I attended this summit this past weekend, and saw a documentary about the promising research that is being done in this area. I also attended an informal Q&A afterwords hosted by the leaders in Stem Cell research, which was open to the public. One of the most interesting topics the speakers addressed was that they were resistant to hyping stem cells as a cure; rather they insisted that stem cell research may provide us with new treatments, and actually new methods of understanding the process of disease, and most importantly, the potential for regeneration of damaged
tissue on the cellular level. I had the opportunity to ask how Type 1 diabetes fared in this research, and I was informed that although stem cells have not been shown to exist in the pancreas, there is the chance that beta cells may be able to regenerate.
It would be amazing if this were true, and it needs to be researched. It makes sense to me that our federal money should be directed towards this research, and that our choices as diabetics should be to support any and all research in this area.
What stands out more than anything else is that this research, which has been drastically limited by Bush administration, could offer new treatments and potential cures for a variety of diseases, including Parkinson's, ALS (Lou Gherig's disease,) and Diabetes.
I also urge anyone who may be interested to do research on this subject, and to
follow through at the voting booth this fall. I think it is important that we come together
as a society and do whatever is necesarry to provide hope to all with debilitating illness.