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RBA
08-17-2005, 11:02 PM
washingtonpost.com (http://www.washingtonpost.com/)
Fetal Tissue Heals Burns
Tests Show Treatment Led to Normal Skin Regrowth




By David Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 18, 2005; A02


An experimental therapy that uses skin cells grown from an aborted fetus successfully healed severe burns in eight children, sparing them the need for skin grafts, according to a study published today.

The treatment led to the regrowth of essentially normal skin on second- and third-degree burns in about two weeks, according to the report by a Swiss research team. The scarring and tissue contraction seen after many burns did not occur, and dressing changes were easier and less painful, the researchers said.

The fetal tissue promotes growth of the patient's own skin cells rather than becoming incorporated into the recipient's skin as a true "graft." Further, it appears that a piece of fetal skin smaller than a postage stamp could be used to produce enough cells to treat hundreds of patients.

"The results were sort of unexpected. . . . These constructs seem to work as a biological Band-Aid, promoting spontaneous healing of the patient," said Patrick Hohlfeld of University Hospital of Lausanne, who was one of the researchers.

The study will appear in a future edition of the Lancet and was published online today.
Cells grown from the foreskin of circumcised newborns and large pieces of skin removed from cadavers are sometimes used to cover burns and promote healing. The Swiss researchers were the first to use cells from a fetus -- a 14-week male whose mother gave permission at the time of abortion.

Burns that destroy the outer skin layer -- the epidermis -- heal on their own. Ones that go deep into the second layer -- the dermis -- require skin grafts, patches of skin sliced off one part of the body, often the thigh, and transferred to the burned area. So-called third-degree burns that destroy the entire dermis and leave muscle or bone exposed also need grafts.

Several burn experts said the technique sounded promising, but its usefulness is not yet proved.

"I can't say whether it's a leap forward before we know how it compares with standard wound care," said Roger W. Yurt, head of the burn center at Weill Cornell Medical Center, in New York.

"This is certainly work worth following with great eagerness. But in the absence of comparisons, it would be very difficult to assess the difference that the fetal cells bring," said Robert Sheridan, chief of burn medicine at Shriners Hospital for Children in Boston.

Deciding which second-degree burns need skin grafts is often a matter of judgment.

"Were they helping heal a burn that was going to heal on its own?" asked Gary Purdue, director of the burn center at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas. "It's good if it helps do that, but it may be only an incremental advance."

The Swiss researchers used a patch of fetal skin 1.5 inches square. They grew cells from it in tissue culture and let the cells spread out on sheets of a material called collagen, forming a kind of artificial skin. They cut that into pieces 3 1/2 by 5 inches and placed about four of them on 10-day-old burns in eight children. The burns were second- and third-degree, they said, and all would normally have undergone skin grafting.

The fetal-cell material disappeared, but it was not incorporated into the regenerating skin. The scientists determined that by testing the genes in a piece of skin taken from a healed burn in a female patient. The skin contained no male cells, which it would have if it contained any of the fetal material.

Skin cells secrete numerous chemical "growth factors" that cause progenitor skin cells to divide, spread out and attach to one another. Exactly how they differ from the cells of newborns or adults is uncertain.

"We are very busy with the characterization of these cells and their byproducts," Hohlfeld said.

A main problem with healed but heavily scarred burns is that they contract, limiting the motion of joints. Grafts frequently leave an uneven contour on the skin surface. Neither of these problems occurred in the eight children, according to the report. There was "total recovery of mobility, especially in hands and fingers."

The patients have been followed for one to two years. There was some color change in some areas, but the overall appearance of the healed burns was good, Hohlfeld said.

The team calculated that the small piece taken in this case could ultimately produce more than 2 million of the squares that were put on the burns.

One fetus could theoretically provide material for hundreds or thousands of burn victims, although Hohlfeld said he suspected that would not remove some people's objections to the use of tissue from an aborted fetus.

