Jan 152015
 

There are two main types of age-related disease. One is cancer and the other encompasses metabolic disorders which can lead to heart disease diabetes and kidney damage. Age-related diseases are usually caused by the effects of cellular aging and have been linked to mutations and decay in mitochondria and DNA. These damaging genetic mutations begin to increase in occurrence between the ages of 30 and 40. Research has shown it may be possible to slow or even stop these mutations thereby keeping our bodies vital at the cellular level and preventing the onset of age-related disease. The only regimen ever proven to actually extend life in mammals, but one which most people find hard to follow, is to drastically reduce one’s intake of calories. However, should this prove too difficult, living a healthy lifestyle may be the next best thing. A small study has recently shown that positive lifestyle changes, including the proper management of diet, exercise and stress promotes longer telomeres. Telomeres are protective caps at the end of chromosomes which prevent the loss of genetic information during cell division. Their length has been linked to diseases such as cancers, stroke, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis and diabetes. Telomeres, made of DNA and protein, work as a shield for chromosomes, keeping them stable. As we age, chromosomes become shorter and weaker, leading cells to stop dividing and eventually die. Scientists have recently discovered a way to stimulate a potent anti-aging protein in living cells called sirtuins, which are a contributor to telomere maintenance and a universal regulator of aging in virtually all living organisms. Sirtuins help cells survive damage, delay cell death, and seem to halt the normal cellular cycle that ends with old cells self-terminating. Sirtuins help rejuvenate cells by increasing their DNA repair processes and stimulating production of protective antioxidants. According to scientists, consuming a single glass of red wine each day could help one jump-start this DNA repair process. Resveratrol, an antioxidant compound found in grapes, nuts, chocolate and red wine is known to improve heart, muscle and bone functions. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, reducing bad cholesterol and preventing blood clots, resveratrol has also been shown to be effective in boosting sirtuin levels, possibly increasing longevity. Recent research also shows that following a Mediterranean diet by eating an abundance of fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry and fish rather than lots of red meat, butter and animal fats might be a recipe for a long life because it appears to keep people genetically younger. They claim our scientific community now knows enough to proceed with realistic and practical longevity research, but this is dependent upon the amount of public support and funding it receives.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current aging policy

I support making direct donations to anti-aging researchers and/or identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to increase public funding of anti-aging research

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Low-frequency electromagnetic (EM) radiation is emitted from all electrical devices including power lines, computers, household appliances and the wiring inside the walls of buildings. Radio waves, such as those emitted from cellphones, utility smart meters, automobiles, and data communication networks are also electromagnetic radiation. There are now 330 million personal wireless devices in our nation of 317 million people. Some people who frequently use cellphones complain of headaches, memory loss and sleep problems. There has been an ongoing debate for many years over the possible harmful effects of being in close proximity to sources of electromagnetic radiation. One industry-supported school of thought is that the only potential danger from EM fields stem from its heating effects on human tissue. Others believe EM fields may be harmful in more subtle ways. Much research has been done on possible EM field links to cancer, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Studies by the United Nations have shown evidence of a link between EM fields and childhood leukemia but this evidence was not strong enough to be considered casual. Some studies have concluded EM fields should be regarded as carcinogens, while others have concluded that exposure to EM fields are unlikely to cause cancer. Health advocates claim pregnant women and children are most at risk from being exposed to these fields. One Swedish study found those who started using cell phones when they were teens had a 5 times greater risk of brain cancer than those who started as adults. A recent U.S. hospital study of 800 pregnant women measured their exposure to EM fields from things like power lines and microwave ovens. It found the children of mothers who had the highest exposure to EM fields had a 3½ times greater chance of having asthma than children whose mothers who had the lowest EM field exposure. Advocates say new building codes must be enacted, overhead power lines must be buried, and appliances and devices must be shielded to protect us from this potential danger. They say consumers can reduce their exposure to EM fields by using hands-free cellphones and keeping as much distance as possible from power transmission lines and electrical appliances such as TVs, microwave ovens, electric blankets, water heaters and circuit breaker panels. EM shielding opponents say business and industry would incur great expense if forced to protect us from EM radiation, should it prove harmful. Unlike a number of European countries, our government has not set standards for safe exposure to EM fields emitted from power lines.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current electromagnetic field policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to enact federal standards for safe exposure to electromagnetic radiation from power lines, home appliances and wireless devices

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

Stem cells are the primordial cells of human beings. These self-renewing, undifferentiated cells can mature into any of the 210 different cell types which make up the tissues and organs of the human body. In 1998, scientists learned how to harvest stem cells from human embryos. In theory, stem cells have the potential to supply fresh transplant material to replace the cells that are lost to many incurable illnesses including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and diabetes. In fact, scientists have recently created insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells from embryonic stem cells, a big step towards curing diabetes. It is believed stem cells can also be used to repair spinal cord injuries and to cure or replace ailing hearts and livers. All told, these major advancements in regenerative medicine could improve the lives of more than 100 million Americans. Over time, technical advances enabled embryonic stem cells to be produced without using embryos. Transplanting genetic material from an adult cell into an egg whose own DNA had been removed, enabled scientists to clone adult cells into embryonic stem cells. Called pluripotent stem cells, these cells are easier to make, provide an unlimited supply of material, and are free of the ethical concerns regarding the destruction of human embryos. Pluripotent stem cells can grow into almost any tissue that is genetically identical to a patient. However, breakthroughs in stem cell research continue to occur at a regular pace. Researchers have recently discovered a way of changing adult cells back into their original embryonic state. Exposing adult cells to a simple acid bath in a low oxygen environment has been found to turn some cells in the body into stem cells that could be used for tissue repair and other treatments. Advocates say the rapid advancements in stem cell research prove revolutionary treatments for illness and injury are close at hand. They say the pace of these advancements depend on the amount of funding dedicated to regenerative medicine research.

Pending Legislation:

S.136 – Ethical Stem Cell Research Tax Credit Act of 2013

H.R.1740 – Patients First Act of 2013

H.R.2164 – Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2012

I oppose reforming current stem cell policy and wish to defeat S.136, H.R.1740, and H.R.2164

I support allowing a tax credit for 30% of qualified stem cell research expenses paid or incurred in a taxable year. Defines “qualified stem cell research expenses” as expenses for carrying out basic and applied research to develop techniques for the isolation, derivation, production, testing, and human clinical use of stem cells that may result in improved understanding of or treatments for diseases and other adverse health conditions. Prohibits a tax credit for any research expenses that may involve: the creation of a human embryo for research purposes; the destruction of or discarding of, or risk of injury to, a human embryo, and wish to pass S.136

I support conducting and supporting basic and applied research to develop techniques for the isolation, derivation, production, testing, and human clinical use of stem cells that may result in improved understanding of, or treatments for, diseases and other adverse health conditions, including pluripotent stem cells that have the flexibility of embryonic stem cells (whether or not such pluripotent stem cells have an embryonic source), provided that such techniques will not involve: the creation of a human embryo for research purposes; the destruction or discarding of, or risk of injury to, a living human embryo, and wish to pass H.R.1740

I support prohibiting any public or private person or entity from: performing or attempting to perform human cloning; participating in an attempt to perform human cloning; or shipping, receiving, or importing the product of human cloning for any purpose; setting criminal and civil penalties for violations. Provides that nothing in this Act shall restrict areas of scientific research not specifically prohibited by this Act, including research in the use of nuclear transfer or other cloning techniques to produce molecules, DNA, cells other than human embryos, tissues, organs, plants, or animals other than humans and wish to pass H.R.2164

 Posted by at 12:00 am