Wednesday, July 13, 2005

The Strata-Sphere explains why ESCR is Snake Oil

Technical alert! The man knows some serious science. If you're prepared to read the whole post, know that he includes some serious biological testing terminology. Proceed at your own risk. You've been warned. AJ Strata, former Secretary of State of the Coalition of the Chillin, explains why ESCR is today's Snake Oil here. Here's the money quote (note--he mentions that (F)=Fact), (RC)=reasonable Conclusion [the Foolish kind of reason], (WC)=wild conclusion or fantasy):
So why all the fuss about human embryos when all the mammal embryos and stem cells out there could be used to find the basic tools and processes?

Money (RC). Adult stem cells show more promise now by far (F). Therapies are in human testing and breakthroughs are coming every month (F). But you cannot patent the results of adult stem cells since you cannot patent a human being. Sadly, too many snake oil salesmen believe an embryo is not a human being in a court of law - so they naively think the path to riches is through embryonic stem cells.
His basic argument is this:

1. The quickest that researchers could transform embryonic stem cells into target cells would be 23 years. This is the best-case scenarion, in which Mr. Strata compares the ratio of correct trials to winning the Lottery in the first three tries.

2. There have been no known target cells acquired from animal embryonic cells.

3. Researchers have no idea what kind of physiological reaction will take place when target cells from embryonic stem cells are introduced into a subject with different genetic structure than the original host embryo.

4. No treatments have been developed from ESCR

5. There's the perception that the Courts may rule embryos as non-human, and thus people or organizations may claim them as property. This means patents for any stem-cell treatment from propertied embryos. Meanwhile, Adult stem-cells from adults can't be patented because human beings can't eb patented.

Mr. Strata introduces me to another reason why Reasonable people want ESCR. The Ka-Ching! I knew they had $$$ in the agenda when they wanted Federal funds. I knew pro-abortion industries gained valuable metaphysical cover by arguments in favor of ESCR, which obscured the reality of embryos as persons. I knew that IVF clinics stood to gain some revenue with frozen embryos that they would likely throw away. What I didn't realize is that the patents available for ESCR would prove lucrative enough to disceive the public. People that suffer from terrible diseases, like Michael J. Fox, line up to support a line of research that at best speed is 33 years to providing a single treatment. I'll bet a night of guinesses that they're not informed as to how long it could take. Mr. Strata is right. ESCR proponents are the 21st century's Snake Oil Salesman.