Daniel Sulmasy Speaks on Stem Cell Research on WLIW-TV

Phil Jacobs Around the Province

GARDEN CITY, N.Y.— Daniel Sulmasy was a guest along with stem cell researcher Daniel Grande, Ph.D., on the WLIW-TV’s Long Island Channel 21 program “Q&A with Host Alexander Johnson.” The show aired on Monday, Feb 5.

A complicated subject was broken down into understandable parts that viewers could absorb without consulting a biology textbook or Google. To Dan, “the essence of the debate is not about whether we use stem cells or not, but what kind of cells will we use.”

Dr. Grande, director of research at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in Manhasset N.Y., noted that while immediate discoveries suggest hope, commercial uses of stem cells are still in the distant future and that “we should not look for immediate results.”

In the discussion, Br. Dan, left in photo, a medical doctor and Ph.D., who is also a bio-ethicist and director of the Bio-ethics Institute of NewYork Medical College, suggested that “we are looking at decades before an actual use can emerge.”

Both doctors described how recent discoveries at Harvard University dealing with amniotic blood cells contained in the umbilical cord after an actual birth could be the key in solving both a medical and moral dilemma. The panelists said there may be no need to pursue either the stem cells contained in the unborn fetus or the adult stem cells contained elsewhere in the body that are limited in function.

The question of funding — government as opposed to commercial — may determine the path of future discoveries. Dan called for a wider usage of these new amniotic stem cells, akin to a “blood bank.” The cells would then be available to all, as opposed to a strictly commercial venture, where individuals would cryogenically save (freeze) their cells for future usage in their own time of need.

Tapes of last week’s television broadcast can be obtained by contacting WLIW.

— Phil Jacobs is graphic designer in the Province’s Communications Office