Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Post Wrong About Stem Cells

There is still a long way to go to educate the public about embryonic stem (ES) cells. In yesterday's Washington Post election blog, John Solomon (a Post staff writer) made a blatantly false statement about ES cells. He wrote,
Many religious conservatives, including President Bush, oppose the scientific use of embryonic stem cells because the cells often come from aborted fetuses.
Right... Does a journalist have to be a science writer to check his facts? Here is the truth of the matter: Embryonic stem cells NEVER come from aborted fetuses. They are derived from 5-day old blastocysts generated in the context of in vitro fertilization clinics. This embryo has never been in the uterus, and is a ball of about 100 cells. A correct replacement sentence could be: Religious and other conservatives object to ES cell use because they cells taken from a structure that occurs 5 days after fertilization.

I wonder how widespread this misconception is.

2 comments:

golob said...

Nice catch!

And, since you don't swear in print, allow me: what a load of crap.

Hell, we should make this a game.

"Many religious conservatives, including President Bush, oppose the HPV vaccine because the vaccine often comes from clubbed baby seals."

thomas said...

FYI, I emailed the author, the editor and posted a comment on the WaPo blog. As of 8/18 at noon, there has been no correction.