improved in a disease that is characterized with progressive decline in function.

Adult stem cells—treating multiple sclerosis patients now!

2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry

by David Prentice

October 6, 2010

Awarded to Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki for the development of palladium-catalyzed cross coupling. Carbon, the atom that is the backbone of molecules in living organisms, is usually very stable and it can be difficult in the laboratory chemically to synthesize large molecules containing carbon. In the Heck reaction, Negishi reaction and Suzuki reaction (yes, they have chemical reactions named after them!), carbon atoms meet on a palladium atom, which acts as a catalyst. The carbon atoms attach to the palladium atom and are thus positioned close enough to each other for chemical reactions to start. This allows chemists to synthesize large, complex carbon-containing molecules. Palladium-catalyzed cross coupling is used in research worldwide, as well as in the commercial production of pharmaceuticals and molecules used in the electronics industry.

Ella vs. RU-486: Similarities and Differences

by Family Research Council

October 5, 2010

Last week, as the abortion industry celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the FDA approval of RU-486, we learned the grim news that two additional women have died from complications related to the abortion drug. In total, since its approval in 2000, 12 women (and approximately a million babies) have died as a result of RU-486 in the U.S.

As we’ve previously reported, ella, which is chemically and functionally similar to RU-486, was approved by the FDA on August 13th. Continuing our series educating health care workers and the general public about ella, in this short youtube clip we again hear from Dr. Donna Harrison, OB-GYN and president of the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG).

In this clip Dr. Harrison simply describes the differences and similarities between ella and RU-486. She explains how both drugs block progesterone, alter the placenta and what that means for implanted fetuses.

Socialism on Parade in the Capital

by Robert Morrison

October 5, 2010

There was a brief flurry of excitement among conservatives last summer as a new opinion poll came out with this stunning news: Fifty-five percent of likely voters thought President Obama could best be described as a socialist. For conservatives, for older voters who remember the Evil Empire and Americas 45-year Cold War with the old USSR, it seemed that that would be all Americans would have to know: Socialism is bad. Socialism was a colossal failure. Socialism was the watered-down version of Marxist-Leninism, that poisonous old hammer-and-sickle snake oil.

That early summer poll was viewed as all the more important because it was done by the Democracy Corpsa reliably left-wing outfit run by former Clinton White House hands, James Carville and Stan Greenberg. Nobody could say this was a questionable poll done by Human Events or National Review. This poll was done by and for liberals.

Some conservative blogs pounced. The one-word description of the poll results for liberals was: DOOM. Our friends could hardly contain their glee.

Not so fast. How many Americans who have come of age in the 21 years since the Fall of the Berlin Wall really know the record of Socialism? Did we expect them to learn it in their public high schools? Check out the social studies textbooks. The late Howard Zinns Peoples History of the United States has been a required text in hundreds of advanced placement history courses at the high school and college levels. Zinn was a proud Marxist whose analysis of our past was arguably even more anti-American than that of old Joe Stalin. (Zinn blamed the U.S. for forcing Japan to attack us at Pearl Harbor; Soviet dictator Stalin welcomed the U.S. entry into World War II and agreed at Yalta to go to war against Japan.)

Consider last weekends big labor union rally on the National Mall. It was big for organized labor, but it was a pale shadow of Glenn Becks August rally to Restore Honor. Nonetheless, what was notable about the labor rally was the openness with which thousands of young Americans proclaimed their allegiance to Communist and Socialist causes.

Watch this video, helpfully provided for us by Americans for Prosperity (AFP). The background music was added by AFP, the now-almost-forgotten Stalinist anthem of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Think of that name when you see these naive young Americans appearing in broad daylight on our National Mall, advocating for a socialist America:

Marxism enjoys a continuing prestige in the red-bannered halls of academe. It might even be argued that Marxism got a new lease on life with the collapse of the old Soviet Union.

No longer do campus reds have to defend that empire built on bones. They dont have to make excuses for a political system that walled its people in, that shot workers as they tried to escape the Workers Paradise. Moscows Communist rulers deliberately starved millions through state-sparked famines, sent millions more to die in the Gulag, suppressed all civil liberties over 1/7 of the globe, and consigned dissidents to mental hospitals, where they were drugged into silence.

One hundred million people were killed by world Communism in the 20th Century. These are not wild charges hurled by right-wing zealots. They are the sober, carefully discounted figures produced by Stephane Courtois and a group of French leftists. Their 912-page compendium is titled The Black Book of Communism.

Courtois and company are careful to analyze the numbers of victims widely reported in the West. The very numbers of victims of Communism defy comprehension. These unimaginable numbers have a numbing effect. Dictator Stalin acknowledged shrewdly: A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.

I would like to share this passage from the Black Book with some of those young Marxists-on-the-Mall:

What moved us most [said a former Cambodian government official who miraculously survived] was the fate of twenty young children, most of whom belonged to people who had been evacuated after 17 April 1975. These children stole because they were too hungry. They had been arrested not so that they could be punished, but so that they could be put to death in an extremely savage manner:

  • Prison guards hit them or kicked them to death.
  • They made living toys of them, tying up their feet, hanging them from the roof, swinging them, then steadying them with kicks.
  • Near the prison there was a pond; the executioners threw the children into it and held them down by their feet, and when they started to thrash about they would let their heads up, and then start the process all over again.

We, the other prisoners, cried in secret about the fate of these children, who were leaving this world in such an atrocious manner.

Earlier that year, in March, 1975, Congressman Don Fraser (D-Minn.) chaired a House Committee hearing. Do you want Cambodia to fall [to the Communists?] an official of the Ford administration asked. Yes, said the liberal Fraser, under controlled circumstances to minimize the loss of life.

