Sunday, February 10, 2008

Actual Embryonic Stem Cells Derived Without Killing The Embryos

When you receive the Seal you will understand the value of human life. Now (Jan 12 2008) human embryo stem cells have been produced from embryos without destroying the embryos.

In the last few months of 2007 there were breakthroughs in producing cells that were very much like human embryo stem cells (hESC) from ordinary skin cells. That was a tremendous breakthrough itself.

But hESC is still considered the "gold standard" for research and is still considered highly valuable and even necessary for research. Now thanks to this new research, it is possible to create hESC without killing embryos.

In 2006 a study showed that hESC could be derived from a single blastomere. A blastomere is the kind of cell created by the embryo in the very first week following fertilization when the embryo begins to divide.

But in that first study in 2006, many cells were taken out of each embryo so that they could not develop anymore. In this study, researchers derived five hESC lines without destroying the embryos, including one without co-culture.

Co-culture is the growth of distinct cell types in a combined culture. This meant that stem cells were needed from other embryos that ended up being destroyed. Co-culture is not a necessary part of this new procedure.

In this procedure, single blastomeres were taken out of the embryos using a process similar to preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD.) PGD is a procedure whereby embryos are made free of disease before implantation.

The "biopsied" embryos were further grown until they became blastocysts and then were frozen (instead of killed.) A biopsy is the removal of cells from the embryo, and the blastocyst stage is right after the zygote stage and before the embryo is known as an "embryo."

The blastomeres were cultured with a technique that was comparable in efficiency to "whole embryo derivations" which destroy the embryos. This is important--the high level of efficiency makes it a viable procedure.

And the derived stem cell lines had the same kind of pluripotency as whole embryo derivations. Pluripotency is the ability of the stem cell to become a cell of any of the three germ layers--ectoderm, mesoderm, and endoderm.

The White House still needs to approve this new technique as a way to get stem cells without destroying the embryos. But this is a major advancement in science--a step forward for the sanctity of life.

This is a solution to the ethical problem of stem-cell research, since embryos can now "share" their life-giving cells with researchers who desperately need them, and still grow up to be healthy adults.

When you are sealed you will begin to understand the sanctity of life. You will understand how God gave Life to people in the beginning and continues to give Life to them.

Of course, the greater kind of life is spiritual Life. The life in this world is a gift from God but the spiritual Life for eternity in Heaven is the ultimate gift and much better than the short and miserable opportunity in this world.

When you are sealed God will give you new life. He will give you a second chance. And He will give you the chance to live forever with Him in Heaven when you receive the Seal.

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