Obama Administration Appeals Federal Judge’s Stem Cell Ruling


UC Irvine Medical Research Building

McAuley’s World Comments In Blue- the MSM newspaper cites provided are current

WASHINGTON (AP) — Promising medical research is in disarray as scientists await an appeal by the Obama administration of a judge’s ruling that undercuts taxpayer-funded research using human embryonic stem cells.

“Yet despite the high hopes for embryonic stem cells, progress has been slow — so far there are no treatments with the cells. All along, though, scientists wondered if they could sidestep the ethical debate by creating embryonic stem cells without the embryos.”

The Justice Department said Tuesday it will appeal later this week a federal judge’s order temporarily halting such research money, a block that scientists and patient advocates said could irreparably set back the hunt for needed new treatments.

Read the rest of the article and comments before you decide if this is a “truthful” claim or more “political rhetoric” from the Obama Administration …

“The present ruling, if it stands, will be major blow to the hopes of many patients and their families,” said Dr. Peter Donovan, a stem cell researcher at the University of California, Irvine.

Would you like to venture a guess as to how Dr. Donovan spends his “stem cell research money” …

Opponents of the research hailed the ruling, saying such federally supported studies are prohibited by law because human embryos are destroyed in order to extract the stem cells.

That is a correct statement … it is a fact … many of the studies are prohbitied by Federal Law … 

In the meantime, laboratories around the country struggled to determine which experiments aimed at fighting spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and other ailments will have to stop until the court fight is over. Medical researchers value stem cells because they are master cells that can turn into any tissue of the body.

Now I wonder why the author of the article stopped short of explaining what type of “stem cell research” is currently being conducted … at this point in the article you might think that “all stem cell research” has been affected … 

The National Institutes of Health (A Division of the Federal Health Department) told anxious researchers that if they’ve already received money this year — $131 million in total — they may keep doing their stem cell work but that no new money can be given out.

Gee, does this mean that all “stem cell” research will be affected .. the article states that “no new money can be given out” … and this statement is, simply, a lie …

That means 22 projects due to get yearly checks in September, another $54 million worth, “will be stopped in their tracks,” NIH Director Francis Collins said. Dozens more proposals for new research won’t get a hearing.

So, I guess “stem cell research” will come to a screeching halt … correct?  Well no it won’t … and that is what is wrong with this blantantly false and hysterical political nonsense passing itself off as a journalistic report on what should be the scientific examination of “stem cell research” in America  … Instead we have a politically motivated group of lies being presented as “fact” when, in fact, the issue at hand is the distribution of Federal Funds, pursuant to a Federal Law. Funds to be used for “stem cell” research … just not the research supporting the “scientists” and the “labs” who are being “told” by the Federal Judge that they too, must abide by our Federal Laws … the laws passed by Congress.    

“This decision has just poured sand into the engine of discovery,” Collins said.

Oh really, has it?

However, the ruling drew praise from the Alliance Defense Fund, a group of Christian attorneys who helped with the lawsuit filed by two researchers against the administration rules.

Two researchers or two “scientists”? …  “against the adminstration rules”  or were they “requesting complaince with Federal Law”? … Oh … so this was a Christian vs. Non- -Christian thing, not a science thing …. what would you think if you found out that this isn’t a Christian vs. Non-Christian thing … but a science and medicine and ethics thing … that the complaints here are about the appropriate allocation of federal money, Congress’ right to direct federal funding, political supporters and special interest groups … please read on … 

“The American people should not be forced to pay for experiments — prohibited by federal law — that destroy human life,” said Steven H. Aden, the group’s senior legal counsel. “The court is simply enforcing an existing law passed by Congress that prevents Americans from paying another penny for needless research on human embryos.

Monday’s court ruling is broader than first thought because it would prohibit even the more restricted stem cell research allowed for the past decade under President George W. Bush, according to the White House and scientists.

and why might that be, if the claim being presented is true … and in case you haven’t noticed … I’m calling into question the “truthfulness” and the “veracity” of this article and it’s author … There are a significant number of Attorneys and Scientists that would strongly dispute that the Judge’s decision  has resulted in any changes from the policies of prior Administrations .. in fact they would argue it, the “Court decision”, simply reverses the Obama Administration’s actions and returns us to where we were prior to Obama’s attempt to circumvent the law passed by Congress …

And how quickly any appeal could go through may determine how much is lost permanently.

University of Pennsylvania Biomedical Research Building

“These cells are notoriously finicky and you have to take care of them every day,” said Dr. Jonathan Moreno, a medical ethicist at the University of Pennsylvania. “You can’t just lock up a lab and walk away for two weeks and come back and everything’s fine.”

