More Cloning Hype from Ian Wilmut
The media can't get enough of this man's pontificating, but they don't look at his history to see that what he says should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism. For example, Wilmut wrote in his book The Second Creation, that he wanted nothing to do with human cloning. Rather, his interests lay in animal cloning--hence Dolly--and genetically engineering sheep--hence the transgenic cloned sheep Polly--to derive useful medicinal substances from ewes' milk. But that venture went belly up financially, so suddenly Wilmut got very interested in human cloning.
Then, Wilmut said he believed that reproductive cloning should be allowed in some circumstances.
Then, he wanted to engage in ethically questionable medical experiments on the dying using unproven embryonic stem cells.
Now, he says that human/animal hybrid clones will bring research successes that will have stem cell therapies available within a decade. From the story:
THE CREATOR of Dolly the sheep has predicted that treatments using stem cells could become as common as antibiotics.Unmentioned, of course, is that adult/umbilical cord blood stem cells are already advancing in human trials to deal with some of the very diseases Wilmut wants to use cloning to treat. Moreover, human cloning using human eggs has, so far, been unsuccessful in creating embryos from which stem cells have been derived. And there are real doubts that using animal eggs will even work. Time will tell, of course. But we can count on Wilmut to hype research to the hilt that is not only morally contentious, but so far, entirely speculative and hypothetical.
Professor Ian Wilmut, director of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University, said the first of these revolutionary therapies is expected to be available in around a decade and will develop rapidly over the coming years...
Wilmut pointed out that researchers around the world were already considering the use of stem cells to repair corneas, bones and specific cases of spinal cord injury.
"New therapies are just the same as medicines, they have to be tested and shown to be effective and safe," he said. "So it will be a small number of cases and a small number of treatments first, which will grow over the years and the decades.
Labels: Ian Wlmut. Hyping Cloning