October 11th, 2010
03:30 PM ET

First human injected in human embryonic stem cell trial

After years of animal trials, the first human has been injected with cells from human embryonic stem cells, according to Geron Corporation, the company which is sponsoring the controversial study.

"This is the first human embryonic stem cell trial in the world," Geron CEO Dr. Thomas Okarma tells CNN.

Geron is releasing very few details about the patient, but will say that the first person to receive cells derived from human embryonic stem cells was enrolled in the FDA-approved clinical trial at the Shepherd Center, a spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.  This person was injected with the cells on Friday.

The FDA first approved this clinical trial in January 2009, but later required further research before the study could proceed. The FDA gave final approval in July of this year.  This allowed the company to begin searching for the first patients who might qualify for this phase 1 clinical trial, which means scientists are trying to determine the safety of introducing these cells into a human.

To be eligible, patients have to have suffered what's called a complete thoracic spinal cord injury, which means  no movement below the chest. While patients can still move their arms and breathe on their own, they are complete paraplegics; they have no bowel or bladder control and can't move their legs, Okarma explains.

The injury to the spinal cord would have to have occurred between the third and tenth thoracic vertebrae and the patient has to be injected with the stem cell therapy, called GRNOPC1, within seven to 14 days after the injury.   "At the time of the injection, they [the cells] are programmed to make a new spinal cord – they insulate the damage [to the spinal cord]," says Okarma.  The cells work just like they would if they were in the womb and building a spine in a fetus, Okarma explains.

Embryonic stem cells are only four to five days old and have the ability to turn into any cell in the body.  But the cells that the patient receives aren't pure human embryonic stem cells anymore.  The cells in the GRNOPC1 therapy have been coaxed into becoming early myelinated glial cells, a type of cell that insulates nerve cells.

"For every cell we inject, they become six to 10 cells in a few months," says Okarma.  These cells can still divide some but will not become any type of cell other than glial cells, he explains.

The Geron CEO likens what these cells are doing to repairing a large electrical cable.  If the outer layer is damaged and the wire is exposed, it causes a short-circuit and the cable doesn't work anymore.  In the case of a spinal cord injury, these new stem-cell derived glial cells creep in between all the fibers and rewrap the nerve with myelin, which is like patching the cable.  The goal is to permanently repair the damage that caused the paralysis from the spinal cord injury.

"We're not treating symptoms here -  we're permanently regenerating tissue," says Okarma.

He adds that the goal of this stem cell therapy is to shift the outcome for someone who has just suffered a serious spinal cord injury, and go from a place where there's no hope for improvement to a situation where they can respond to physical therapy.  "If we could do that, this would be a spectacular result," Okarma says.

The purpose of the clinical trial at this stage is to determine safety – to determine that there are no bad side effects or rejection caused by the therapy. Only eight to 10 patients are approved to be in the safety phase of this clinical trial, and patients with new spinal cord injuries are expected to be enrolled at about seven sites in the United States.  Besides the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Northwestern Medicine in Chicago, Illinois, also is recruiting patients.

The cells that are being injected into the patients are a product derived from stem cells that were harvested from leftover embryos from fertility clinics.  Because this process destroys the embryo, this type of research has been very controversial.  Consequently federal funding of this type of research has been equally controversial.  However, Okarma has previously told CNN that "zero federal funds" were used for their human embryonic stem cell product.

soundoff (762 Responses)
  1. Shunw

    As a Christian people need to understand what stem cells are. People need to educate themselves. I believe god gives the knowledge to these scientist and doctors. I do however believe that pray does help. I believe god can heal in direct( I've seen this happen ) and indirect ways. If this was my child in need of stem cells I would give it to them. And thank god for the knowledge that he gave these doctors .

    October 11, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doppleganger

      We are not a Christian people. This is not a Christian nation.

