Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Advances in Telomere Therapy Outstrip Stem Cell Therapy Without Raising Ethical Concerns

The debate over stem cell research and its ethical and moral implications continues to rage on even though there seems to be an alternative to stem cell therapy that is decidedly better.
Among politicians in Washington an effort is being made to block scientists from using embryonic stem cells in research, which is where the future of stem cell therapy seems to be headed, despite the promises such research holds for curing cancer and other serious diseases. Because embryos from which stem cells are cultivated necessarily die, research in this direction has come under fire as unnecessarily killing potential lives.
Regardless of the ethics and morality behind embryonic stem cell research, both sides of the debate have ignored emerging technologies that are likely to make embryonic stem cell research a mute point. Nanotechnologies involving chromosomal telomeres, such as those acquired and developed by Rancho Cordova, California-based Telomolecular, can achieve everything that stem cell therapies achieve but without many of the drawbacks.
Telomeres are protein compounds that act like caps on the ends of chromosomes and make sure that the DNA replication process ends the way it’s supposed to when a cell divides. But every time a cell divides the telomeres shorten and eventually they become exhausted. Telomere exhaustion has been linked with numerous age-related diseases and with cancer. Stem cell therapy attempts to address this problem by growing new tissue with renewed telomeres in place of the tissue with exhausted telomeres. But stem cell therapy can lead to development of cancerous or abnormal tissues.
Telomere therapy, combined with Notch 1 therapy (used in treating regeneration abnormalities in non-dividing cells), regenerates exhausted tissues comprehensively and does not just grow new tissue in the presence of old tissue. This results in a significantly lower chance of growing cancerous and abnormal cells. Additionally, telomere therapy can be administered via non-invasive drugs to treat disease in targeted locations, which is not true of stem cell therapies.
“By combining telomere therapy with Notch 1 therapy we can accomplish everything that stem cell therapy can,” said Telomolecular chief executive officer Matthew A. Sarad. “Plus these technologies can be administered in sensible, non-invasive ways.”
Telomolecular is using its proprietary technologies in research that shows strong promise of treating and preventing cancer, reversing age-related diseases, and regenerating bone and other tissues. The treatments being developed by Telomolecular do not involve the cultivation of stem cells, therefore ethical and moral considerations linked to embryonic stem cell research do not apply to the research being done by Telomolecular and other biotechnology firms investigating telomere therapies.
Without a doubt, the promise of combating cancer and other diseases with telomere therapy outweighs the moderate success of stem cell therapies. It’s time that scientists and politicians turn their attention to this developing technology and forget the ethics-challenged hope of embryonic stem cell research.

1 cared to comment:

Anonymous said...

no, no, no... LET the politicians focus on and kick up a storm over stem cell research... while science quietly develops telomeric therapy so that from the politicians' viewpoint it appears suddenly and without warning! :D Blindsiding politicians with real world scientific advancements is better than inviting them to be aware of its development! They'll just want to regulate and bureaucratize the process then! :O

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