Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More stem cell lies

By Aussiegirl

More lies coming from the stem cell arena. Leftists never let truth or science deter them from their politically correct beliefs.

TCS Daily - Is Dishonesty in Our Nature?

What magic is there in embryonic stem cells to make some scientists so economical with the truth and some science journals so credulous? Only a few months after the disgraceful Korean stem cell scandal, another scientist has again announced a breakthrough, and has again been denounced as a liar.

Last week a Massachusetts company declared that it had mastered a technique for creating "ethical" embryonic stem cells which could break the logjam in America's stem cell politics. The world's leading science journal, Nature, rushed the news into its on-line express edition. Since stem cells could become the key medical platform for the 21st century, finding a way to harvest the most versatile variety without destroying human embryos would have been a major coup. And this is the way Advanced Cell Technology described its work in a press release.

"We have demonstrated, for the first time, that human embryonic stem cells can be generated without interfering with the embryo's potential for life," said lead author Robert Lanza.

CEO William Caldwell delivered the same message: "we do not destroy the embryo. That's the whole purpose of what we perceive to be a major scientific breakthrough." Ronald Green, a bioethicist at Dartmouth who heads ACT's Ethics Advisory Board, gave it his blessing. "This technique overcomes this [ethical] hurdle and has the potential to play a critical role in the advancement of regenerative medicine."

But their claim was false. None of the embryos described in the paper had survived. Talk of breaking the impasse was a con.

What Lanza's team had done was to biopsy an eight-cell human embryo and gently remove a single cell -- a standard technique nowadays in IVF. With this cell Lanza created a stem cell line while the embryo continued to develop normally. At least that was what he intended. In fact, although 16 embryos were dismembered into 91 separate cells, Lanza produced only two stem cell lines.

"It was a very disruptive, very wasteful, very inefficient procedure, and it left all the old embryos dead, just like the old method did," said Richard Doerflinger, the pro-life spokesman for US Catholic Bishops, who blew the whistle on ACT's claims. In a rare moment of consensus on the controversial issue of embryonic stem cells, even supporters of therapeutic cloning dismissed Lanza's work. "A pitiful attempt to look morally acceptable, rather than do valuable science," sneered Glenn McGee, editor of the American Journal of Bioethics. Even the Australian IVF industry dismissed ACT's claims as "absurd" and "over-sold".


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