Here's a big one: Human Clone Produces Stem Cells

Wired News is reporting that it was announced at the AAAS meeting that an article to be published in the Feb. 13 Science will show that researchers have managed to produce a human clone by nuclear transfer that is the first one reported to have produced hundreds of stem cells. No sperm, no embryo from fertilization. This is a huge step in using stem cells therapeutically.

What’s also big is that the breakthrough came in…Korea, not the US. It will be verrrry interesting to see what the reaction is in this country. We’re on the cusp of some very important political/policy decisions.

p.s.: Remember, Korea has set a national goal of owning 10% of the world biotech market by 2012. This kind of thing gives that goal a lot more credibility.

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  1. My personal interest is in finding a cure for Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes. My
    now 15 year old daughter was diagnosed almost 5 years ago. So far, she has
    pricked her fingers approximately 11,000 times, and has taken about 7,500
    insulin injections. If she had cancer, she could hope to be cured – or at
    least to go into remission so she wouldn’t need 4 or 5 or 6 insulin shots
    every day just to stay alive. Right now, all we can hope for is that she
    doesn’t have a heart attack or a stroke, that she doesn’t go blind, that
    her kidneys keep working and that her feet and legs don’t have to be amputated.

    Now, let me tell you about the economics of diabetes. Diabetics test their
    blood sugar levels at least four times a day – children with type 1
    juvenile diabetes test more like 6 to 8 times a day. These little test
    strips that are used to measure blood glucose levels cost, conservatively
    and on average, 70 cents per strip. Diabetics who test their blood glucose
    level just 4 times per day (breakfast, lunch, dinner, bedtime) are spending
    Two Dollars and Eighty Cents per day, or a little over a thousand dollars a
    year, minimum, on these strips. That’s over a billion dollars per year for
    every 1 million diabetics, and there are an estimated 17 million people
    suffering from diabetes in the US alone.

    Next, I am going to review the financial’s from the 2003 and 2004 Annual
    Reports of Eli Lilly & Company, one of the major producers of insulin.
    Before I do, I want to remind you that insulin will never cure diabetes. It
    is what my 15-year-old refers to as her ‘lifeline’. It keeps a diabetic
    alive, but does not prevent the catastrophic side effects. And it will
    never cure anyone!

    2003: “Our worldwide sales…increased 14%, to 12.58 billion dollars.”
    Sources of revenue: “Diabetes care products, composed primarily of
    Humulin…Humalog…and Actos…had aggregate worldwide revenues of 2.57
    billion dollars.” Ladies and gentlemen, 20% of the worldwide sales were
    from 3 products, 2 of which (Humulin and Humalog) are for ‘maintenance’ of
    type 1 diabetics. In 2003, Humulin sales in the US were 507.5 million
    dollars, and were 658.6 million dollars for Humalog.

    The 2004 numbers are equally staggering. The same three products had
    aggregate worldwide revenues of 2.61 billion dollars. Humulin sales in the
    US were only 422.7 million, but Humalog sales in the US were up to 685.4
    million dollars. An explanation offered by Eli Lilly is (and this is a
    direct quote!) “Humalog sales in the US increased 3 percent as increased
    prices offset slight volume declines.”

    That’s 5.18 billion dollars in a two-year period – to treat patients who
    will not get better. That’s a whole loot of insurance and medicare dollars
    going to two drugs to maintain a condition for which there actually might
    be a cure.

    Breakthroughs using stem cell therapies have been announced all over the
    world, and involving many conditions, such as reversing the side effects of
    diabetes, curing type 1 juvenile diabetes, restoration of immune systems in
    cancer patients, improvement of a Parkinson’s patient’s motor skills by
    83%, reversal of heart tissue damage in a heart attack victim, the list
    goes on and on. Stem cells work, and more research is needed.

    This is not a religious issue. This is a health issue. This is a “where are
    my Medicare dollars going?” issue is a quality of life issue Even though
    the dollars are huge, let’s not forget that the main benefits from stem
    cell research and therapies are to improve the health and to save the lives
    of millions who suffer, or who may in the future suffer from diseases that
    could be treated or cured with new stem cell therapies. We are talking
    about improvement of the quality of a human life!

    B. Cole

    ATTENTION STEM CELL RESEARCH SUPPORTERS

    Have you ever noticed how many Republicans, starting with President Bush, claim to be against Stem Cell Research because of the moral and ethical considerations? Have you noticed how they are fixed on ’embryonic’ stem cell rather than admitting the successes of adult stem cells?

    Let me shed some light on why they have taken this position. In addition to Eli Lilly telling me that it would never support anything that would ever cure diabetes, and admitting that 20% of its 12 billion dollars in revenue in 2003 came from the sale of insulin (diabetes has been reversed in other countries), look at all of the campaign contributions made by the pharmaceuticals to our elected officials:

    Pharmaceutical Manufacturing:
    Top 20 Recipients

    Election cycle: 20042002200019981996199419921990

    List Top 20: All RecipientsPresidential CandidatesSenatorsMembers of the HouseSenate CandidatesHouse CandidatesAll Members of Congress

    Rank
    Candidate
    Office
    Amount

    1
    Bush, George W (R)
    Pres
    $499,549

    2
    Kerry, John (D)
    Pres
    $275,888

    3
    Burr, Richard (R-NC)
    Senate
    $196,148

    4
    Ferguson, Mike (R-NJ)
    House
    $180,899

    5
    Specter, Arlen (R-PA)
    Senate
    $120,700

    6
    Hastert, Dennis (R-IL)
    House
    $116,500

    7
    Gregg, Judd (R-NH)
    Senate
    $106,000

    8
    Dodd, Chris (D-CT)
    Senate
    $100,525

    9
    Bond, Christopher S ‘Kit’ (R-MO)
    Senate
    $83,503

    10
    Barton, Joe (R-TX)
    House
    $79,750

    11
    Bennett, Robert F (R-UT)
    Senate
    $78,000

    12
    DeLay, Tom (R-TX)
    House
    $76,999

    13
    John, Chris (D-LA)
    Senate
    $74,468

    14
    Lieberman, Joe (D-CT)
    Senate
    $73,000

    15
    Bayh, Evan (D-IN)
    Senate
    $72,022

    16
    Johnson, Nancy L (R-CT)
    House
    $71,250

    17
    Martinez, Mel (R-FL)
    Senate
    $69,050

    18
    Simmons, Rob (R-CT)
    House
    $67,436

    19
    Isakson, Johnny (R-GA)
    Senate
    $66,099

    20
    Frelinghuysen, Rodney (R-NJ)
    House
    $64,602

    Notice how many Republicans are listed above?

    Send to Democratic Party!

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