George Foster
08-17-2005, 11:27 PM
This is the slippery slope that we as a nation are going down with legal abortion. What's next? extracting organs from aborted babies for our use.
Does anybody else see how dangerous this is and how immoral. "Let's grow them, cut them up for our use, and then throw them in the dumpster." May God have mercy on their little souls.

Johnny Footstool
08-18-2005, 02:37 PM
One fetus could theoretically provide material for hundreds or thousands of burn victims

If this is true, there wouldn't be a need to set up "abortion factories" and mass-produce fetuses.

LoganBuck
08-18-2005, 02:48 PM
If this is true, there wouldn't be a need to set up "abortion factories" and mass-produce fetuses.

To me it is still an unacceptable price.

CTA513
08-18-2005, 03:05 PM
"Let's grow them, cut them up for our use, and then throw them in the dumpster."

So it would kind of be like that movie "The Island"?

:eek:

registerthis
08-18-2005, 03:11 PM
If this is true, there wouldn't be a need to set up "abortion factories" and mass-produce fetuses.Also, the democrats could finally put an end to their policy of "forced abortions for all."

registerthis
08-18-2005, 03:13 PM
This is the slippery slope that we as a nation are going down with legal abortion. What's next? extracting organs from aborted babies for our use.
Does anybody else see how dangerous this is and how immoral. "Let's grow them, cut them up for our use, and then throw them in the dumpster." May God have mercy on their little souls.And the theocratic authoritarian regimes of many islamic countries are what you get when you slide down that good old "slippery slope" the other direction.

The truth, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.

zombie-a-go-go
08-18-2005, 03:14 PM
"Let's grow them, cut them up for our use, and then throw them in the dumpster."

Sounds fantastic to me. :thumbup:

In fact, I say we use female felons as "carriers." Just think, these criminals would be providing a valuable service to society as opposed to just being a drain on our tax dollars. Sure, she ran over her husband three times, but she also saved two lives by carrying spare parts in her uterus for us.

That's redemption, baby.

Johnny Footstool
08-18-2005, 04:18 PM
To me it is still an unacceptable price.

Not all aborted fetuses come from mothers who don't want their children. Sometimes abortions are conducted because the survivability of the child is low or because there is a danger to the mother's life. And you also have to consider miscarriages.

If fetal tissue from these cases can be used to treat literally hundreds of thousands of burn victims, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with that.

traderumor
08-18-2005, 04:32 PM
Not all aborted fetuses come from mothers who don't want their children. Sometimes abortions are conducted because the survivability of the child is low or because there is a danger to the mother's life. And you also have to consider miscarriages.

If fetal tissue from these cases can be used to treat literally hundreds of thousands of burn victims, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with that.Is that straight from David Hume or a paraphrase? ;)

Johnny Footstool
08-18-2005, 06:16 PM
Is that straight from David Hume or a paraphrase

Who is David Hume? I've never heard of him.

Chip R
08-18-2005, 07:39 PM
This is the slippery slope that we as a nation are going down with legal abortion. What's next? extracting organs from aborted babies for our use.
Does anybody else see how dangerous this is and how immoral. "Let's grow them, cut them up for our use, and then throw them in the dumpster." May God have mercy on their little souls.Perhaps then we shouldn't use murder victims' body parts for organ donation or things of that nature.

RBA
08-18-2005, 07:50 PM
Who is David Hume? I've never heard of him.

That makes two of us.

Sorry, I have to go, it's time for dinner. Tonight's menu is aborted fetuses.

rdiersin
08-18-2005, 08:06 PM
Perhaps then we shouldn't use murder victims' body parts for organ donation or things of that nature.

Not the same thing. The victim has that choice, whether his or her organs can be donated for that. In this case, if you believe that the fetus is a living being, they obviously didn't have that choice.

rdiersin
08-18-2005, 08:09 PM
That makes two of us.

Sorry, I have to go, it's time for dinner. Tonight's menu is aborted fetuses.

I know that's supposed to be a joke, but to me, that's absolutely insensitive and disgusting, and definitely not funny at all.

RBA
08-18-2005, 08:14 PM
I know that's supposed to be a joke, but to me, that's absolutely insensitive and disgusting, and definitely not funny at all.

