Spinal Confusion

...an attempt to clarify confusing and innacurate information in science articles

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Therapeutic Regeneration?

PhD or not, this guy's obviously tapped the crack pipe a time or two too many. His terms are all wrong.

In attempting to redefine therapeutic cloning ("therapeutic regeneration"), he equates SCNT with deriving cells from IVF embryos.

Uh, no.
For therapeutic regeneration, these cells can be derived from the ample numbers of embryos that will otherwise be discarded by in-vitro fertilization clinics across the nation.
He claims that generic bans on cloning in certain states forbid derivation of embryonic stem cells from to-be-discarded IVF embryos, which is clearly untrue.
Although a few states (California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Ohio) have authorized therapeutic regeneration research using stem cells, many more states (including Missouri, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Michigan) have passed severely restrictive statutes that prohibit "cloning" research, without making the critically important distinction between reproductive and therapeutic purposes. As a result, research that uses embryos to establish stem cell lines is prohibited, even though these embryos are obtained with the express consent of the donors, and if not used are otherwise destined to be discarded.
Cloning bans prohibit cloning. Derivation of embryonic stem cell lines does not require cloning, so these prohibitions in no way prohibit ESC line derivation. Other laws may, but it is not the ones who ban cloning.

I think this would totally blow up in proponent's faces if they tried to use it. Instead of making things easier, propagating this blatant disinformation would make things much more difficult.