      October 11, 2010 at 18:36 | Report abuse |
    • Shunw

      I was referring to Christian people and our lack of understanding . I know this country has a diverse background. Look religion might not work for some and I completely understand . There are Christians out there that is in support of stem cell. You can not put all Christians into the same category because like this country that is so diverse with different races and religious backgrounds the Christian community is just as diverse with their views

      October 12, 2010 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
    • Doppleganger

      Ok... well then you're definitely cool with me :)... Just the rhetoric you used sounded Faux news worthy and fear mongering boils my blood.

      October 12, 2010 at 01:12 | Report abuse |
    • Shunw

      Trust me I'm no glen beck lol.

      October 12, 2010 at 06:28 | Report abuse |
  2. Jason

    "At the time of the injection, they [the cells] are programmed to make a new spinal cord – they insulate the damage [to the spinal cord]," says Okarma. The cells work just like they would if they were in the womb and building a spine in a fetus, Okarma explains.
    Hmm...I can see some problems with this.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. patriot

    no doubt that the jack boot right wing religious wing nuts will decry this. Morons....

    October 11, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Quadrapalegic

    As a spinal cord injury survivor that is very hopeful in this therapy, I ask that no one, no matter how evil or ignorant or different from me the are, have the experience of becoming injured. Please, do not wish such things on anyone, you cannot imagine what you are suggesting.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. sms

    u people obviously don't know how this works. Its a petri dish baby. Woman donate eggs and men donate sperm to stem cell research. They put one egg and one sperm into a petri dish. Wait for cells to multiply and take stem cells....there u go

    October 11, 2010 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Stoprunning

    This is going to make Jesus come out of the heavens and smite the evildoers.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    Now with some young children's cases doctors inform parents that children were born with cerebral palsy, sometimes they attribute it with faulty child delivery maybe causing some brain damage. But, i know it is handicapping related to the polio vaccine and it isn't reversable hardly. It is polio that affects the feet and ankles and sometimes more than that or other part of the body. theresa noelle younan ymma-iii i-pic y-research management

    October 11, 2010 at 18:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. sanjosemike


    Just a brief reminder for those who detest Israel. Without Israeli scientists research and helping to get this to market, this treatment might not have gotten to this stage for at least another 10-15 years. sanjosemike

    October 11, 2010 at 18:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. sms

    You people obviously don't know how this works. Its a petri dish baby. Woman donate eggs and men donate sperm to stem cell research. They put one egg and one sperm into a petri dish. Wait for cells to multiply and take stem cells....there u go

    October 11, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Billybobjoe


      October 11, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse |
  10. Raging Eagles

    The first human injected in human embryonic stem cell trial.....yeah I bet this happened in China like 15 years ago

    October 11, 2010 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. dantetn

    You know, this is somewhat more difficult then I thought. I know I would use stem cells in a heartbeat if I needed to for my daughters, but if we do this, playing god or not, we will be expanding lives to who knows what age. Earths population will skyrocket. We are going to be the end of this planet anyway, but this will speed that up exponentiallyThere will be no end to what they will treat if they do what many hope. It is definately smething to think about. It will do way more then just giving better quality of life for some.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    Immunity building from vaccine serum is not a plausible science. theresa noelle younan ymma-iii y-research management

    October 11, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Oklahoma29

    This is amazing how a single cell can save a human life. My prayers to everyone that needs this treatment. I really hope people can find a way to use this treatment for the healing of all. It is one step closing to a solution.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Oklahoma29


      October 11, 2010 at 18:44 | Report abuse |
    • Billybobjoe

      I applaud you for being respectful and unlike a lot of these, drunk, rowdy, and frankly just rude morons. You seem to respect other people's beliefs and opinions.

      October 11, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
  14. Haha

    Man. I love how all of the crazy anti stem cell research people here fail to read the article.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Andrew

    Ignore the ignorant trolls folks... this is real, not something you find stuffed in the nightstand of your hotel room. I for one will be watching this closely and dearly hope that it is successful.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Harvey Wallbanger

    I would be willing to bet most who object on religious grounds would change their tune if they became a paraplegic.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Robita

    Well this is about ten years late, but that's better than never. Seems like you religious nut bags out there never pick the winning team on anything. Earth is flat... Wrong, Earth is the center of the universe... Wrong, Sun revolves around the Earth.... Wrong, Africans were supposed to be slaves....Wrong!!! You people have it ALL WRONG. So I have a good suggestion for any of you Christians who want to obstruct progress on this planet in any way. Keep you stupid beliefs to yourselves and let the other people go ahead and build the future.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Christopher

    Yeah, let's inject us some babies!

