FRC Blog

Adult Stem Cells Target Tumor Destruction

by David Prentice

May 20, 2009

Scientists at University College-London report that they have engineered adult stem cells to seek out and destroy cancer cells in mice. Mesenchymal stem cells, a type of adult stem cell found in bone marrow and connective tissue, have been shown to be good vectors to carry factors to different parts of the body, as well as seek out cancer cells throughout the body. The research team, led by Dr. Michael Loebinger, altered these adult stem cells to express the cancer-killing protein TRAIL (TNF-related apoptosis-inducing ligand), which causes the death only of cancer cells. In the lab, the cells were able to find and kill cells from lung, squamous, breast, and cervical cancer. They also injected the cells into mice with breast tumors and showed they were able to safely kill the tumors but leave healthy tissue intact. Results were presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 105th International Conference in San Diego.

Continue reading

Adult Stem Cells Improve Chronic Heart Patients

by David Prentice

May 20, 2009

Doctors from the Netherlands report in the Journal of the American Medical Association that bone marrow adult stem cells injected into the hearts of patients with chronic heart disease can improve heart function and patient health. Fifty patients, average age 64, who had chronic myocardial ischemia—decreased oxygen to the heart, often due to blocked arteries—were tested in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. The results were assessed at 3 months and 6 months after injections of the adult stem cells. Patients who received the adult stem cell injections had improved blood flow, reduced pain, and were able to exercise more.

The results continue to confirm the work of Bodo Strauer of Germany and others who have pioneered similar strategies for use of adult stem cells for various cardiac conditions.

Continue reading

Handy Doctor Does Brain Surgery With A Power Drill

by David Prentice

May 20, 2009

Sometimes it helps to have a handyman for a doctor. An Australian doctor saved a boy’s life with quick thinking and using the tools at hand, in this case a home power drill. The 12-year-old boy had hit his head in a fall from his bike (he wasn’t wearing a helmet), fracturing his skull and causing internal bleeding. The clot and pooling blood within the skull were putting increasing pressure on his brain and could have killed him within minutes. Dr. Rob Carson was on call at the local hospital in the small town of Maryborough in Victoria, and recognized the signs, but had no neurosurgical drill at the hospital to relieve the pressure. So he borrowed a handyman’s drill (reportedly a DeWalt model) from the maintenance man, disinfected it, and used it to drill a hole in the boy’s skull. The boy, Nicholas Rossi, was out of the hospital soon after and celebrated his 13th birthday. Dr. Carson must have gotten an “A” in wood shop.

Continue reading

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 20, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Continue reading

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 19, 2009

Here’s what we are reading today.

Continue reading

Daily Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 18, 2009

Here’s what we are looking at today.

Continue reading

Obama at Notre Dame

by Family Research Council

May 18, 2009

Sunday’s speech and the reaction of the Notre Dame community, and Catholics and others worldwide, will be the subject of much comment in the coming days. Some quick thoughts and first impressions:

Without doubt, Obama was eloquent, charming, and seemingly at ease. He had the advantage (a faculty and administration behind him, and the media framing it as the man of reason versus the rabble in the street, with, obligingly, Randall Terry performing that role as if on cue), and he seemed once again to know it. The students, who prepare for this day with years of labor and the love (and labor and cash) of their families behind them, were respectful and, as students tend to be around our rock-star President, wowed by his skill with words, his symbolic meaning in transcending our historic racial divide, and his graceful humor.

As for his speech, it was un-Barackesque in one sense - he came down from Olympus, where pay grades are seldom referred to at all, and made it plain that on the issue of human life, he does in fact disagree with those who stand for its sanctity. But he was Barackesque in striving to minimize those differences, in implying that there is “demonization” of opponents afoot (not from him, of course, just unnamed others), and suggesting that, to borrow an irritating catchphrase from a recent era in U.S. Catholic politics, he is all about “dialogue” with those who disagree with him.

There is the rub. Obama is a man of many mellifluous words, but he is also a man of many unambiguous actions, and every action he has taken to date has been a forthright dismantling of the culture of life and the wall of separation that has existed between taxpayers and abortion. A complete list would include all of his key personnel in White House domestic policy, HHS, State and the Justice Department. His policy enactments include rescinding the Mexico City policy that kept the international abortion industry out of the federal Treasury, rescinding the Bush conscience regulations designed to protect medical and health research personnel from having to participate in or facilitate abortion, eliminating all but a smidgeon of abstinence funding for the pregnancy centers that deal directly with women in need, lifting the ban on the use of District of Columbia funds to pay for abortion in his proposed budget, providing federal funding for experiments that rely on killing embryonic humans in fertility clients, and sending Planned Parenthood an additional $10 million federal love note, matching what they spent to elect him last year.

The President’s efforts to spur “dialogue” involve a low-level White House meeting where groups — including, for the record, FRC — are asked to come in and help craft a plan to “reduce the need for abortion.” To be credible, that plan would have to begin with reversing every decision Obama has made on abortion to date. But note the phraseology, which suggests a fundamental disagreement. Who speaks of a “need for child abuse”? Or a need for white collar crime? Or a need for bribery of public officials? If there is a need for something, just how wrong is it? Planned Parenthood and its allies secured this language in the Democratic Platform last year because they did not want any suggestion from their party that the act of abortion is a moral wrong. But if it is not a moral wrong, then it is hardly something that needs to be reduced, particularly if, as Planned Parenthood insists, it is physically safe and negligible in its mental health implications.

President Obama and his administration have extraordinary message discipline when it comes to these matters. That discipline will be on display again soon in the health care debate when the Democrats on the Hill insist that they are deferring that question to some other body (likely an HHS commission that will likewise pronounce itself for “dialogue”) for resolution. Is there any chance that an Obama-endorsed, government-financed health plan will exclude abortion and taxpayer participation in it? As a state legislator, Obama stood out as a man so concerned about protecting abortion in all circumstances that he led opposed laws to provide care for infants who survive the procedure.

Yesterday Notre Dame gave a high honor to such a man. He spoke eloquently. But the Jesuit fathers who taught me in high school and even a few of the Holy Cross priests who taught me at Notre Dame impressed on me to pay attention to what men do, not just what they say. They cited the Good Book on knowing people by their fruits. With Obama, that begins with what is being done to the fruit of the womb.

Continue reading

No Softening on Gay Judges

by Peter Sprigg

May 13, 2009

Pro-homosexual activist groups like Lambda Legal began pressing President Obama, even before he was inaugurated, to appoint homosexuals as federal judges, and now that there is a Supreme Court vacancy, the possibility of the first “openly gay or lesbian” Supreme Court justice is being discussed in the media and (intensely) in the blogosphere.

Comments by Sen. Jeff Sessions, by a spokesman for Focus on the Family, and by me, suggesting that a history of same-sex attractions would not necessarily, automatically, and a priori disqualify a candidate for the court led a blogger for Politico to ask, “Is [the] right softening on gay judges?”

Continue reading

Blogosphere Buzz

by Krystle Gabele

May 13, 2009

Here’s some of the buzz from the blogosphere today.

Continue reading

Archives