Really, Harvard? REALLY???

You’re not going to believe this one. Scientists at Harvard have discovered a stem cell technique that supposedly REPLACES EXERCISE. O.o. Come ON!

Look at this quote:

“It’s the first step toward a pill that can replace the treadmill,” said co-author Chad Cowan, associate professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology unit.

I’m very skeptical about this to begin with… all we know is that it supposedly works in mice, and we’ve been down that road before with stem cell trial results that didn’t translate to humans. But even if this pill worked (and that’s a HUGE if), it couldn’t replace all of the other benefits of exercise. Thin people who don’t exercise do not live any longer than overweight people who DO exercise (Steven Blair’s research on this question goes back over twenty years.) So statements like the one that Chad Cowan made are actually kind of irresponsible. Do we really need more excuses to not exercise? Can’t you just see someone reading that and thinking, “Oh, yay, now I don’t need to go to the gym anymore?” People don’t need anything else encouraging them to stay seated on the couch popping diet pills.

Cathy Danielson
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Cathy Danielson

In 2011, my life was shattered when I was diagnosed with a mysterious, incurable disease that always ends in blindness. The only hope on the horizon was a drug that broke all barriers in early testing. This drug, which replaces damaged cells in the eye, comes from the new class of stem cell based treatments that could cure the incurable, providing hope for patients with cancer, heart failure, ALS, cerebral palsy, and many more fatal and disabling diseases.

I survived the disease, and I now have the only remission on record. But a remission is not a cure. The stem cell drug I need for a real cure is now rapidly moving towards approval in the rest of the world, but in the USA, it—and all other cellular therapies-- are still stuck behind prejudice, ignorance, and lack of funding. Hundreds of millions of desperate patients with incurable diseases need these drugs.

That’s why I’ve gone on to fight for greater public education on stem cell drugs, knowing that our laws must be changed so that all of us can get access to the best treatments instead of our health and our lives being held hostage by special interests.

I’m now a patient advocate whose work on stem cells and patients’ rights has been published in outlets such as the Oregonian. I am a manager at popular science and financial blog www.stemcellinvestor.com and a frequent speaker at many venues across the spectrum, including churches, scientific conferences, and atheist groups, and everything in between. I’m also an advocate for Right to Try laws that would allow access to experimental medication for terminal patients at the state level. Read the entire story in my upcoming book, And the Blind Shall See: A Skeptic Patient Surprised by Faith, Science, Family, and Miracle Cures.
Cathy Danielson
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