    October 11, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. patriot

    @S.F. I shant have a conversation with a moron like you either. And FYI, "shant" is not a word. Learn to spell before you engage others in some sort of informed conversation.

    Yup, when you are in the hospital and the only thing keeping you alive are pumps and machines and just about everything else in modern medicine, including Doctors sworn to save your sorry keister, you just tell your family to pull the plug and say no thank you.

    Guys like you are no better than the Taliban and others who think God is on their side.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. funding

    Due to successful ultraconservative lobbying to block ALL federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research, the only research being done is funded entirely by private companies. What does that mean? If any of these therapies becomes therapeutically beneficial, the cost to the consumer will be astronomical due to the crushing expense incurred by these private companies. Pharmaceutical companies don't price their products to get rich, they do it to COVER tHEIR RESEARCH EXPENSES. If the U.S. public wants effective therapies to become available in a timely and affordable manner, federally-funded research is a must. And due to recent conflict-of-interest requirements, it is free from bias. Come on U.S., don't let these conservative religious right dillholes keep you in the proverbial dark. Wasting valuable tissue destined for a biohazard bag is stupid. This is why we have the organ donor program. Everybody dies. It's better to use tissue than throw it away. Those embryos would have been thrown away.

    October 11, 2010 at 18:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Billybobjoe

    How, about people just start using condoms...

    Then maybe when there will be less bastards (speaking in the technical term, of offence to anyone) we can finally understand the difference of just a cell and human life.

    Human life- it begins at conception as in (WHEN THE EGG IS FERTILIZED) Are you telling me that just because the human is in the womb and not out in the open you can kill it. Especially in the sixth month where there have been instances where the child is born early and SURVIVES. So why would you kill it in the sixth month if you already know it can survive if it where born now. See if a mother where to give birth in the sixth month and then stab her child she would be arrested for murder. If she were to abort in the sixth month, She'd be patted on the back by a bunch of liberals and masons for excersizing her "RIGHT TO CHOSE) hmm.... BULLSH*T

    Just an egg- Unfertilized, THIS, jackasses, is the stuff women expel during their periods

    And all of you bashing religion. They could just as well be bashing Atheism, lets all just keep religion out of this. Especially you S.F.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

    The days of superstition are numbered!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Brett Favre's fan (a.k.a. ybs)

      With embryonic stem cell therapy, Brett Favre could play in the NFL for another 60 years! 🙂

      October 11, 2010 at 19:06 | Report abuse |
    • jean2009

      Provided his wife or someone's angry husband doesn't do him in.

      October 12, 2010 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
  23. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    To hide the damages of the polio vaccine, medical science is renaming polio illnesses, cerebral palsy, spinal bifida, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, plus those brain damage retardation illesses of various names. theresa noelle younan ymma-iii i-pic y-research management. then all of you are having everybody spin wheelchair fundraising games around it all.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    I created over 20 names for chairities and foundations that i could raise a lot of money with. I have to locate where i put my list at. But they are really sort of con games you know. theresa noelle younan ymma-iii i-pic y-research management

    October 11, 2010 at 19:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. parker

    I can only hope that Bush and all the religious idiots have family that would have benefited from stem cell research WILL DIE because of his 8 year cancelleation of stem cell research studies. This is just another example of how "religion" held back science from improving life and medicine. Those same religious idiots get vaccinations and immunizations and medical care because SCIENCE and research made it possible. Cheney, who was also against stem cell research, benefitted GREATLY from the SCIENTIFIC studies of heart disease. He should have just prayed and prayed and prayed some more, without the help of his doctors and science, and he would be DEAD now.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ed

      No one cancelled stem cell research. They stopped government funding for embryonic stem cell research. If you knew at all what you are talking about, you would know that;
      1. Adult stem cells have the same benefits. Clinical trials for adult stem cells are already at phase two for myelination disorders.
      2. Funding by the Gov is weak at best. Most funding comes from stock pruchases and private investors.

