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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Stem Cell:Treating to overcome restrictions.


The study of the potential properties (almost miraculous), of stem cells (SC) and his imminent employment in the cure of disabling chronic illnesses (diabetes, parkinson, spinal cord injuries, alzheimer, etc), has promoted in the last years a growing support to his use on the part of some leaders (Congressman, USA: Edward M. Kennedy: not to be opposed to scientific advances) and important people (Ronald Reagan, Christoper Reeve, Stephen Hawking, etc), affected by certain related illnesses. Also hard opposition (church, committes of ethics, associations pro-life), to the manipulation of human embryos in order to obtain SC. The theme, like intricate gordian knot, has left the laboratories, to flood the grounds of ethic and philosophy, requiring to redefine what a human beeing is and his future. Certain thinking sector, does not desire genetically altered humans, soldiers or in series human killers (cloned), murders of defenseless humans (blastocysts), gestation, deliberately freezing and maintenance of reserve humans beeings (embryos), to supply damaged adults organs, make humans (some undesirable), immortals, etc. Until it does little the technic of obtaining SC, consisted in attending Clinics of In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), to expect that to suspicious mothers of gestating faulty embryos, were extracted their preimplantational blastocysts (embryo of ~ 150 cells), to extract then a unique cell of this, to carry out genetic analysis (Preimplantational Genetic Diagnostic: PGD), capable to detect Syndrome of Down, to generate then, with it : SC line cells (gestating millions of SC), with end of study or, processing. The reality is that with this technic, after the extraction of individual SC, the remaining embryo was eliminated.

This embryonic destiny, has conditioned a consistent opposition on behalf of many important people of the world. In USA: Richard Doerflinger, Pro-Life: the embryo is seen like a manufactured product, without love, Leon Krass, Council of Bioethic: to generate some few SC cell lines one must destroy many embryos, USA Conference of Catholic Bishops: opposite to any embryonal manipulation. Some republican congresspersons (Sam Brownback: they are killing the twin… it is possible perhaps..to generate viable embryos from a single cell -blastomere-), included the present President Bush (he vetoed the investigation with embryonic SC, the 2001). Main flag of the opposition: every procedure that destroy a human embryo equals to a murder. We vouch for this proposals for 2 reasons: 1) in the same instant of the fertilization (fusion of 23 paternal chromosomes with 23 maternal), a final embryonic mixture is conditioned (46 chromosomes), at chance, unpredictable, being gestated a unique, special and irreplaceable human beeing. In other words, destroying blastocysts equals to murder certain humans beeings, that appear each 100 years (Ghandi, Buddha, Einstein, Newton, Mother Teresa, etc) and 2) alternate corporal places exist (skin, bone marrow, etc), ethically accepted, to obtain SC, although disdained by most scientifics, that consider the SC, originated from human embryos, as the most efficient.

Until 1995, when did not exist vetoes, scientific managed to obtain 61 SC cell lines (generating millions of SC), alone in USA. Although the amendment does not reach to private institutes, since the 2001 the American Congress decided not to support with state funds, investigations of SC, that involve human embryos. Since then efforts are carried out to be adapted to these restrictions. Robert Lanza, head investigator of Advanced Cell Technology, assures to have obtained embryonic human SC, without destroying embryos. In fact, he obtained 2 SC cell lines -from 16 blastocysts- after 91 SC extractions, that is to say : 91 prior intents, employing a technic similar to PGD. In this case of the 8 initial SC of a human embryo of 2 days (after being fertilized), was eradicated one SC (destined to genetic studies and to generate new cell lines), leaving the embryo -now with 7 cells- to culminate its development. According to Lanza, even with 7 cells the embrion is born healthy. Position supported by James Battey, INH-USA, Andrew la Barbiera, Am. Soc. for Reproductive Medicine and Robin Novell-Badge of the UK' s Nat IVF Medicine Research, who assure that around 2000 children gestated by IVF and PDG, light up healthy 10 years later. Although Lanza wait that his innovations will be accepted, the general perception is that the opposition will remain unflappable, because fears exist that embryos achieved in this way, can express in the adulthood faulty development or unexpected illnesses. A skeptic Hans Schoeler, of the Max Planck Institute of Germany, says that 91 SC obtained from 16 early blastocysts means that not one, but several SC were extracted, with the consequent destruction of the early embryo. Meanwhile in England and South Korea (where are emigrating American researchers and where the laws but that general, are adopted in base to individual cases), not alone they continue obtaining new cell lines (11, additional, of SC), but have already developed the first human cloned embryos and specific SC (tailored-made), for determined illnesses.

Celulas madre:tratando de sortear restricciones legales.

