Archive - Sep 8, 2006
While in Grand Haven we stayed in the Garden House in the Serendipity Resort (several turn-of-the-century homes that share a pool in the back yard).
As a follow-up to recent reports regarding an embryonic stem cell research breakthrough touted to get around the ethical dilemma by leaving the embryo unharmed, from an article of the same title by Rick Weiss in The Washington Post:
A landmark scientific report that was supposed to bridge the gap between proponents and opponents of human embryonic stem cell research has become the focus of an escalating feud, with a prominent critic of the research alleging that scientists were deceptive in presenting their results.
At issue is a series of experiments described in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature, in which scientists at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) in Worcester, Mass., described a method for making stem cells without harming a human embryo. The basic facts of the report remain unchallenged.
But in an unusual move yesterday, Nature corrected wording in a lay-language news release it had distributed in advance and posted clarifying data it had asked the scientists to provide.
At the core of the battle is a widely distributed e-mail from Richard Doerflinger of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, who raised three issues.
First, he said the scientists did not make it clear that no embryos survived their experiments. In fact, data in the paper do make that clear, but Nature's initial release said otherwise. It is well established that a single cell can be removed from an eight-cell human embryo without causing any apparent harm to the embryo, and the new report aimed only to show that such single cells can become stem cells, lead researcher Robert Lanza said yesterday. In the experiments, the scientists took as many cells as they could from each embryo, destroying them in the process, to make the most of the embryos donated for their study.