      October 11, 2010 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • Kayla

      I have a couple corrections to Ed's post. The US government actually funds a large portion of the scientific research that goes on in this country. The porportion of funding that the government provides largely out weighs the funding that industry provides and government funding does not come with strings attached. Industry funding comes with strings attached such as being told to find what the company wants to be found. There are many problems with accepting industry funding including conflicts of interest. Government funding is the largest contributor to scientific funds and most of those funds are given through NIH grants that were largely cut when President Bush was in office.

      My second point is that though adult stem cells might already be in phase 2 trials, there are many issues that adult stem cells have that embryonic ones don't. One of these is that adult stem cells have already been dividing for however long the donor has been living. This is a problem because cells have a sort of "genetic clock" that eventually runs out and cells die. When a stem cell divides it gives rise to 2 different cells: another stem cell and a cell of a specific cell type. After the stem cells has gone through many rounds of cell division its "genetic clock" runs out and the stem cell is depleted. This is known to happen to stem cells in our hair follicles and is one of the reasons that we grow thin gray hair as we age.

      That being said, adult stem cells have a much shorter life time than embyonic stem cells. We don't know how many divisions these adult stem cells can go through but my scientific opinion is that someone treated with these cells would probably need multiple treatments throughout their lifetime. The same argument holds for Induced Pulripotent Stem Cells (iPSCs) which are a kind of reverse engineered adult stem cell. This would not be an issue with embyronic stem cells as they have only gone through few divisions and a patient would only need to be treated once in their lifetime.

      There are many more advantages to using embryonic stem cells as opposed to adult stem cells but I will not go into it as this post has already gotten much longer than I intended.

      I respect everyone's opinions on here but just wanted to lay down a little scientific knowledge on you folks!

      October 12, 2010 at 14:01 | Report abuse |
  26. Lindsay

    Fine. But NOT government / taxpayer funded!!!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. YounanMarketingAndManagementAssociatesInc, Int'l Intst'r

    one of them that i thought was valuable and important though was the Foundation for the Protection of the Rights of the Deceased and Soon to Be Deceased. theresa noelle younan y-research management i-pic interpole galactica

    October 11, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mother of injured son

    Indeed, there is now potential for humans who have damaged spinal cords. What miracles have occurred in my life time.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Billy

    Next on CNN: Mans spinal column grows teeth, hair, and an appetite for his own heart.
    I know we are going to end up with a few stories like "The man who taught his asp ole to talk" by William S Burroughs.
    Google it, it is a quick 5-minute read, of course you need to change the "asp ole" part to the real thing when googleing.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. coca cola


    October 11, 2010 at 19:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. coca cola

    what did SF post

    October 11, 2010 at 19:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Buddha

    This reminds me of a comic a read a year or so ago. A Pasture at a church is preaching and says "LET US PRAY FOR THE ABOMINATION OF STEM CELL SCIENCE TO BE STOPPED" then everyone bows their heads and there all praying "I pray for a cure for my Grandfathers Parkisons" and "I pray for a cure for my fathers blindness"

    It justs cracks me up the people who continually look for miracles aren't able to see one right in front of their faces.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. thorrsman

    Of course, if this leads to nothing, the whole story will be quietly dropped. The main use for embryonic stem cell research in not to cure anyone of anything, but as a political weapon of the Left to attack those who think the GOVERNMENT should not be wasting OUR money on this sort of thing. Let private research firms go after this sort of treatment, if they think it will lead to anything.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Mr.S0X

    I have high hopes for these testings. I think if we all kept an open mind, and allowed our selves to understand the bible was written a long time ago. We can see past these warped obligation to religion, I think we can have a more enriched life.