El estudio de las potenciales propiedades (casi milagrosas), de las células madre (CM) y su inminente empleo en la cura de enfermedades cronicas invalidantes (diabetes, parkinson, paraplejias, alzheimer, etc), ha promovido en los ultimos años un creciente apoyo a su empleo, por parte de lideres (Congresista USA: Edward M. Kennedy: no oponerse a avances cientificos) y personalidades importantes (Ronald Reagan, Steve Reeve, Stephen Hawking, etc), afectadas por ciertas enfermedades. Tambien una ferrea oposición (iglesia, comites de etica, asociaciones pro-vida), a la manipulación de embriones humanos para obtener CM. El tema, cual intrincado nudo gordiano, ha salido de los laboratorios tomando por asalto los predios de la etica y la filosofia, exigiendo un replanteo de lo que es, un ser humano y su devenir. Cierto sector pensante, no desea humanos alterados geneticamente, soldados o, asesinos en serie (clonados), asesinatos de humanos indefensos (blastocistos), gestacion, congelación y mantenimiento –adrede- de humanos en reserva (embriones), para suplir organos dañados adultos, gesta de humanos (algunos indeseables), inmortales, etc. Hasta hace poco la tecnica de obtención de CM, consistia en asistir a las clinicas de Fertilizacion in Vitro (IVF), esperar que a madres sospechosas de gestar embriones defectuosos, les extraigan sus blastocistos preimplantacionales (embrión de ~150 celulas), extraer una celula de este, realizarle analisis genéticos (Preimplantational Genetic Diagnostic: PGD), capaces de detectar Síndrome de Down, generar con ella lineas celulares y cultivarlas (gestando millones de CM), con fines de estudio o, tratamiento. La realidad es que con esta tecnica, tras la extracción de una CM individual, el embrión restante es eliminado.

Este destino embrionario, ha condicionado una consistente oposición de parte de mucha gente importante del mundo. En USA : Richard Doerflinger, Pro-Life: se ve al embrión como un producto manufacturado, sin amor, Leon Krass, Council of Bioethic : para generar unas pocas lineas celulares hay que destruir muchos embriones, USA. Conference of Catholic Bishops: opuestos a cualquier manipulacion embrional. Algunos congresistas republicanos (Sam Brownback : se mata al gemelo… es posible generar embriones viables a partir de una sola celula-blastomera-), incluido el actual Presidente Bush (veto la investigación con CM embrionarias, el 2001). Premisa basica de la oposición: todo procedimiento que destruya un embrión humano equivale a un asesinato. Nosotros avalamos este concepto por 2 razones : 1) en el instante mismo de la fertilizacion (fusion de 23 cromosomas paternos con 23 maternos), se condiciona una mezcla embrionaria final (46 cromosomas), al azar, impredecible, gestandose un ser unico, especial e irreemplazable. En otras palabras, destruir blastocistos equivale a asesinar a uno de esos humanos especiales, que aparecen cada 100 años (Ghandi, Buda, Einstein, Newton, Madre Teresa, etc) y 2) existen lugares corporales alternos (piel, medula osea,etc), eticamente aceptados, para obtener CM, aunque desdeñados por la mayoria de cientificos, que consideran a las CM provenientes de embriones humanos, como las mas eficientes.

Hasta 1995, cuando no existian vetos, se lograron obtener 61 lineas celulares (generadoras de millones de CM), solo en USA. Aunque la enmienda no alcanza a los institutos privados, desde el 2001 el congreso americano decidio no apoyar con fondos estatales, investigaciones de CM, que involucren embriones humanos. Desde entonces se realizan esfuerzos para adecuarse a las restricciones. Robert Lanza, investigador de Advanced Cell Technology, asegura haber obtenido CM embrionarias humanas, sin destruir al embrión. En efecto, obtuvo 2 lineas celulares de CM, tras la extraccion de 91 CM, es decir 91 intentos previos, empleando una tecnica similar al PGD. En este caso de las 8 celulas iniciales, de un embrión humano (de 2 dias de fertilizado), se habria extirpado una CM (destinada a estudios geneticos y para generar nuevas lineas celulares), dejando que el embrión -ahora con 7 celulas- culmine su desarrollo. Según Lanza aun con una celula menos el embrion nace sano. Posición apoyada por James Battey, INH-USA, Andrew la Barbiera, Am. Soc. for Reproductive Medicine y Robin Novell-Badge del UK’s Nat IVF Medicine Research, quienes aseguran que alrededor de 2000 niños gestados por IVF y PDG, lucen saludables 10 años después. Aunque Lanza espera que sus innovaciones sean aceptadas, la percepción general es que la oposición permanecera imperturbable, en razon a temores de que los embriones logrados de este modo, expresen en la adultez anomalias del desarrollo o enfermedades imprevistas. Un esceptico, Hans Schoeler, del Max Planck Institut de Alemania, dice que 91 CMs provenientes de 16 blastocistos tempranos equivalen a la extraccion no de una, sino de varias CMs (de cada blastocisto), con la consiguiente destrucción del mismo. Entretanto en Inglaterra y Corea del Sur (adonde estan migrando cientificos americanos, por razones obvias y donde las leyes mas que generales, son adoptadas en base a casos individuales), no solo se siguen obteniendo nuevas lineas (11, adicionales, de CM), sino que ya se han obtenido los primeros embriones humanos clonados y CM especificas (a la medida), para determinadas enfermedades.

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