I could also have predicted the media would hype it to the moon. And so the San Francisco Chronicle has in big headlines on the front page. From, “Stem Cell Industry’s ‘Huge Development’ in Bay Area:”
“It’s a huge development for the field,” said Kevin Whittlesey, science officer at the agency. “We’re starting to realize the potential touted so highly when embryonic stem cell research was in its infancy.”Let’s deconstruct this. First, the prominence of the story seeks to help California’s boondoggle stem cell agency keep its door open
The trial was also described as a victory by the state’s taxpayer-funded stem cell agency. Created by voters a decade ago, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine is authorized to spend $3 billion on stem cell research, and its future rests on the results, including any potential therapies, that those scientists and companies develop. A $14.3 million grant will cover half the costs of Asterias’ trial, the company said.Secondly, the original Geron study may not have worked all that well:
With some tweaks, Asterias is picking up where Geron left off. Geron treated severe injuries in the thoracic region of the spinal cord, which runs along the back. Asterias is targeting injuries that originate in the neck, citing an outside study that suggests injuries in this area are easier to treat. It will also amp up the doses used to inject patients.Finally, if this is such a big deal, why do the media constantly ignore far more advanced human trials for spinal cord injury using ethical stem cells? For example this very exciting peer reviewed study of paralyzed subjects treated with olfactory stem cells:
Of the 13 patients assessed by functional studies, 1 paraplegic patient (patient 9) can ambulate with 2 crutches and knee braces with no physical assistance and 10 other patients can ambulate with walkers with or without braces with physical assistance.Did you get that? Tetraplegia means paralyzed from the neck down! In this study, one totally paralyzed subject now uses a walker without assistance. Why isn’t that worth a front page story?
One tetraplegic patient (patient 13) ambulates with a walker, without knee braces or physical assistance.
Let me answer my own question: Because when it comes to cultural deconstruction, it isn’t the treatment that matters so much as the source of the treatment. Adult stem cells just don’t shatter any moral boundaries.
LifeNews.com Note: Wesley J. Smith, J.D., is a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture and a bioethics attorney who blogs at Human Exeptionalism.
LifeNews.com by Wesley J. Smith