    Keep an open mind. The destruction of these embryols is not outside of our Laws of life after all..
    There is a start to "life" and an end to "life".
    A hawk in the wild has no moral restraint when swooping down and snatching a baby rabbit.
    The baby rabbit lived his expected life cycle. To be born, and to die.

    These embryos where going to be discarded anyway, does it really matter how they get destroyed?

    October 11, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Evil, evil, evil wicked wicked wicked

      Yes mr predator sox it does makes a difference. Does it makes a difference how you are to be destroyed? According to you the bigger predator has the right-of-way.

      October 12, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
  35. Tech Wins

    I hope this produces amazing results as I see the mind-blowing potential. But we all have to consider what is next and who is leading and who is monitoring. What are the next steps, does this lead to embryonic farming. This is a serious issue and GOD has no place in the in the debate unless your GOD is going to show up at the debate. Instead WE, those who are here, those who are making these choices need to take responsibility for our actions, We need to make sure conscious and moral people are leading and in the forefront of this amazing science. Keep in mind GOD didn't stop these accidents from happening, he didn't stop the science community from learning this technique...so how's to say one or the other is wrong? That would just be one person pushing their beliefs before logic.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Phil

    wtf.....does god have to do with this. i hate the religious right......big idiots....! they get in the way of progress on so many levels.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • KaylaMarie

      CREATION DUHHHH!!!! If God wanted us to do this then he would have given us the tools and directions to do it. He dosent want us to alter His already amazing creation. although we ALL do have our flaws we dont need to add paint to an already awesome master piece!!!

      October 11, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
  37. r.s.

    My experience...life begins at conception.Say what you will,I felt the spirit of one of my children enter at that moment. Nothing can convince me otherwise.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Amy

    You people spouting religious BS DO realize that parents can bank their baby's umbilical cord blood for uses like this, right? These may be embryonic stem cells used in these trials, but cord blood may also be used. Do you think THAT is bad?

    October 11, 2010 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LiberateUs

      Atheists, open your minds for once. Your creativity will improve by 150%

      October 12, 2010 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
  39. Emily

    I did not read S.F.'s post but from the comments I take it that he claims it's against this trial due to his religious beliefs. Well, S.F., have you ever taken an aspirin, an antibiotic, used a band aid, any medicines or medical supplies? They weren't listed in the Bible either but that doesn't make them wrong. God did give us brains, and with our brains we are able to create thoughts and ideas and use those for the good of mankind.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Cpk1

    All you religious fanatics, please take your cr*p elsewhere !!!!!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Ed

    Geron is late to the party. They're the first one using embryonic but clinical trials are well underway for myelination issues. Stem Cells Inc. is done their pahse one trials and are moving on to phase two. Adult stem cells purified and derived from the right source, have the same benefits. This is a stock boosting play by Geron.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. inJCwepray

    Everyone, what have we become? Look at this list of comments. If we aren't commenting on our appreciation for this breakthrough in science, we are bashing the fellow man who has a different opinion. Let them be! What good is it to come down to their level and degrade them for their beliefs (moral or religious)? Do you feel any better? This is an amazing science. As unfortunate as it has to be delayed during the Bush era, it is finally here! It will not be perfect for several years, but alas, we have a start. I am a Christian, and I understand the gift of life, however do you not think that God would have prevented us from this discovery had he not wanted us to use it? Like everything in life, there is a balance. We must respect the science, but not abuse it. This is an insanely touchy and controversial topic – which embryo gets to live? I do not think people should be procreating simply to create an embryo for stem cell development, however the embryos from impregnated rape victims seems like a slightly more moralistic use, so long as there is a serious demand, which unfortunately, there usually is. As an involved med student, I have attended countless seminars on cellular bioengineering, and a great prospect to come is the transcendence of this research. Currently, we must harvest "x" amount of stem cells from an embryo to heighten the ratio to cells that will "take", or respond, to this procedure. It has been theorized (and is currently in testing) that a variation of protocol increases said ratio while lowering the number of cells required. Further down the road is even better: the ability to take any cell from the body and essentially hit the "reset" button, thus eliminating DNA used for definitive or characteristics of that cell, and allowing us to utilize this blank slate for whatever deems necessary.

