Stem cells cure diabetes! But which ones?

Just recently diabetes in 13 adult patients was treated - and cured - by using stem cells. Admittedly, when I read the title to that article (click here to read it) I thought to myself, "My goodness, they finally got embryonic stem cells to work." But it didnt' take long for me to learn that it wasn't embryonic stem cells that did the curing. In fact, this study pushed the notion that embryonic stem cells may not be as critical as many in the medical community believe they really are.

So what did cure these patients? It was their own adult stem cells which were coaxed into performing new functions. No need to go to battle over whether or not embryo's that are frozen can be used in research. In this case, a "miracle" happened, one that the researchers never saw coming because they can't see the forest for the trees.

Someone asked me today what I would choose to do with those existing embryos that are just sitting there. My response was that they should be implanted into women who desperately want children. If they are not viable for such a use, then perhaps they can benefit the medical community for research. But let me add that I believe it would be cruel and immoral to harvest new embryos just for the point of research when it's painfully obvious that new innovations are cropping up right in front of us. Oh, and don't forget that blood from the umbilical cord is rich in stem cells and has much to offer us in terms of medical research.

By no means does this mean the debate about stem cell research will die down, but it does add an exciting and important facet to the discussion. There are many avenues in which stem cells can be studied and embryonic stem cells by no means are the magic potion that many medical researchers would have us believe. Truth be told, more good has been done with existing adult stem cells than has ever been done with those from an embryo. But there will still be many who will push forward with this argument that stem cells from embryos are our only hope for a cure to various diseases. I just wish that those same people would fight so ardently for the life of the more than million unborn babies who are aborted in the U.S. each year as they do for those who suffer from incurable diseases.

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