yet another stem-cell breakthrough

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 11, 2007

Here's a new game:

Find an article on a reported breakthrough in medical treatment using stem cells.

Beginning at the top of the article, count down the paragraphs until you find a plug for embryonic stem-cell research. (In this case it's paragraph #9.)

Keep counting-- it's probably further down-- until you reach the point where the reporter mentions that this medical breakthrough did not involve embryo research, but used stem cells obtained licitly from blood marrow, umbilical cords, or some other source. (In this case, paragraph #17.) Warning: sometimes you never will find this bit of information.

Subtract the first number from the second, and you have a concrete measure of the publication's interest in promoting a political agenda rather than carrying the news.

To be fair, this story on the same medical test identifies the source of the stem-cells in just the 2nd paragraph, and there never is a mini-editorial in favor of embryo research. Do you suppose a few editors have already started to play our little game? That would be a breakthrough!

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  • Posted by: - Apr. 13, 2007 4:50 PM ET USA

    Dear Altar Boy, We concur in that these stem cells have been derived licitly and morally. What I am saying is these stem cells may belong to the child patients themselves.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 12, 2007 9:37 AM ET USA

    Andy, you know as well as I do that the word “adult,” when used in conjunction with “stem cell,” has noting to do with the age of the patient. But I’ll concede to you that perhaps the casual reader may not know that and assumes the opposite. I’ll bet you, though, that if these young patients had been cured by embryonic stem cell therapy, the headlines would have boasted: “EMBRYONIC stem cells cure diabetes!”

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 9:22 PM ET USA

    Dear Altar Boy, I would quibble with you here. The articles say "young people" and "young patients." I assumed they were chihldren, not adults. Perhaps the lack of emphasis occurred because they were not adults.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 8:43 PM ET USA

    "But research using the most versatile kind of stem cells — those acquired from human embryos — is currently opposed by powerful critics, including President Bush." Another mini-editorial on the superiority of embryonic stem cells (yet unproven by results) over adult stem cells, and the inferiority of President Bush.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 6:02 PM ET USA

    Neither article is headlined honestly. Both should have read something like: "Diabetics cured by ADULT stem cell therapy." But what can you expect from the MSM. These are the same folks that printed stories claiming that President Bush vetoed federal funding of stem cell research--something that is an outright lie. Make no mistake; all this chicanery by the press is intended solely to make the wholesale killing of innocent babies achieve acceptance as a beneficial and indispensable practice.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 4:49 PM ET USA

    Dear Diogenes, Both state that the stem cells came from the patients' own blood in the second paragraph. Perhaps the article was changed, or perhaps you overlooked it? Anyway, both clearly state where the cells originated in the second paragraph.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 10:06 AM ET USA

    Although there was a pitch for the embryonic stem cells (which was out of place in this article), it was made clear that the "cure" cells came from the participants blood early in the fits article. If you know enough about the issue to distinguish between adult stem cells and embryonic stem cells, it was clear where the cells came from. It is shame full reporters feel compelled to editorialize when all is needed is for the story to be reported. I am sick of it.

  • Posted by: - Apr. 11, 2007 8:08 AM ET USA

    My discovery of this web site (via a mention on First Things) is the best thing that's happened to me on the internet for at least the past year or two (or whenever it was I found out about First Things).