I'm Joni Eareckson Tada and I want to tell you about a quiet but stunning revolution that's just occurred...
Oh, and it's quite a revolution. It is a 180 degree turn about-face in the area of stem cell research. As you know I'm a spinal-cord injured quadriplegic and I am intensely interested in not only research on spinal cords, but all kinds of disabilities. And as you well know, for years we've been hearing people in the media and politicians rankle on about embryonic stem cell research. They say, "These human embryos in IV clinics will be discarded anyway, they're needed for research. There is absolutely no other stem cell that the body produces, even stem cells in umbilical cord blood, none of these cells possess the amazing traits of a stem cell from a live human embryo. We must fund this research now, they'll say, or we'll lose our best scientists to research overseas. We're not keeping up with the rest of the world!" That's what they've been saying, but now it's a different story.
Recently at the World Stem Cell Summit, scientists came together to discuss, what they termed as an amazing stem cell revolution. Because they were talking about the new advancements of inducing adult stem cells to actually act like embryonic ones. In other words, scientists are now able to engineer the stem cells in your own body to morph and change into liver tissue, or brain tissue. In other words, our own cells can be prompted to act like a stem cell from a human embryo. Now personally, I was amazed to read this one report and view the videos of laboratory animals which had been spinal cord injured. But with these new, what they call, pluripotent stem cells, these laboratory animals are moving their paralyzed limbs. And that is nothing short of astounding, it's even miraculous. It means there could be cures on the horizon for quadriplegics like me and that really excites me!
No more killing of human life to harvest their stem cells. As one reporter wrote, he said, "If anyone needs confirmation of the rapidly changing landscape since the discovery of these what are called "Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells," it should come with this announcement: that two major international bio-tech companies have now merged and shifted their focus to products involving non-embryonic stem cells." Now that is exciting!
Friend, it's a great victory in the battle to reclaim this earth as rightfully under the reign of Jesus Christ. This revolution in the area of stem cells underscores that we don't have to destroy some human beings to make other human beings healthy. Yes, we want cures - especially those of us with disabilities want cures - but not at the expense of human life. We are made in the image of God and no matter how infinitesimally small that life is, it bears the imprint of our Creator. And now we have an ethical, morally sound and safe alternative to destroying human life. Now we have induced pluripotent stem cells, they're called. And it won't be long before other bio-tech firms follow the lead of these two major international medical groups which have now merged to pursue a whole new avenue of stem cell research.
While liberal politicians and many in the media are still clinging to their support for embryonic stem cell research, it is now a fact that most of the scientific community has moved on to pursing real progress. CNN, and the New York Times, and Capitol Hill would be wise to follow their lead. So celebrate with me today and praise God that scientists have now this new breakthrough, the stem cell revolution has occurred, and cures can't be far on the horizon.
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