Human Exceptionalism

Life and dignity with Wesley J. Smith.

NYT STILL Won’t Describe Therapeutic Cloning Accurately


I apologize to regular readers who may be growing weary of my continually posting examples of awful reporting in the therapeutic cloning debate. But this "bias by omission" as I call it, is truly outrageous. On Sunday, in an analysis of the Hwang debacle, Nocholas Wade AGAIN inaccurately describes therapeutic cloning, to wit:

"The panel is also reviewing Dr. Hwang's 2004 claim in which he was apparently the first to clone human cells. If that also proves false, the goal of therapeutic cloning--repairing patients' cells with their own tissues--may be considerably further off that it seemed a few months ago." (My italics.)

The italicized section would be an accurate description of adult stem cell research in which a patient's own stem cells, say from blood, are extracted and reintroduced into the patient. We have already seen encouraging indications in early human trials that for many diseases, adult stem cells will be able to provide effective treatments.

But this isn't therapeutic cloning, which, if it works--we still don't know if human clones have even been created post Hwang--involves using the patient's DNA to create cloned embryos, that are developed and destroyed to derive embryonic stem cells.

Why is the New York Times still "the paper of record?"


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