Politics & Policy

Science‘s Stem-Cell Scam

It should change its name to Pseudoscience.

How many diseases ASCs can treat or cure is debatable, with one website claiming almost 80 for umbilical-cord blood alone. Dr. David Prentice of the Family Research Council, using stricter standards of evidence, has constituted a list of 72 for all types of ASCs. But now three ESC advocates have directly challenged Prentice’s list. They’ve published a letter in Science magazine, released ahead of publication obviously to influence President Bush’s promise to veto legislation that would open wide the federal funding spigot for ESC research. The letter claims ASC “treatments fully tested in all required phases of clinical trials and approved by the U.S Food and Drug Administration are available to treat only nine of the conditions” on his list.

Well! One answer to that is that it’s nine more than can be claimed for ESCs. Further, there are 1175 clinical trials for ASCs, including those no longer recruiting patients, with zero for ESCs. But a better response is that the letter authors come from the Kenneth Lay School for honesty, as do the editors at Science.

In the detailed attachment to their letter, the Science magazine writers aren’t just at odds with Prentice but the medical community as a whole. For example, regarding sickle-cell anemia, they claim “adult stem cell transplants from bone marrow or umbilical cord blood can provide some benefit to sickle cell patients” and “hold the potential to treat sickle cell anemia.” “Some benefit” and “potential?”

An article from the May 2006 issue of Current Opinion in Hematology notes that “there is presently no curative therapy” for sickle-cell anemia other than allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. “Hematopoietic means from marrow or blood; “allogeneic” means the cells are from another person. Seminars in Hematology (2004) states, “. . . curative allogeneic stem cell transplantation therapy” has “been developed for sickle cell anemia.” Meanwhile, “. . . curative allogeneic stem cell transplantation therapy [has] been developed for” sickle-cell anemia according to Current Opinions in Molecular Therapy (2003), while “hematopoietic stem cells for allogeneic transplantation” are “currently the only curative approach for sickle cell anemia” observes the journal Blood (2002). (All emphasis mine.)

What does everybody seem to know that the Science writers and editors don’t?

Words like “could” and “potential” are trick phraseology used throughout the letter attachment for ASC curative therapies that have been used routinely for years. This appears to give them no advantage over ESC therapy, all of which boasts nothing but potential.

The writers are correct about FDA approval; but that’s a trick. Some ASC therapies are approved in other countries but not yet here. More importantly, stem cell therapy is not a drug and therefore the FDA doesn’t regulate it the same way. Some have been used successfully for decades with no one seeking or receiving federal approval.

For that matter, aspirin is a drug but by their standards it only has potential use for aches and pains since it never went through the clinical-trial process and the FDA has never given it formal approval.

How can Science not know all this? Simple; it does. I’ve written repeatedly of how the publication has made itself a propaganda sheet for ESC research, as well as other political causes. At the least, it should change its name to Pseudoscience. Sometimes it prints easily falsifiable studies, such as this, attacking the usefulness of ASCs. Other times it falsely promotes ESCs. That culminated in January when the journal was forced to retract two groundbreaking ESC studies that proved frauds.

The journal wants to flood unpromising ESC research with taxpayer dollars because private investors know just how very unpromising it is. Now yet again Science has showcased the scientific and moral bankruptcy of the entire ESC-advocacy movement.

Michael Fumento is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute and author of BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing Our World.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Can Joe Biden Pardon Himself?

John Yoo argues that once he’s president, he can. He mentions the contrary possibility that the pardon power mentioned in the Constitution was understood to refer to a power to pardon someone other than the pardoner. He does not, however, defeat this possibility. He stacks the deck by presenting the argument ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Biden’s Unhelpful Mask Stance

On the menu today: Joe Biden brings his own problems to the national stage, declaring that he wants Americans to wear masks until the end of his first 100 days in office -- well after the 100 million most vulnerable Americans will be vaccinated! -- and warns that the nation’s death toll from the pandemic will ... Read More
Culture

Fifteen Things That Caught My Eye Today: Ethiopia, A One-Year-Old Dies in D.C., Archbishop Chaput on Biden and Communion & More (December 4, 2020)

(1) Washington Post: 1-year-old Carmelo Duncan is the latest victim of gun violence in D.C. as homicides hit a 15-year high Dozens of mourners gathered Thursday night in the block where Carmelo was killed. They offered prayers for his family and for other families that have lost loved ones to gun violence, the ... Read More
Culture

Fifteen Things That Caught My Eye Today: Ethiopia, A One-Year-Old Dies in D.C., Archbishop Chaput on Biden and Communion & More (December 4, 2020)

(1) Washington Post: 1-year-old Carmelo Duncan is the latest victim of gun violence in D.C. as homicides hit a 15-year high Dozens of mourners gathered Thursday night in the block where Carmelo was killed. They offered prayers for his family and for other families that have lost loved ones to gun violence, the ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Disgraceful Endgame

President Trump said the other day that he’d leave office if he loses the vote of the Electoral College on December 14. This is not the kind of assurance presidents of the United States typically need to make, but it was noteworthy given Trump’s disgraceful conduct since losing his bid for reelection to ... Read More
Media

Linda Greenhouse’s Grievance Politics

The irony appears not to have dawned on Linda Greenhouse as she typed up her latest column, supposedly about Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and oddly entitled “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Choice.” One might think that Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times mainstay ... Read More
Media

Linda Greenhouse’s Grievance Politics

The irony appears not to have dawned on Linda Greenhouse as she typed up her latest column, supposedly about Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn v. Cuomo and oddly entitled “Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s Choice.” One might think that Greenhouse, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times mainstay ... Read More