Science & Technology

The FDA Owns Your Stem Cells

Writes Scientist Keith Lockitch on FDA Versus Stem Cell Therapies:

Who owns your cells? The FDA seems to think it does, given its lawsuit against Regenerative Sciences, a company that treats orthopedic injuries by extracting, culturing and reinjecting adult stem cells derived from a patient’s bone marrow.

The case is precedent-setting in that FDA is claiming authority to regulate a patient’s own cells as though they were chemical drugs. As one researcher describes it:

If you start to look at this product as being the patient’s own stem cell, how can the FDA claim Regenerative is manufacturing [cells] – they’re culturing them. . . . They seem to have lost perspective on using autologous stem cells. There’s just no way you could apply manufacturing standards. . . . The FDA does not come into a cardiology practice and tell doctors how to do their surgeries or how to do heart replacements. And yet they feel they can come into a stem cell clinic.

The problem with FDA “coming into a stem cell clinic” is that this could have a significantly chilling effect on this whole field of medical research. Under the burden of FDA’s regulatory intervention, the costs of developing adult stem cell treatments would explode and treatments that might have otherwise been profitable might never even make it to market—as has happened with drug development in the U.S. And while stem cell therapies are under FDA review, patients will be denied government permission to use treatments derived from their own cells. [FDA Versus Stem Cell Therapies]

Read the full post at VOICES for REASON.

Physics Today: Logic Leap Reviewed

“The Logical Leap” — a Review:

That scientists should employ the inductive method is not the main theme of The Logical Leap; rather, the book makes the stronger claim and demonstrates that scientists must use this method in order to make progress. And many scientists are indeed making progress, even now, particularly in the applied fields. But what happens when the inductive method is misapplied, or worse, abandoned? String theory is a case in point: Some physicists accept it because it is “beautiful”, not because it was induced from observational evidence. That sort of evidence has caused many fundamental theories of contemporary physics to stagnate for more than a generation. Indeed, Harriman quotes the late Harvard University chemist E. Bright Wilson, who said, “It is very unsatisfactory that no generally acceptable theory of scientific inference has yet been put forward. Mistakes are often made which would presumably not have been made if a consistent and satisfactory basic philosophy had been followed.”

Defining the Climate Debate

Another great one by Warren Meyer:

Alarmists like to call climate skeptics “deniers,” usually in an attempt to equate climate skeptics with holocaust deniers. But skeptics do not deny that temperatures have warmed over the last century, or even that man (through CO2 as well as land use and other factors) has played some part in that warming. What skeptics deny, though, is the catastrophe. And even more, what skeptics deny is the need to drastically reduce fossil fuel use – a step that will likely be an expensive exercise in the developed west but an unmitigated disaster for the poor of Asia and Africa. These developing nations, who are just recently emerging from millennia of poverty, need to burn every hydrocarbon they can find to develop their economies. [Denying the Catastrophe: The Science of the Climate Skeptic’s Position – Forbes]

Climate Dissenter Receives Death Threats

“Western governments have pumped billions of dollars into careers and institutes and they feel threatened,” said the professor.

“I can tolerate being called a sceptic because all scientists should be sceptics, but then they started calling us deniers, with all the connotations of the Holocaust. That is an obscenity. It has got really nasty and personal.”

“Richard Lindzen, the professor of Atmospheric Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology – who also appeared on the documentary – recently claimed: “Scientists who dissent from the alarmism have seen their funds disappear, their work derided, and themselves labelled as industry stooges.” [Link]

Sun Causes Global Warming…on Mars

This is amazing.

Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/02/070228-mars-warming.html

Don’t Blame Sun for Global Warming, Study Says
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/09/060913-sunspots.html

Above are links to two articles in National Geographic. One is about a “controversial” scientist (Ellen Goodman would call him a “Global Warming Denier”) who cites evidence from Mars that would seem to show that Mars is heating up at the same time Earth is heating and that therefore the cause of heating is most likely solar irradiance and not man-made causes.

The other article quotes scientists who found that common sun spot activity is not enough to account for climate changes. However, in that same article (which is linked in the “controversial” article as reason for skepticism) it is noted that:

“There are numerous studies that find a correlation [between solar variation and Earth climate],” said Sami Solanki of the Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Lindau, Germany.

“These authors have looked at the simplest mechanism, and they find that this mechanism does not produce the same level of change that has been observed,” he continued.

“This could be suggesting that there are other mechanisms acting for the way that the sun influences climate.”
Solar ultraviolet (UV) rays are one possibility, though that theory creates its own challenges.

“UV is only a small fraction of total solar output, so you’d need a strong amplification mechanism in the Earth’s atmosphere,” study co-author Spruit said.

Magnetized plasma flares known as solar wind could also impact Earth’s climate. Solar wind influences galactic rays and may in turn affect atmospheric phenomena on Earth, such as cloud cover.

Such complex interactions are poorly understood but could be crucial to unlocking Earth’s climatic puzzle.

“I think the main question,” the Max Planck Institute’s Solanki said, “is, How does the sun [in general] act on climate? What are the processes that are going on in the Earth’s atmosphere?”

Ok, so let me get this straight. One would think that the SUN might have something to do with climate on Earth, right? And, scientists have found a high correlation between “solar variation and Earth climate”, right? And, there is great debate between scientists who don’t understand the cause of this correlation and admit that “such complex interactions are poorly understood but could be crucial to unlocking Earth’s climatic puzzle”, right? Yet, didn’t they just release a study telling us that it almost beyond reasonable doubt that humans are causing global warming?

I submit that if climate scientists are still at the point of saying things like “I think the main question is, how does the sun [in general] act on climate? What are the processes that are going on in the Earth’s atmosphere?” then perhaps we should have some skepticism as to the validity of their computer models which extrapolate their current understanding and attempt to predict the weather over the next 100 years!!!!!

I will put my prediction of what will happen to humans if we wreck the global economy against predictions based on these climate models anyday.