It's no joke. It's how the "right wing" fundalmentalist christians betrays people like me. I don't really care if you think it's insensitive and disgusting. It's not funny. And it's not meant to be a joke. It's more like sarcasm.

Falls City Beer
08-18-2005, 08:30 PM
It's no joke. It's how the "right wing" fundalmentalist christians betrays people like me. I don't really care if you think it's insensitive and disgusting. It's not funny. And it's not meant to be a joke. It's more like sarcasm.

cf. "Modest Proposal" Jonathan Swift. Good satire doesn't raise laughter, it raises disgust.

GAC
08-18-2005, 08:32 PM
It's no joke. It's how the "right wing" fundalmentalist christians betrays people like me. I don't really care if you think it's insensitive and disgusting. It's not funny. And it's not meant to be a joke. It's more like sarcasm.

I guess I'm a right-wing fundamentalist Christian (not really sure)... and I don't betray (nor portray) you or any other person who believes in abortion that way. And an overwhelming percentage of evangelicals also don't characterize those who are pro-abortion that way. Sighting some extreme case - as it has been done in the past - where some nutcase (who probably was as Christian as Charles Manson), and who blows up an abortion clinic, as being indicative and characterizes evangelicals - or to even assume we support such actions- as a whole is simply ridiculous; but seems to be the "norm" anymore. Silly characterzation IMO.

I find it interesting that someone is somehow considered an extremist or "right-wing" for believing that what that woman is carrying is life, and therefore, to take it is somehow immoral and indicative of how our society has evolved. There is an issue of passion involved. I'm sure you wouldn't be saying the same about those whose "passion" lined up with your ideology.

I might also add that there are many in our society today that feel abortion is wrong, and are not religious at all. Also - many who are pro-choice also think the same way - the difference is they also believe that it's simply a choice left up to the individual.

And I will graceful exit this thread because there is no way it will remain civil. You start this thread - then turn around and immediately post a sarcastic remark meant to incite a particular segment on here that you differ with? And I somehow feel that was your intent to begin with? ;)

Larkin Fan
08-18-2005, 08:39 PM
Perhaps then we shouldn't use murder victims' body parts for organ donation or things of that nature.

Not a really good example. Organs from a murder victim can't be used for transplant for a variety of reasons.

Larkin Fan
08-18-2005, 08:44 PM
Not all aborted fetuses come from mothers who don't want their children. Sometimes abortions are conducted because the survivability of the child is low or because there is a danger to the mother's life. And you also have to consider miscarriages.

If fetal tissue from these cases can be used to treat literally hundreds of thousands of burn victims, I don't see how anyone could have a problem with that.

I completely agree, Johnny. And the examples that you've cited are the exact things that I thought about when I first read about this.

Miscarriages are nature's natural abortion. Termination of a fetus that has absolutely no chance of surviving because of genetic defects too great to make it possible for the fetus to develop completely. It's going to happen no matter what, so if it does, there's no reason why this awful event can't be put to a good use. Same goes for abortions that are performed for the sole reason of medical necessity.

rdiersin
08-18-2005, 08:55 PM
It's no joke. It's how the "right wing" fundalmentalist christians betrays people like me. I don't really care if you think it's insensitive and disgusting. It's not funny. And it's not meant to be a joke. It's more like sarcasm.

Maybe you don't care what I think. But maybe that's also why I won't be returning to these discussions. Because they are not civil discussions but political peeing matches.

FWIW, I am not a right wing fundamentalist, but someone who just thinks that discussion can try to be civil, (both sides, mind you).

RBA
08-18-2005, 09:00 PM
Maybe you don't care what I think. But maybe that's also why I won't be returning to these discussions. Because they are not civil discussions but political peeing matches.

FWIW, I am not a right wing fundamentalist, but someone who just thinks that discussion can try to be civil, (both sides, mind you).

