FRC Blog

Aussies Use Adult Nasal Cells for Spinal Cord Injury

by David Prentice

August 13, 2008

The Australian team at the National Centre for Adult Stem cell Research, Griffith University, continues to produce exciting results. The latest report just published in the journal Brain gives the results of a 3-year clinical trial, using olfactory ensheathing cells (specialized adult cells that surround nerves) from the patients’ own noses, transplanted into the damaged spinal cord. The initial one year followup had shown no adverse effects from the transplant.

These are not the nasal adult stem cells they published on before, another research project by this same group which has shown success at making numerous different tissues and has successfully treated Parkinson’s disease in mice.

This was a highly controlled, extremely well done trial, with matched control and transplant patients, followed for 3 years. Patients were chosen who might be considered “chronic”—at least 2 years after their spinal cord injury—to control for any spontaneous recovery. The trial was designed to show the safety of the transplant. The transplant was utterly safe by all measures, and one transplanted patient showed improvement over 3 segments in light touch and pin prick sensitivity. The results, even with the small number of patients, are heartening because of the proof of safety and the vision of much better results to come with more patients. The cells were shown to be quite safe, to take well in the patients, and improve function safely.

Good on ya!

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Ganging Up on Violence

by Michael Leaser

August 12, 2008

Want to keep your children’s hearts and minds away from gang influence and its accompanying violence? How about more recess and after-school programs? That’s what Chicago fifth graders are requesting. Could this work? Maybe. One very telling element in this proposal is their desire for parents to run these after-school programs.

In this week’s Mapping America, federal survey data show that married parents and regular church attendance are actually the most effective one-two punch against student fighting.

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Leavitt blogs on conscience rights II

by Family Research Council

August 12, 2008

Secretary Leavitt returned to his blog today to respond to some incredible statements that he saw in CQ and which Tony also addresses in today’s Update. I won’t reprint the whole thing here (for that you need to go to his blog here.) However I did want to point out an important point Secretary Leavitt makes:

(A)ccording to Ms. Gallagher’s ideology, if a person goes to medical school they lose their right of conscience. Freedom of expression and action is surrendered with the issuance of a medical degree.

There is something I’d like to point out to Ms Gallagher and the people she represents. It is currently a violation of three separate federal laws to compel medical practitioners to perform a procedure that violates their conscience.

Obviously, some disagree with the federal law and would have it otherwise, so they have begun using the accreditation standards of physician professional organizations to define the exercise of conscience unprofessional and thereby make doctors choose between their capacity to practice in good standing and their right of conscience. In my view, that is simply unfair and a clear effort to subvert the law in favor of their ideology.

This is not a discussion about the rights of a woman to get an abortion. The courts have long ago identified that right and continue to define its limits. This regulation would not be aimed at changing or redefining any of that. This is about the right of a doctor to not participate if he or she chooses for reasons they consider a matter of conscience. Does the National Family Planning and Reproductive Health Association believe we can protect by Constitution, statute and practice rights of free speech, race, religion, and abortion—but not conscience?

Please submit comments to the Secretary here.

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It Only Hurts When They Smile

by Family Research Council

August 11, 2008

For those upset that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has ignored China’s forced abortion policy or its continued persecution of people of faith you can take solace that the IOC has found something about China it actually does finds offensive, the nation’s security forces don’t smile enough. Apparently Norwegian member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Gerhard Heiberg took them to task:

The police and military … need to act differently. They have stony faces. They’re seriously scaring the foreigners in Beijing. Something has to be done,” he said.

Thumbnail image for Prickly city - Olympics.gif

The fact that they’re armed and look sinister, just makes things worse,” he added.

Chinese officials took some time out of torturing the country’s political prisoners to respond:

I’ve asked them to get people to smile more,” he (Heiberg) said, noting that his request was met with … laughs.

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Sesame Street Turns 39, Isn’t It About Time They Moved Out of Their Parent’s Basement?

by Family Research Council

August 11, 2008

Sesame Street turns 39 today with the start of a new season and I see no better time to wean them from the public spigot. We, as taxpayers, give over $420 million a year to underwrite the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes both PBS (which produces Sesame Street) and National Public Radio. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up on the Street (back when Snuffleupagus was just a part of Big Bird’s slow walk towards insanity) and my nieces and nephews always have me do my dead on version of Rubber Ducky anytime they see me, however there is no need a billion dollar industry like Sesame Street needs to continue getting federal funding.

Most of the topics of programs seen on PBS now have whole channels dedicated to them like The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, Food Network, etc. Unfortunately both PBS and NPR know how to effectively use taxpayer dollars to lobby Congress to give Rubberduckie1970.jpgthem even more money. Who can forget when Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-eprobate), currently in a taxpayer funded facility himself after taking in more than $2 million in bribes, allowed Elmo, the muppet, to testify before Congress on increased taxpayer funding of music programs. Every time someone suggests cutting the budget of these shows even Republicans in Congress act as crazy as if you were taking Chip’s Ahoy away from the Cookie Monster (I mean of course back before the PC police turned Cookie Monster into a broccoli eating wimp.)

