You really have to wonder about the critical thinking skills of the Californians who voted to make Big Biotech a ward of the state:
As a South Korean scientist defends against mounting accusations that he falsified evidence in a breakthrough stem cell study, researchers in California said the controversy has caused significant damage to a promising and fledgling field.
Doubts about Hwang Woo-suk’s claims that he cloned human cells to create embryonic stem cells have made scientists wonder whether the prospect might remain elusive for years. Researchers and doctors hope to use this process to genetically tailor stem cells for patients suffering from such diseases as Parkinson’s, diabetes and multiple sclerosis.
“It’s a black eye on the whole world of science,” Richard Murphy, president of the Salk Institute in La Jolla, said. “Exciting areas of research are always competitive… but healthy competition never justifies sloppy research, cutting corners or dishonest behavior.”
In California, where voters approved $3 billion to jump-start stem cell research, the South Korean controversy has led to renewed calls for more oversight of publicly funded science.
Meanwhile, San Diego biologists say the scandal shows why the United States needs to lift federal funding restrictions on the use of human embryonic stem cells for research, which requires the destruction of embryos.
Uh, excuse me? The most promising data for the viability of embryonic stem cells as medical treatments is faked, so we should spend more money on it?
In case you’ve lost track, here’s the current score in the Medical Stem Cell Bowl:
Adult Stem Cells 65, Embryonic Stem Cells 0