Monday, September 05, 2016

Regulating Stem Cells Treatment

Stem cells treatment are offered for many conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, joint problems, retinal and optic nerves disease, Down's syndrome and multiple sclerosis. So far, conventional medicine uses stem cell for treatment in haematological conditions only. There are not many evidence-based studies on the efficacies of stem cells in other conditions. Yet, many clinics and practitioners offer stem cells therapies.

The FDA will hold hearings on stem cell treatment next year. Let us hope some useful guidelines will come out of this.

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The debate on chimera research continues

Should NIH Fund Chimera (Human-Animal) research?

The debates continue as NIH seeks to lift its one-year moratorium on funding Chimera research.

While there are many benefits especially on drug testing on chimeras, there are many ethical issues.

The Hastings Center listed some

We contend that the NIH’s position on the necessity of human-nonhuman chimera research is unlikely to withstand scrutiny because it sidesteps several crucial issues. First, there might be viable alternatives to the creation of chimeras for the advancement of scientific and medical knowledge. Second, there are epistemic problems with the knowledge produced via chimera-based research, especially if the research addresses behavior and psychology, because it is unclear how relevant this research would be to humans. Third, there are likely better ways to address some of the problems under consideration (e.g., organ shortages) by nonmedical means (e.g., legal reform, education, political strategizing). Finally, we question whether the NIH has sufficiently considered the possibility that some types of scientific investigationshouldn’t be done at all because of the severity of the harms to the research subjects (e.g., arguably, Harry Harlow’s deprivation experiments).

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