    The above is years down the road, but again, look at what is possible! Regardless to your religious beliefs (existent or not), do not criticize a fellow man. If they must stoop with comments intended to elicit some emotional cyber-battle, don't let them win! When you become riled, they got what they wanted, and dozens of you are fuming – unable to stuff your idea down their throat. Let them crawl among the ants far beneath our superior maturity.

    I have never met God face to face, so I cannot prove his existence. I obviously do not intend or want to impress my beliefs unto your own. I simply believe in Him, and that belief is mine and whomever wishes to share it. But God or no God, in life there must always be a balance. Nature exists and thrives on balance. I give my every support to this technology, but hope that demand does not spoil human nature and derive from us greed and chaos.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Kathy Jones

    It's interesting to me that technology created many of the spinal disabilities people suffer from. Many year's ago the people with spinal cord injuries would have died. Advances in technology provided us with the ability to save them. Why then would the ability to fix this be wrong? I have a son with cerebral palsy who was saved by technology. He only weighed 2.4 lbs. when he was born and without technological intervention would have passed. I remember my mother telling me that my son was an expirement and suffering because they just kept trying new things – I personally think she was right. To tell you the truth, I'm not sure everyone had the best intentions either because when we asked how to help our son, they told us to put him in a home and move on and have more children. This was 20 year's ago.

    The steps towards this research were put in motion when we started saving lives with technology. I see and live with both sides of the technological outcome because his twin brother is fine and the technological intervention was a success. I am all for this research and hope it is successful. These poor people have an incredibly challenging life to live and so do the people that love them. In many cases, they are societal throwaways and people are just happy to drop them off somewhere. These people do not all have the means to live like Christopher Reeve.

    Our choice is to keep letting technology advance or just go back to natural selection. For all of you devout people, natural selection would be the right answer. We don't get to have both.

    P.S. November 17 will be my son's birthday and I have cared for him for 17 of these years by myself. I have the right to my point of view and sorry if you don't agree. I hope this treatment has an incredible outcome. Don't respond until you have walked in our shoes.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Random324

    It is amazing that people honestly believe this is immoral. I challenge you to stop and think. Denying a human being the right to live a healthy normal life where they are not confined to a wheel chair, forced to lug around an oxygen tank, or any of the other ailments that embryonic stem cells may cure in the future (barring people opposing research) shows a lack of compassion and empathy for thousands of people. Yet somehow using unviable, discarded, what otherwise would be thrown away mass of cells which in no way carry any electrical impulse(which is what human life is) is somehow immoral.

    Someone even had that audacity to say that IVF is somehow wrong even though it gives a sterile couple (it only takes one person to make a couple sterile) the chance to raise a child. Why do you possibly think that denying normalcy for other humans is immoral! I am really disgusted by the population that wants to prevent others from living healthy citing morals for their decision, simply have no respect for others.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RandomDude1235

    It is amazing that people honestly believe this is immoral. I challenge you to stop and think. Denying a human being the right to live a healthy normal life where they are not confined to a wheel chair, forced to lug around an oxygen tank, or any of the other ailments that embryonic stem cells may cure in the future (barring people opposing research) shows a lack of compassion and empathy for thousands of people. Yet somehow using unviable, discarded, what otherwise would be thrown away mass of cells which in no way carry any electrical impulse(which is what human life is) is somehow immoral.

