December 16, 2013

AP Fails to Connect Poll Finding’s Dots; 11% With Employer-Based Health Coverage Say It Will Be ‘Discontinued’ During 2014

An Associated Press-GfK poll has found that 11 percent of an admittedly small sample of Americans insured through their employer or a family member’s employer are losing their coverage in 2014. The related AP report relays that point and even has a graphic supporting it.

But reporters Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar and Jennifer Agiesta failed to make the drop-dead obvious connection. According President Barack Obama and his White House spinmeisters, nothing is changing as a result of Obamacare if you’re employed, and Obama’s false guarantee that “if you like your plan, you can keep your plan” only applies to those in the private individual insurance market. Tell that to the 11 percent.

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Monday Off-Topic (Moderated) Open Thread (121613)

Filed under: Lucid Links — Tom @ 6:05 am

This open thread will stay at or near the top today. Rules are here. Possible comment fodder may follow. Other topics are also fair game.

Positivity: Funding for adult stem cell research increasing, report finds

Filed under: Life-Based News,Positivity — Tom @ 6:00 am

From Washington:

Dec 11, 2013 / 04:22 am

A recent report has found that research on ethically-sourced adult stem cells is rising in popularity, leaving advocates pointing to its advantages – in both ethics and outcome – over embryonic stem-cell research.

The views of the scientific community are shifting with the realization that “the best hope for rapid medical advances lies with morally unproblematic alternatives,” said Chuck Donovan, president of the Charlotte Lozier Institute, to the Washington Times for a Dec. 3 article.

The Charlotte Lozier Institute is the research branch of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List. Recent reports by the institute have shown significant shifts in research funding from embryonic stem cells to more successful and ethically acceptable adult stem cells.

“Money also talks,” said one of the two reports detailing the changes in funding, adding that “what the money is saying is that those viable alternatives exist and it is with them that the real therapeutic promise of regenerative medicine lies.”

Stem cell research has been the source of much controversy, both over its potential for regenerative and potentially life-saving therapies, and over the ethical questions in how the cells are obtained.

Stem cells taken from human embryos require the destruction of new human life. In the past, researchers have advocated their use because they have the potential to grow into nearly any type of tissue, making them a kind of “master cell.”

However, in clinical trials and treatments, it has been difficult to coax the cells to turn into a specific type of tissue. In addition, therapies relying on embryonic stem cells have shown a tendency to turn into tumors and cancers following treatment.

In contrast, adult stem cells come from a variety of tissues found in newborns and adults, including the placenta, umbilical cord, bone marrow and other bodily tissues. Their extraction does not require the destruction of a human life.

While they naturally grow into a more narrow set of tissues than embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells have also been induced to form other kinds of tissues outside of their natural range. In some cases, the stem cells can also be harvested from the patient himself, nearly eliminating the chance of the body’s rejection of the treatment. …

Go here for the rest of the story.