And do you, the non scientists, really think that is likely …. all “embryonic stem cells” come from one of 75 original donors … the cells are “recreated” or “reproduced” over and over … this is simply a case of “hysterical alarmism” … rush, rush, rush … don’t stop to determine the facts or discuss them rationally … something more important than science or medicine is at stakemy research funding might get cut because I’m just to damn stubborn to direct my research elsewhere. Dr. Moreno you should disassociate your name from the term “medical ethicist” … that or we need to redefine the term “ethics”.

U of M Medical Center

If it takes “months to settle the legal wrangling, then we will just end our work,” said Dr. Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology, whose lab is studying embryonic stem cells in hopes of reversing a serious intestinal birth defect.

Well Dr Morrison, I’m willing to call your bluff … why don’t you just shut off the lights in your lab at the U of M and go home now … I dare you too … and in 6 months you can read about your colleagues who continue their research but refocus their efforts on other avenues and endeavors … go ahead doctor and don’t let the door of the lab hit you in the ass on the way out …  and doctor you do understand that the Judge’s ruling only applies to Federal Funds – you know monery from the American Taxpayer … you can conduct all the research you want as long as you use private funding … The U of M Research Center is larger than most cities doctor .. I’ll just bet you’ll end your research … Doctor, did you stomp off and slam your bedroom door as a child?    

Already, one leading stem cell researcher shifted gears: At Children’s Hospital Boston, Harvard University researcher

Children's Hospital Boston

 Dr. George Daley told his team to assume it can’t use any of millions of dollars in government grant money to nurture the embryonic stem cells growing in his lab but must keep those cells alive by using equipment bought with private funds.

Kudos doctor… and Dr. Daley isn’t alone as you will read below … and Dr. Dailey will shift his research efforts into “other areas” of stem cell research … areas that will continue to be funded with Federal dollars … and he will also seek out “private funds” to continue his existing work …

President Barack Obama last year expanded federally funded stem cell research beyond what had been allowed by Bush.

By Bush? The “law” controlling “stem cell research” was passed by Congress … What a strange President Obama is, he likes to ignore the fact that Congress, not the Executive Branch, legislates under our form of Government … that the Constitution gives the “power of the purse” to the Congress not the President.

But in a surprise to scientists, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth on Monday temporarily blocked such government-funded research, ruling that a pending lawsuit against the Obama policy was likely to succeed in its argument that the research violates the intent of a 1996 law prohibiting use of taxpayer dollars in work that destroys a human embryo.

Well, I doubt it was a surprise to the “Scientists” who filed the suit asking the Judge to enforce the Federal Law. The Federal Judge ruled that an Obama “Executive Order” expanding funding for the research violated the “law passed by Congress in 1996” …  If Obama would like to “change the law” he must do so according to our Constitution … by having the existing law amended by Congress … in addition, the new “Executive Order” Obama signed after “Obamacare” was passed, would prohibit this additional “funding stream” …  yes, a very strange Administration …

That law, called the Dickey-Wicker amendment, was written several years before scientists began growing batches, or lines, of stem cells culled from embryos, and Obama and the two previous administrations had made a distinction between it and stem cell research.

What a strange statement … they are “culled from embryos” because they are “embryonic stem cells”.  Prior Administrations acknowledged the “scientific fact” that stem cells can be produced without using “embryos”. This statement certainly tips the Obama Adminstration’s hand in the upcoming Federal Court Appeal .. they will, apparently, argue that “embryonic stem cell research” doesn’t involve “embryos”, that the stem cells are only “culled from the embryos” …. are you sick and tired of the lies and double talk? Below you’ll see why the “distinction” is made, scientifically and medically…  


Two month old embryo

Culling embryonic stem cells does kill a days-old embryo, so doing that must be funded with private money. But once the cells are culled, they can reproduce in lab dishes indefinitely. Hence, government policies said using taxpayer dollars to work with the already created batches of cells are OK.

So the Federal Judge’s ruling allows research on the existing “embryonic stem cell lines” and on “forced” or “induced” adult stem cells while continuing the prohibition on public funding that would result in the destruction of additional human embryos .. Just as Congress mandated in the 1996 law …

Bush consequently allowed taxpayer-funded research on 21 (existing) stem cell lines. Obama expanded — up to 75 so far — the number that could be used if the woman or couple who donated an embryo did so voluntarily and were told of other options, such as donating that embryo to another infertile woman.

