Human Exceptionalism

NYT Takes a Half Step Back from ACT Stem Cell Deception

The New York Times mildly reported today about the fact that ACT did not create embryonic stem cells without destroying embryos. Lanza is in full dissembling mode, claiming that he had not read the Nature press release before it went out. For some reason, Nicolas Wade, the Times reporter, fails to point out that the ACT press release was also thoroughly deceptive. Did Lanza not read his own company’s press release, too?

Here is another fault with the Times story: Wade reports, “But the revised statement [by Nature] said other researchers, as he had noted, could use his technique to derive stem cells from cells removed in P.G.D [pre-implantation genetic diagnosis].”

So, they are still deceiving. It is, in fact, not known whether one cell taken from an 8-10 cell embryo could be used to derive an ES cell line. Other researchers have already tried to do it with two cells and failed, for example. At most, it would be accurate to state that scientists “hope” it could be done or “theorize” it could be done. To say assertively that “other researchers could use this technique” is bad science, and to let that assertion hang in the air as if it is a given, was negligent journalism.


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