Since its inception in 1967, Congress has appropriated over $8 billion of taxpayer funds to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, this despite the billions in merchandising made from Dora the Explorer lunchboxes and Tickle Me Elmos.

Happy birthday Sesame Street! Now can you move out and get yourself a real job?

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How to Lose a Placenta in Ten Days

by Family Research Council

August 9, 2008

Matthew McConaughey, star of movies like Dazed and Confused and How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days, seems like a pretty cool duuuude, but I hope someone talks to him before he buries in an orchard his recently born son’s placenta. Mr. McConaughey got the idea from a trip down under:

When I was in Australia, they had a placenta tree that was on the river … and all the placentas of all that tribe, all that clan, whatever aboriginal tribe that was, all the placentas went under that one tree and it was this huge behemoth of just health and strength.

This tree was just growing taller and stronger above the rest of Mother Nature around it. It was gorgeous.”

While I am unsure of the fertilizer qualities of the placenta, I am aware of its treatment qualities for human beings. Banking your child’s cord blood and placental stem cells for use in the future could very well save the life of your child or another member of your family.

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Leavitt blogs on conscience rights

by David Christensen

August 8, 2008

The pro-abortion industry has pounced on a leaked copy of conscience regulations from the Department of Health and Human Services claiming that the Administration is trying to redefine contraceptives as abortion. Not pointing out that major pro-abortion groups, including medical groups, are trying to force medical personnel to perform or promote abortion—not contraceptives— criticism of the leaked regulations have been picked up by the press. Secretary Michael Leavitt posted a blog yesterday rebutting this claim saying:

An early draft of the regulations found its way into public circulation before it had reached my review. It contained words that lead some to conclude my intent is to deal with the subject of contraceptives, somehow defining them as abortion. Not true.

The Bush Administration has consistently supported the unborn. However, the issue I asked to be addressed in this regulation is not abortion or contraceptives, but the legal right medical practitioners have to practice according to their conscience and patients should be able to choose a doctor who has beliefs like his or hers.

Read Secretary Leavitt’s blog, and to post your comments here.

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Sex and the Mexico City

by Family Research Council

August 8, 2008

It appears that Senator Tom Coburn (R-esponsible) was correct in his fears of wasting taxpayer dollars with over one hundred government employees going to Mexico City for the International AIDS Conference, sponsored by the International AIDS Society, the United Nations’ UNAIDS agency and the World Health Organization. C-FAM is reporting the conference is in fact a big pro-abortion push for international mexico_logo_Colour.jpgabortion on demand.

The pro-abortion group Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR) is hosting three talks during the conference addressing the denial of “medically necessary abortions” to HIV positive women, among other topics. CRR was one of many groups lobbying Congress to turn the recently passed PEPFAR bill into a billion dollar US taxpayer funded international abortion giveaway. C-FAM also points out that the only visible “Catholic” organization to participate formally in the Conference is the schizophrenically named group “Catholics for Choice.” They are the group hosting the discussion Senator Coburn mentioned: “Good Catholics Use Condoms: How to Answer the Tough Questions Surrounding HIV/AIDS Prevention and Religion.”

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Perkins Perspective: Last update from Honduras - for now

by Tony Perkins

August 8, 2008

There are many things we take for granted in the U.S, safe and reliable water, electricity and internet access. Cart.jpg

As we prepared to say good bye to our friends at Antioquia Evangelica Bautista Iglesia, we had an opportunity to take in some of the scenery as we visited Lancetilla Botanical Garden outside of Tela. Lancetilla is the second largest tropical botanical garden in the world, with a various species of trees from tropical climates from around the world. As we hiked through, our guide would routinely point out the various fruit bearing trees and let us taste their fruit. Lancetilla.jpg

As we spent our last night together, we reflected on how a team of 47 people, many of whom did not know each other one week ago, worked together to touch the physical and spiritual needs of over 2,000 people. In the process, we gave these Hondurans a different view of Americans than what their televisions have provided.

Based on what I saw and the discussions we’ve been having about our future efforts in Honduras to help the orphaned children in Tornabe, I am sure at some point there will be more updates from Honduras again. But for now I am headed back to the States to defend faith, family and freedom! For those who joined us in praying for our trip - THANK YOU!

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As they say down at the post office, “here’s looking up your address”*

by Family Research Council

August 8, 2008

The Post Office, not usually the source of a smile, does give us two stories today that might do just that (even if it isn’t intentionally.) In the first story a 6-foot-tall, 250-pound letter carrier is campaigning the U.S. Postal Service to add kilts as a uniform option for men. Calling them Unbifurcated garments, our trendsetting mailman pled in a letter “Please open your hearts — and inseams — for an option in mail carrier comfort!”Stamp Flag.jpg

In an even more embarrassing story for the Postal Service, though a good one for philatelist, the government agency found that one of its “Flags 24/7” series appears to have 14 stripes, and not the normal 13 strips representing the original 13 colonies. I have no idea if the extra stripe has anything to do with Senator Barack Obama’s (D-esperate) claim he has visited 57 states.

*A quote by Cliff Clavin from Cheers

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