Congress twice passed legislation specifically calling for tax-funded stem cell research, legislation that Bush vetoed. Some Democrats said Tuesday they’ll try the legislation again.

One might think that the legislation that passed authorized funding for “embryonic’ stem cell research” … but read the paragragh above again … the word “embryonic” is missing, isn’t it … I wonder why?

The lawsuit was filed by two scientists who argued that Obama’s expansion jeopardized their ability to win government funding for research using adult stem cellsones that have already matured to create specific types of tissues — because it will mean extra competition.



Embryonic Stem Cells

Finally, in the closing sentence, the author, who is so shamelessly spinning for the Obama Adminstration, darts up to the truth before dashing away again … The suit, filed by two scientists, was a suit which asked the Federal Court to “force” the Obama Administration and the various ‘Research Labs” competing for Federal Funds to conduct “stem cell research” while abiding by the Federal funding law. Yes, the law passed by Congress. 

Obviously, the author is not only a “political hack” but is completely ignorant of what a “forced” or “induced” adult stem cell is … the editor that allowed the following to be published should be placed on leave,

for research using adult stem cellsones that have already matured”.

So “adult stem cells” are “stem cells that have “matured” and “embryonic stem cells” are what, “baby stem cells”?  If it were not so ignorant and sad it would be funny … but these are the experts the MSM are using to feed you the Obama line … the Obama spin …     

The articles cited below, from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times (very liberal publications) appeared in today’s on-line editions of each paper ….

Embryos are not required to obtain “stem cells” – there are two types of stem cells currently being researched, “embryonic” and “adult” …    


Human Multipotent Cord Blood Unrestricted Somatic Stem Cells

Google: Induced pluripotency, Induced pluripotent cells, adult stem cells or iPS cells … or … forced pluripotent cells


“iPSCs were first produced in 2006 from mouse cells and in 2007 from human cells.”

“to obtain pluripotent stem cells, which are important in research and potentially have therapeutic uses, without the controversial use of embryos. They may also be less prone to immune rejection than embryonic stem cells because of the fact that they are derived entirely from the patient.”

The scientific team that wrote the last quote correctly notes that the issue of whether pluripotent cells (stem cells), whether their source is adult stem cells or embryonic stem cells, will actually do what is hoped, has yet to be decided … the article above implies, inappropriately, a much greater degree of certainty than actually exists …

Google NYT Stem Cell Biology and Its Complications – “Yet despite the high hopes for embryonic stem cells, progress has been slow — so far there are no available treatments using the cells. All along, though, scientists wondered if they could sidestep the ethical debate by creating embryonic stem cells without the embryos. Every cell has the same DNA. A heart cell is different from a liver cell because it uses different genes. But all the genes to make a liver cell, or any other cell, are there in the cell. The liver genes are masked in a heart cell and vice versa. Why can’t scientists find a way to unmask all of a cell’s genes and turn it directly into a stem cell without using an embryo? 


A few years ago, two groups of researchers — one led by Dr. Thomson — did just that. They discovered that all they had to do was add four genes and a cell would reprogram itself back to its original state when it was a stem cell in an embryo. (an embryo-less, embryonic stem cell – not a “mature stem cell”).  




Neural stem cells dividing

Google LA Times – Scientists Rush To Use Stem Cell Money  – “researchers who were counting on an infusion of NIH funds in the next few months are now “in great jeopardy,” … the jeopardy maybe to the “scientific integrity” of the research if  “funding” rather than “cures” is the goal …

From the same LA Times article, “At UCLA’s Broad Stem Cell Research Center, Jerome Zack just got his grant renewed Aug. 1. That means he has almost a year left to study how “embryonic” stem cells grow into blood and immune system cells. [So I guess, Dr Zack won’t be turning the lights off in his lab and going home … maybe Dr Morrison can update his resume … but if I were Dr Zack, I’d be very hestitant to take him on … something about ethics and veracity …] 

Instead, he is thinking of diverting some of his last $250,000 in federal funds to start new experiments on induced pluripotent stem cells (adult stem cells), which behave almost exactly like embryonic stem cells but aren’t made from embryos and are therefore unaffected by Monday’s court ruling.


Google – Dictionary com; Embryonic (Definition: the young of a mammal, in the early stages of development within the womb, in humans up to the end of the second month. Compare fetus.

So in summary, how many ways is the article above and the Obama Adminstration Appeal misleading or outright untruthful…

1). The Judge’s ruling does not block any of the “stem cell research” being completed on so called “adult stem cells” or induced pluripotent stem cells.

