Saturday, February 02, 2008

I am so G*DDAMN SICK of the "war on science" thing that people who simply hate President Bush carry on with.

Facts, people, facts.

The only thing that Bush has done in his alleged "war on science" is to mandate that the US will continue funding research on existing fetal stem cell lines, but it won't provide government funds for any new cell lines. Got that? Research will continue. For Democrats, I'll repeat myself. Research will continue. The "war on science" thing is bull.

Now for those of you who don't know, fetal stem cells are an absolute, 100% dry hole. Nothing has ever been solved using fetal stem cells. I've been in the biotech industry for almost 20 years now. I read the publications, I've done the research, I've spent hours in labs pipetting things. I've done work on a possible cancer therapy (I won't go so far as to call it a cure, yet) and I did some work of which I'm especially proud which involved a device that I hope will be on the shelves of hospitals very soon and will deal with septic shock.

But fetal stem cells have done squat. Nada. Zero. NOTHING.

Grow up, Teddy Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi--if fetal stem cells were the wave of the future, you'd have biotech and pharmaceutical companies piling over each other to grab the prize. Am I clear? If fetal stem cells were the be-all and end-all, 25 pharmaceutical companies would be all over it.

Ever noticed how they aren't?

There have been some really interesting studies involving stem cells. In one study scientists severed the spinal cords of mice and then injected stem cells and the spinal cords were actually repaired. But they were adult stem cells. Not fetal.

And in one study scientists injected fetal stem cells into people with Parkinson's and the subjects deteriorated rapidly. Worse than if they hadn't gotten the treatment.

For all that is wished, fetal stem cells ain't the be-all-end-all. They've been likened to a piece of sheet metal that can be hammered into any shape, but it turns out that's apparently not the case. Now, one place I worked cultivated cells from adult tissue and achieved remarkable results. A Belgian woman who was basically invalid was injected with cells cultured from an adult heart and recovered something like 70% heart capacity. And we also developed cell growth media which has been used to grow cartilage. But none of this involved fetal stem cells, and yes, we had them.

The whole thing with fetal stem cell research can be broken down into two issues. The first is abortion. People apply the broad brush and say "Those who oppose fetal stem cell research do so because they are opposed to abortion and IVF". And a lot of scientists have wussed out on the whole thing and won't tell the truth lest they be painted by the radicals as anti-abortion. And reason number two is that a lot of scientists are milking it big time: "Just keep throwing money at me and I'll cure everything". Well, hell, everyone wants things cured, so people grasp at it like someone grabbing a life ring. But it's BS.

But the believers built an artificial construct around it. "If you oppose it it's because you're a Luddite or you're one of those extreme right-wingers". So everyone cowers.

As I cited above, cell therapy works. And I am a huge fan of cell therapy. I saw the results of the Belgian woman, I did some really neat work which involved turning certain cells into "hunters" of cancer cells.

But this "war on science" meme is BS. First--Bush didn't defund stem cell research. Not at all. He simply said "No new cell lines will be funded by the government". And second--and this is how you know the "war" thing is BS--if the things worked private companies would be all over them.


Ellen said...

Give it up Johnny One Note. The Bush war on science goes a million times further than stem cells.

The administration has muzzled their own Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona on the Plan B contraceptive, and global health reports. The health risks of mercury were discounted by the White House that censored the word "confirmed" from a phrase describing mercury as a "confirmed public health risk." A National Cancer Institute fact sheet was doctored by the Bush Administration to suggest that abortion increases breast-cancer risk, even though the American Cancer Society concluded that the best study discounts that.

The nomination of public-health experts to a CDC lead paint advisory panel were rejected by the Bush Administration, and replaced with researchers with financial ties to the lead industry.

This is an administration that has put forth deliberately misleading proposals like the Healthy Forests Initiative, which removes barriers to clear-cutting, and the Clear Skies Initiative, which weakens existing safeguards on mercury, sulfur dioxide and other pollutants dumped into the air by power plants. The oil industry writes national energy policy and the HMOs and drug companies draft our Medicare legislation.

The Bush administration distanced itself from a climate report the Environmental Protection Agency wrote, because it affirmed the potential worldwide harm of global warming, the existence of which Bush had denied. The global-warming section of the 2003 EPA report on the environment was extensively rewritten, then dropped entirely.

The motives for this Bush War on Science is clear.

And ofcourse, Bush supports the inclusion of Intelligent Design in kids classrooms.

Is there anyone who could possibly doubt this deliberate 'war on science'? Maybe a Bushie authoritarian.

Snakeeater said...

Your need to use name-calling and pejoratives betrays the shallowness of your understanding and the depth of your single-minded hate.

You confuse what is popularly called "The War on Science" with environmentalism. Granted, there is science involved in environmentalism (at least for those equipped to understand it), but you clearly are confused.

What do you do all day? Troll the internet looking for people you disagree with and can post a canned rant to?

Don't bother to reply. I can whip you with one brain lobe tied behind my back.

Oh, and I really am a scientist. You're not.

Ellen said...

As a scientist you just might be interested in why conservatives seem to be hard wired into dogmatism. It appears that is may be due to a genetic disposition in the way we think. In general, liberals tend to be much more adaptable than conservatives and are better at problem solving and with responses designed to cope with changing circumstances. This is shown in a number of studies, one published by Nature Neuroscience Journal last Oct.

The study found:
"liberalism was associated with stronger conflict-related anterior cingulate activity, suggesting greater neurocognitive sensitivity to cues for altering a habitual response pattern" and "conservatives show more structured and persistent cognitive styles, whereas liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty."

Stay the course, stay the course, stay the course…. need I say more?

Essentially, conservatives tend to rely on ‘persistence’ in a ‘habitual response pattern,’ despite signals that this response pattern should change. It also explains why some conservatives are more susceptible to simplified and 'slogan based' politics ... i.e. "moral values"... "cut n' run" etc... also why conservatives are more likely to follow an authoritarian leadership and often resort to denialism when faced with overwhelming evidence... like the proof that the Bush administration had led a war on science. Ask any of the recent Surgeon Generals.

This also explains why that conservatives hate the media, hate realities that challenge their beliefs, hate stimuli that forces them to respond in such a way that is contrary or conflicting to their “persistent” ideals and principles.

Snakeeater said...

You're covering it up with rhetoric, but you're saying some study claims liberals are smarter than conservatives. I'll bet that makes you quite smug and helps you sleep at night.

I haven't bothered to look the study up, but that said study got peer-reviewed and published speaks volumes about the publication, or, perhaps, you simply took home from it things that you desperately want to believe.

What you are saying, essentially, is that liberals are smarter than conservatives. That's asinine. Liberals and conservatives simply see different ways of achieving goals. As someone once said, the difference between liberals and conservatives is conservatives think liberals are wrong while liberals think conservatives are evil.

You are a prime example of that theory, with your simple-minded little assertions that you are smarter than the rest of us.

I'm sure that it helps you sleep at night, and I'll bet you feel real good about yourself, but to assert that there is data proving that liberals are smarter than conservatives is utterly asinine.

SO how about citing for me a study that shows fetal stem cells are effective at curing something?