I don't see you distancing yourself from the "harness them and throw them in the dumpster" talk. You were more upset about my sarcastic remarks. But that's to be expected.

traderumor
08-18-2005, 10:45 PM
Who is David Hume? I've never heard of him.David Hume was an influential 18th century philosopher who advanced the idea of utiltarianism, an idea "that the explanation of moral principles is to be sought in the utility they tend to promote."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume#Utilitarianism

traderumor
08-18-2005, 11:05 PM
I completely agree, Johnny. And the examples that you've cited are the exact things that I thought about when I first read about this.

Miscarriages are nature's natural abortion. Termination of a fetus that has absolutely no chance of surviving because of genetic defects too great to make it possible for the fetus to develop completely. It's going to happen no matter what, so if it does, there's no reason why this awful event can't be put to a good use. Same goes for abortions that are performed for the sole reason of medical necessity.

Except that some do not accept abortion for ANY reason, so that still creates an ethical problem (and yes, I know what the laws are). It is as wrong as parents who purposefully concieve another child to use his/her bone marrow for a sibling that needs it to survive or be healthy (which is an example of a utilitarian ethic). Planting, growing, and harvesting unwitting humans will always place a higher value on one human's life over another's, which is in opposition to an ethic that says each and every human being has individual worth and dignity in and of themselves, which our government gives lip service to because they know it says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" in the Declaration of Independence, but violates that basic principal upon which our country was founded every time a legal abortion is performed in this country.

Also, "nature" is an inanimate concept that cannot be assigned power over determining life or death. With that said, if "nature" has an abortion method to take care of babies that do not survive in utero, is it not violating the laws of "nature" if the baby survives without a miscarriage yet is aborted by man's hand?

Falls City Beer
08-18-2005, 11:09 PM
Except that some do not accept abortion for ANY reason, so that still creates an ethical problem (and yes, I know what the laws are). It is as wrong as parents who purposefully concieve another child to use his/her bone marrow for a sibling that needs it to survive or be healthy (which is an example of a utilitarian ethic). Planting, growing, and harvesting unwitting humans will always place a higher value on one human's life over another's, which is in opposition to an ethic that says each and every human being has individual worth and dignity in and of themselves, which our government gives lip service to because they know it says "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" in the Declaration of Independence, but violates that basic principal upon which our country was founded every time a legal abortion is performed in this country.

Also, "nature" is an inanimate concept that cannot be assigned power over determining life or death. With that said, if "nature" has an abortion method to take care of babies that do not survive in utero, is it not violating the laws of "nature" if the baby survives without a miscarriage yet is aborted by man's hand?

A bunch of cells isn't life. Life is life. And well, in your quickness to point out "Life" in the Declaration, you fondly neglect "Liberty."

Oh well.

traderumor
08-18-2005, 11:20 PM
A bunch of cells isn't life. Life is life. And well, in your quickness to point out "Life" in the Declaration, you fondly neglect "Liberty."

Oh well.What are you but a "bunch of cells," then? BTW, my baby that was miscarried in the very early days was not a "bunch of cells," sir.

If you want to analyze word for word, note the "all men" as well. :)

Falls City Beer
08-18-2005, 11:25 PM
What are you but a "bunch of cells," then?

If you want to analyze word for word, note the "all men" as well. :)

A teratoma tumor is a bunch of cells--containing teeth, hair, and skin. Nasty little critter.

Hey, I'm not potential, I'm the real thing, baby. :)

Johnny Footstool
08-19-2005, 12:12 AM
David Hume was an influential 18th century philosopher who advanced the idea of utiltarianism, an idea "that the explanation of moral principles is to be sought in the utility they tend to promote."

Thanks for the link. It sounds like he had a pretty good grasp of reality.

Mutaman
08-19-2005, 01:20 AM
David Hume was an influential 18th century philosopher who advanced the idea of utiltarianism, an idea "that the explanation of moral principles is to be sought in the utility they tend to promote."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hume#Utilitarianism

Tom's great-great-great grandfather. I'm surprised none of you heard ever heard of him. . Just goes to show the failures of the American educational system. Why I always like to read a little 18th century philosophy every day. It answers a lot of questions.