Friday, August 22, 2014

ALS bucket challenge raises questions about embryonic stem cell research


We have all seen pictures of famous people dumping buckets of ice over their heads to raise money for ALS research ($5.5 million since the end of July) and then nominating other people to do the same.  Before you take the challenge, please be aware that one of the main beneficiaries is the ALS Association.  If you check the MCFL website, for organizations that fund embryonic stem cell research, you will find that ALS Association certainly does. 

According to their website, "Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases."

Project ALS, another major beneficiary, is also on our web site for funding ESCR.

John Triolo did some research to see if there are ALS organizations that do not fund ESCR.

Here is what he found:

"I called the ALS Therapy Development Institute (here:, to check on this issue and they said they do not do any research with embryonic stem cells because they think induced pluripotent adult stem cells are the best avenue to a cure.  They do not have a principled objection to using embryonic stem cells but said they understand the gravity of the issue and would be very public if they change their position so donors and potential donors would be aware.

Compassionate Care ALS (here: confirmed by phone that they only do care and treatment for people living with ALS, rather than research."

If you have questions about whether an organization funds ESCR, please always check

Thanks to John and to you!  Anne

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