Thursday, November 29, 2007

The stem cell storyline changes

Joe Carter and Ramesh Ponnuru note how Newsweek and reporter Sharon Begley let their readers know now (after pluripotent stem cells have been created with killing human embryos) that research with pluripotent stem cells isn't about to cure anyone soon. Here's a quality couple of sentences from the Newsweek article:
And the attention the discovery is receiving obscures an important change in stem-cell science. While the research was once hailed as leading directly to cures—by turning stem cells into neuronal cells that could be implanted in patients with Parkinson's disease, say—it now looks like something much more mundane: another laboratory tool to study different diseases, yielding insights that would launch the slow, years-long search for new therapies.
When did this "important change" magically occur? When the biased media lost their "President Bush is anti-cures" storyline?

It has been known for years that pluripotent stem cells are years (probably at least a decade or two, if ever) away from successfully treating human patients and that some scientists believe pluripotent stem cells might be better at helping study disease than curing it but only after pluripotent stem cells are created ethically do Newsweek and Sharon Begley admit this and act like it's some change that just occurred.

Begley also has an obviously biased and inaccurate description of cloning. She doesn't seem to understand that scientists interested in cloning don't insert genes into eggs, the insert the nucleus of a somatic cell into an egg whose nucleus has been removed.

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