 2). The Judge’s ruling does not block research being conducted on money already awarded and received .. even when that research violates the provisions of the Federal Law governing the distribution of those funds … that will need to await a completion of a trial on the merits … how disappointing … that funding should never have been disbursed in the first place

3). The Judge’s ruling does not affect research that is being completed in a manner which is “compliant” with the controlling Federal Law … whether the research is being done with the use of so called “adult stem cells” or “embryonic stem cells” that had been previously “culled” and were anticipated in the funding provisions of the 1996 Federal Law. 

The real question should be why the Obama Administration and the NIH have chosen to violate the funding provisions of the applicable Federal Law passed by Congress and why the Obama Administration and the NIH continue to favor “embryonic stem cell research” when the most recent scientific advances have demonstrated that “forced” or “induced” adult stem cells provide numerous medical advantages in the areas of cell rejection and cell immunity while eliminating the “ethical questions” involved in “harvesting” new embryonic stem cells … something that Congress has precluded from Federal funding. 


Stem cells that have differentiated into neurons

The real issue is, apparently, politics and Obama’s special interest groups, the real issues are moving away from medicine, science and “cures” … and moving towards “special interests” and “political diversions” …

What a shame that the American public is subjected to the political hysteria being created by this author on behalf of the Obama Administration …  rather than a rationale explanation of the “resource allocation” and scientific and medical advantages of the various means of producing “pluripotent cells” … the issue is not “pluripotent cells” or “stem cells” the issue is how we obtain them … whether you cull them from an embryo and kill the embryo in the process or whether to reproduce the cell from exisitng lines or whether you create a new cell by inducing the “stem” or “pluripotent cells” form an “adult cell”, you end up with the same building block … a new “pluripotent cell”.


The following is from the Los Angeles Times article … I offer it as an alternate explanation of what the Federal Court suit was really about … there are 10’s of thousands of researchers investigating the potential of stem cells … Congress has passed legislation and devised a means of allocating funds to the competing parties … The Obama Adminstration, using the NIH, has attempted to improperly re-allocate the available resources to Obama’s political supporters …
“The two researchers who brought the case argued that their ability to secure NIH funding for their work with adult stem cells is hampered because they have to compete with researchers seeking money to work on embryonic stem cells. But Collins (NIH Director) said that this argument made no sense because funding for stem cell projects is not a zero-sum game. All 50,000 applications received by the agency each year are in competition with one another, with no set amount devoted to stem cells. In the current fiscal year, he noted, the NIH has allocated $137 million for human embryonic stem cell research and significantly more — $388 million — for other types of stem cell research. One of the plaintiffs in the case, James L. Sherley of the Boston Biomedical Research Institute, got $425,500 of that, according to NIH records.”
Whether the “funding” is a zero sum game is a secondary matter. Whether the funding conforms with Congressional directives and mandates is of primary importance –  Based on these stated numbers it seems highly unlikely that “stem cell research” will come to a screaching halt – $388 million dollars of “stem cell funding” is completely unaffected and has nothing to do with “culling and killing embryos” though some of the $388 million funding will involve “induced embryonic stem cells” or those created from adult cells – of the remaining $137 million, any funding already dispersed is unaffected, of the remaining money yet to be “dispersed” only those funds involved with the “destruction” of new embryos will be withheld under the Judge’s ruling …
The issue is one of competent medical research being pursued in a manner that is consistent with the funding limitations set by Congress … all of the rest is just another political diverson being manufactured by the Obama Administration… 


Update: 09/28/2010

Court OKs US-funded stem cell research for now

WASHINGTON – An appeals court ruled Tuesday that government funding of embryonic stem cell research can continue for now.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington granted the Obama administration’s request to allow the funding from the National Institutes of Health while it appeals a judge’s order blocking the research.

The administration had argued that stopping the research while the case proceeds would irreparably harm scientific progress toward potentially lifesaving medical treatment.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth had blocked President Barack Obama’s research funding guidelines because he said it’s likely they violate the law against federal funding of embryo destruction.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court issued an unusually quick decision, a day after hearing arguments over whether the funding could continue while it considers the case. The court also said it would expedite the case.

Researchers hope one day to use stem cells in ways that cure spinal cord injuries, Parkinson’s disease and other ailments. Opponents say the research is a form of abortion because human embryos must be destroyed to obtain the stem cells.

A 1996 law prohibits the use of taxpayer dollars in work that harms an embryo, so batches have been culled using private money. But those batches can reproduce in lab dishes indefinitely, and Obama administration issued rules permitting taxpayer dollars to be used in work with the already created batches.


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