Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Flashback: UCal/San Francisco worked on cloning human cells 1999-2001

On January 11, 2006, Terri Somers of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote the following:

From 1999 through 2001, scientists at UCSF tried to master the technique of
cloning human embryonic stem cells. It was the only U.S. university pursuing the
science. The efforts were unsuccessful, so the labs never published results.

Before Hwang's claims began to fall apart, Dr. Arnold Kriegstein,
who runs the UCSF stem cell program, decided researchers should re-enter the
field to try to improve upon the South Korean techniques or find others, UCSF spokesperson Jennifer O'Brien said.

Stanford intends to seek Proposition 71 funding to recruit scientists who will find ways to do nuclear transfer research, first in animal models and then with human cells, using the safest and most effective methods, said Dr. Irving Weissman, head of the stem cell program.

"In spite of this news from South Korea, I remain hopeful about the
promise and potential of stem cell research," Weissman said.

**The Somers article did NOT mention the claim of successful human cloning [SCNT] by the Newcastle group. The Somers article did not mention any issues with patents of Thomson/WARF.

**from Australian Doctor (May 5, 2006):

Some commentators blamed the lay media's tabloidisation of medicine, claiming its unrealistic expectations [in stem cells] set the scene for the debacle. Even US President George W Bush got a guernsey - for creating a seller's market in stem cells with his restrictions on human embryonic stem-cell research.

[IPBiz note: An area that is underreported is "how well" the providers of stem cells which are ALLOWED under the 2001 Bush rules have been doing. Also, "60 Minutes" back on February 28, 2006 neglected to tell you that the Irvine mouse received allowed cells. ]

**Meanwhile, in China [Asia Intelligence Wire, April 29]

Si published his accusations on the website New Threads, which is
known for its attack of academic misconduct. Wei was unavailable for comment, but
at a news conference held last week in Chengdu, Wei refuted Si's
accusation, saying the claim was originated from personal enmity. He did not respond to Si's request to publish raw experiment data. On April 15, Sichuan University
announced that "in a proper time," it will invite scientists in the
field and host a hearing where Si and Wei can counter each other. Wei's
accusation is not an isolated case. It is, however, one of the most high-profile
incidents. "Among many accusations we have made against paper fabrication, the involved person in this case has the highest academic position," said Fang Zhouzi, a
US-trained biologist who operates New Threads. "We hope our efforts would result
in an institutionalized system to curb academic misconducts in China." More
misconduct cases Wei is not the first to be of the target of New Thread's
academic misconduct outcry. Last December, New Threads accused Qiu Xiaoqing, a
professor of biomedicine at Sichuan University, of publishing fraudulent research
in the November 2003 issue of Nature Biotechnology. Chengdu-based company NTC
Holding, which invested in the technology Qiu's paper described, claimed on New
Threads website that the scientist's original results could not be repeated.
Sichuan University agreed to investigate the claims and declared on April 14
that Qiu's paper could be proved by repeated experiments. NTC Holding refused to
accept the explanation, requiring the university to publicize the raw
experiment data and appealing a third-party committee to redo the testing. A month
prior, Fang declared that Liu Dengyi, vice-president of Hefei-based Anhui Normal
University, had falsely claimed co-authorship of his 2001 paper in the
American Journal of Botany and of three papers in the journal Ecology in his
online resume. China Daily tried to call Liu's office, but the man answered
the call refused to give a comment.


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