From the Weekly Standard comes the hardly new revelation that 'Science by Press Release' isn't really 'science' at all.
"NEW STEM CELL METHOD avoids destroying embryos," the New York Times headline blared. "Stem cell breakthrough may end political logjam," chimed in the Los Angeles Times. "Embryos spared in stem cell creation," affirmed USA Today. Reporting the same supposed scientific achievement by Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), the Washington Post quoted the company's bioethics adviser Ronald Green. "You can honestly say this cell line is from an embryo that was in no way harmed or destroyed."
Unfortunately, you can't "honestly" say that. The above headlines——like Green's statement and innumerable similar press accounts around the world——are just plain wrong. While ACT did indeed issue a press release heralding its embryonic stem cell experiment as having "successfully generated human embryonic stem cells using an approach that does not harm embryos," the actual report of the research led by ACT chief scientist Robert Lanza, published in Nature, tells a very different story. In fact, Lanza destroyed all 16 of the embryos he used, just as in conventional embryonic stem cell research.
This is just mind boggling. Everything in the antediluvian media has become so politicized that one wonders if they ever get anything right. Other than the sports scores, that is. Botching that information would create a real outrage.
Dennis Sevakis 08 26 06