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New Canadian guidelines for stem cell research


Well-Known TRIBEr
globe and mail article... what I really like is they have circumvented the parliamentary process, which is the way it should be with scientific issues that those idiot politicians have NO CLUE ABOUT.... and I'm glad to see they didn't follow the States, where the politicians are even bigger idiots.

Federal guidelines to allow stem cell research

Globe and Mail Update

The federal government released guidelines on stem cell research Monday which allow for scientists to receive funds for research on human embryos as long as they are no longer needed for reproductive purposes.

But while the guidelines were immediately applauded by some groups, including the Canadian Cancer Society, they were denounced by the Canadian Alliance, who said the CIHR is bypassing Parliament in putting together the guidelines.

See also: Embryo-adoption program to offer couples last chance
Currently in Canada there is no legislation regarding stem cell research.

"Today's announcement by the CIHR circumvents the parliamentary process," said Rob Merrifield, Opposition senior health critic. "The CIHR is making rules on controversial embryonic stem cell research before Parliament has even debated the subject," Mr. Merrifield said.

The guidelines, drawn up by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, prohibit the creation of human embryos only for research purposes — which has been a major sticking point for some opponents.

"Stem cell research holds tremendous potential for advances to improve human health, said Dr. Alan Bernstein, president of the CIHR at an Ottawa press conference Monday.

"CIHR's guidelines for Canadian researchers strike a delicate balance between advancing research in important areas while carefully considering the ethical issues inherent in such research."

After 11 months of meetings and consultations on an initial discussion paper on the guidleines, and 116 responses from interested parties, the final report was drawn up and submitted to the governing council Monday.

The policy says that research will be eligible for funding from the CIHR if scientists use pre-existing embryonic stem cell lines, if they use embryos that are no longer needed for fertility treatments, if full consent is given by those for whom the embryos were created, and given that no money is exchanged for the creation or use of the embryos.

The long-awaited guidelines Monday to be followed by scientists and researchers will mean that research will be more closely monitored and evaluated by the scientific community.

Currently, there is no one tracking exactly how many embryos are being stored by couples in 22 fertility clinics across Canada.

The release of the guidelines was supported by several groups who feel the research will be beneficial in a number of diseases because they can be reproduced into all the cells in the human body.

Dr. Bernstein told reporters that although research on adult cells is also important, popular scientific opinion is that stem cells "hold the greatest potential."

The Canadian Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute of Canada said that they fully support the guidelines and will begin to implement them immediately.

"Embryonic stem cell research offers great promise in advancing our knowledge of cancer," Julie White, chief executive officer of the CCS and the NCIC said in a statement.

The Parkinson Society of Canada also said it "strongly supports" the guidelines released Monday.

"It offers the potential for progress in finding the cure for Parkinson's and for enhancing the treatment for the nearly 100,000 Canadians who suffer from Parkinson's," said Mary Jardine, executive director of the Parkinson Society of Canada. The guidelines were also applauded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Canada.

The NCIC said it will monitor all research in the area to find out whether it is producing the anticipated results.

In that vein, the CIHR also announced Monday it would establish a stem cell research oversight committee — an independent committee which will conduct a review of the research.

"This national committee will provide rigorous ethics review of stem cell research proposals approved by CIRH's peer review panels. It will ensure that the constraints on stem cell research as outlined in the guidelines, are adhered to," said Dr. Françoise Baylis, a Canadian ethicist.

The guidelines end what amounted to a voluntary moratorium on stem cell research on human embryos.

But not everyone is pleased with the ending of the moratorium.

Pro-life Liberal MP Paul Szabo condemned the guidelines: "The're basically saying, 'We don't accept that human life begins at conception, period.' I think they should consult with Canadians."

The Canadian policy goes beyond that of the United States, where federally funded researchers are required to work with existing cell lines, not new embryos.


Well-Known TRIBEr
The board has gone to shit because nobody cares about important things like this.

No, let's just bitch about how shit it is.


TRIBE Member
I think it's a step in the right direction. I see the high value stem cell research can hold for us. I also see the ethical issues concerning this kind of research. I do agree with the new legislation, but I only think this is the first step and there are many more to come. Many more obstacles and issues must be overcome and resolved. And I hope that the research will lead us to great advances in medical science.


TRIBE Member
when all these diseases are finally cured and life expectancy rises while families still churn out litters of children, will we suffocate this planet faster? or will nature find another way to keep our limits down? will the aliens finally decide to stop the anal probing research and take over the planet? or will our wrongful of with pollution, wars, fox television programming kill us off before any of that really matters?

and yes i realize this has nothing to do with the original topic. it's always god when people who know nothing about the subject at hand are kept out of important decisions like this. anything that can help end human suffering is a good thing.
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Well-Known TRIBEr
I just hope the research speeds up, since every weekend I lost approximately half a billion neurons.

And Jay, only the rich will have their suffering taken away. The poor are lazy, and soon there will be laws against the homeless sleeping outside. That'll learn them. It's the beginning... I see the rest of the Modest Proposal in the works. It will be swift and painless... haha.
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TRIBE Member
Politicians should be used in research, maybe they'll become less idiotic if that's possible.

I'm all for the research and BENEFICIAL genetic manipulation. No Dr. Frankenstien shite though.