    Someone even had that audacity to say that IVF is somehow wrong even though it gives a sterile couple (it only takes one person to make a couple sterile) the chance to raise a child. Why do you possibly think that denying normalcy for other humans is immoral!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. John Lawrence

    Muder is murder no matter what you call it and Abotion doctors are no better than serial killers because they know the science and know that they are ending human life and chose to do so repeatedly with the same M.O.!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. JschulzUSC

    It is truly remarkable that we are able to discover cures for a variety of illnesses and disabilities with Pluripotent fetal cells (Parkinson's disease, Aids, Tay-Sach's disease, strokes, brain tumors, MS, spinal cord injuries). However, the supply of Pluripotent fetal cells is unsustainable in relation to the worldwide demand for such cures. Embryonic harvesting could be the only answer to the supply the world with this form of remedy. Our efforts should be focusing on Adult stem cell research to ensure ethical scientific growth in a remarkable era in bio-tharepy.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Doppleganger

      Space travel stemmed from the use of explosives to kill people. Would you have argued against the uses of explosives because they killed people despite the benefits for MANY generations to come? You're finding ethical problems where there are none to be found... yet. Let us hit that hurtle when we come to it.

      Oh and P.S.... Adult stem cells are SEVERELY limited in their scope of usefulness in comparison to embryonic stem cells. That comparison is, I regrettably turn war-based analogy, bringing a sword to a gun fight. We may be too ape-like to use the gun at the moment but at least let us figure out what we can do with it.

      October 12, 2010 at 02:59 | Report abuse |
    • Liuba

      I am an 8th grade Physical Science teacher isneretted in adding more STEM inclusive lessons into my required standards based curriculum. While we do offer components of Project Lead the Way, we have limited this to our advanced classes. I would like to find additional resources that will allow all students more opportunity to be exposed to STEM.

      November 16, 2012 at 00:37 | Report abuse |
  48. Evan

    My wife and I (a devout christian couple, btw) chose to save the the stem cells from the umbilical cord from each of our two children. We pay a monthly charge to a stem cell bank that keeps these cells alive in case (god forbid) we might need them at a later date should there be an severe injury to one of our kids. This has nothing to do with the bible, with aborted fetuses, etc, as this was simply an option that was given to us by our doctor at our delivery hospital and we chose to take advantage of it. I feel badly for the other religious folk who haven't educated themselves enough to know how the majority of stem cells are REALLY being harvested (by people like us, in situations like us), because this technology truly could be a blessing for many lives. I hope that everyone will take a few extra minutes to research this technology to see how amazing it is instead of condemning it so quickly. Stem cells have NOTHING to do with having faith or not having faith, beliving in abortion or not believing in abortion, and EVERYTHING to do with saving lives. As Stan Lee used to say: "NUFF SAID"..

    October 11, 2010 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Ed

    You people are so stupid it is sickening. Derived and purified adult stem cells have the same benefits for myleniation disorders. Those trials are into phase II now. This is not any breakthrough. This is over a year behind other trials for the same issues. Make sure you make your point though.

    October 11, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Ed – Indeed you are right that Stem Cells Inc is using "adult stem cells" in clinical trials to treat neurological disorders. What you fail to note, however, is that these "adult stem cells" are derived from the brains of aborted fetuses. Scientists have yet to find a viable source of stem cells from living adults that they can use therapeutically to treat neurological disorders like paralysis, MS, Parkinson's, Alzheimers. The inability to derive neurological progenitor cells from true adult cells been one of the many limitations of adult stem cell therapies, and I'm a strong advocate of adult stem cell research in conjunction with embryonic stem cell research. This is why the only two clinical stem cell trials to treat demyelination use embryonic stem cells and stem cells from aborted fetuses. Do your research before you call others idiots.

      October 11, 2010 at 20:53 | Report abuse |
    • Doppleganger

      I like Mike

      October 12, 2010 at 03:01 | Report abuse |
  50. SweetStuff

    Everything always comes down to religion or politics. When are we going to mature as a society and have some 'smart' discussions even on these posts. It is our right and obligation to have opinions, but the same old arguments are getting a bit disturbing on both sides. This is a human issue and we are all one of those human things. This is exciting, and promising, it might fall right on it's face, but it might not. Hope is a great thing!!!

    October 11, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Leave a Reply to Ryan Stevens


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.