Sunday, September 17, 2006

Californiastemcellreport on ACT

Further to californiastemcellreport coverage on the ACT work, the report presents discussion by Center for Genetics and Society:

"Given this climate of exaggerated expectations, it shouldn't be that surprising that desperate companies and delusional researchers regularly come along, and take advantage of the public's hopes and misperceptions in order to boost their stock prices or careers."

"In this case, the weak link was the media, on whom the public relies for accurate and critical reporting. Instead of reading the scientific paper closely—which would have revealed that the embryos were destroyed—most reporters took the press releases issued by ACT and Nature at face value. Given ACT's sketchy history of swindling, seasoned journalists should have known better."

The title of the Center's article was Fake it Til You Make it. The article also included text: NBC's chief science reporter, Robert Bazell, noted that "In the world of biotechnology, hype and hyperbole are the norms…. So headlines, even if the claims prove groundless, can push up the stock price long enough—or nudge deals forward—to keep the company on life support…. But even in this smelly landscape Advanced Cell Technology stands out."

The stemcellreport keeps emphasizing the "ACT in Alameda" angle [eg, As for the physical location of the center and ACT, CGS is in Oakland which is linked by an underwater tunnel and draw bridges to the island (Alameda) in San Francisco Bay that houses ACT.] although ACT originated in Massachusetts and the work discussed in Nature and in the disputed press releases all comes from Massachusetts. ACT set up shop in California to benefit from the largesse of Proposition 71.


Blogger David Jensen said...

Yup. We do point out that ACT's headquarters is in Alameda. They moved some time ago in search of largesse in the Golden State. There was considerable ballyhoo at the time -- all part of the stem cell gold rush, as it is known. I confess to a certain eccentricity re the location, since it is not widely known that Alameda is an island.

12:12 PM  

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