If you watched network TV coverage of last Saturdays rally, you would have seen none of the red banners, the Communist and Socialist broadsides and literature. Can you imagine what the reaction of the media would have been if theyd been able to find even one banner from the Nazis or the Ku Klux Klan at Glenn Becks rally?

Those of us who lived through the Cold War have a duty to bear witness to the young. We have a holy obligation to warn them not to go down that bloody path again. There is nothing any young American should admire or seek to emulate in the bloody record of Communism.

2010 Nobel Prize for Physics

by David Prentice

October 5, 2010

Awarded to Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, “for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene.” Graphene is a form of carbon that has interesting and exciting properties— it forms a strong, flat lattice structure, one molecule thick, that is almost transparent, can conduct electricity and heat, is stretchable yet is very dense. Geim and Novoselov were able to extract graphene from simple graphite, the form of carbon found in pencils.

Response to Sept. 28 USA Today Article on RU-486

by Family Research Council

October 4, 2010

Rita Rubins September 28 column in USA Today on the anniversary of the abortion drug RU-486, 10 Years Later, Abortion Pill Not Used as Often as Expected, lacked essential information about the drugs negative health impacts and risky efforts to expand its use.

Rubin wrote that the expansion of RU-486 has been less extensive than originally anticipated. What she didnt include in the article is that a major limitation on the drugs expansion is that it may only be prescribed by doctors who, according to the FDA, can assure patient access to medical facilities equipped to provide blood transfusion and resuscitation, if necessary. The doctors must also be able to perform surgery in situations where the baby is not fully expelled from the drug. Why?

RU-486 has serious health implications for women. According to the FDA, as late as 2008, over 1,300 adverse events reports had been submitted. Of those reported, negative health complications included 336 hospitalizations, 172 patients requiring blood transfusions, and most gravely, 10 deaths.

Despite these harmful medical outcomes, Planned Parenthood, our countrys largest abortion provider, is currently in the process of expanding access to RU-486 through telemed abortions. Telemed abortions somewhat remove the doctor from the process. The doctor prescribes the chemical abortion pill by closed-circuit TV. This is great for abortion proponents because fewer doctors prescribe a greater number of abortions. But fewer doctors also means less patient oversight, attention and care. Hows that for advancing womens health?

Disabled Babies in the Womb Event Supporting Prenatal Disability Diagnosis - October 5th, 2010

by Family Research Council

October 4, 2010

On Tuesday, October 5, Christians here in D.C. and across the country will be focusing on the issue of helping support pregnant women who receive a prenatal diagnosis of a disability. As Christians we believe that every person is willed and loved by God, and has inherent gifts and dignity. However, with new technologies in prenatal testing, this dignity is being called into question. Upon receiving an unexpected prenatal diagnosis and in the absence of comprehensive information and resources that promote the option of carrying to term, up to 90 % of women decide to terminate their pregnancies. We uphold that all human beings have infinite value regardless of any medical conditions or disabilities, and seek to support families during this time.

From 1:00-2:30 p.m., the National Catholic Partnership on Disability (NCPD) will host a national training for ministers, medical personnel and others in the Washington, D.C. area who are interested. This will be followed by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Affirming Life Symposium starting at 2:45 p.m., also for ministers, pastoral workers and medical staff. Register at www.ncpd.org. For more information, contact Peg Kolm, Department of Special Needs Ministries at 301-853-4560.

2010 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine

by David Prentice

October 4, 2010

Awarded to Robert G. Edwards, who developed in vitro fertilization (IVF) and ushered in the era of “test-tube babies”. The first child born as a result of IVF was Louise Brown, 25 July, 1978. Since that time approximately 4 million children have been born worldwide as a result of IVF techniques.

This choice may be controversial, as IVF is itself a controversial technique. It involves conception and manipulation of human embryos in the laboratory. While the technique has helped some infertile couples, the practice of manipulating human embryos has opened the way to cavalier views of nascent human life, including stockpiling “excess” human embryos, and in many ways is the precedent to the embryonic stem cell debate.

Prior to the announcement, there had been widespread speculation that this year’s Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine might go to Shinya Yamanaka, the Japanese scientist who developed the technique of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells), reprogramming normal cells to behave like embryonic stem cells, yet without the use of embryos, eggs, or cloning. Maybe next year.

Two More RU-486 Infection Deaths Announced by CDC

by Chris Gacek

October 1, 2010

Almost ten years to the date after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the abortion drug, Mifeprex (RU-486; mifepristone), two more medical abortion deaths have been announced by U.S. Centers for Disease Control Officials.

In a letter to the editor of the New England Journal of Medicine dated September 30, 2010, Dr. Elissa Meites et al., described two additional mifepristone-induced septic shock deaths. Both deaths were caused by c. sordellii, the bacteria linked to a number of RU-486 deaths from 2000-2006.

One woman who died was 29; the other was 21.

Monty Patterson, the father of Holly Patterson an eighteen-year-old who died after using the mifepristone regimen, released a statement with these three concluding paragraphs:

It has been proposed by medical professionals that the properties of the mifepristone abortion pill can seriously impair or alter a womens immune system and predispose her to serious or fatal infections.

The 9 deaths from Clostridium sordellii can no longer be ignored, particularly at the regulatory level. The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health. They need to reevaluate the risk, safety and efficacy of the drug they approved 10 years ago.

Ultimately, women will have to make the final choice based on the most accurate information they can obtain. They need to question if the risks of medical abortion pills are really in the best interest of their health, safety and welfare. Women can make informed decisions when they have timely, reliable and truthful information.

Mr. Patterson is clearly correct, and FDA also needs to re-think its policies surrounding the release of its newest abortifacient and mifepristone-twin, Ella.

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