Stem cells, cowboys, and aliens: guest post

The guest post below was contributed by a stem cell advocacy elf.

As the whack-a-mole world of dubious stem cell clinics and their treatment claims evolve, a not so new low (or high depending on how you look at it) has been reached.

A sparkly website courtesy of the folks that brought us the non-existent clone “Baby Eve” back in 2002.

Click here to read more on how the “death” of Eve ultimately gave birth to the Genetic Policy Institute (GPI), providing a voice for legitimate science on the issue of cloning.

Some background:

Stemaid is an off shoot of Clonaid, that pride themselves on privacy, and timed press releases regarding a celebrity’s death, eluding that said celebrity is one of their clients.  As Dr. Brigitte Boisselier states:

“Clonaid prides itself on never releasing the identity of the numerous individuals who have been cloned in the past six years,” …… “Even if that policy has been at the cost of my reputation, it’s important for us that the celebrities and other interested parties contacting us know they won’t be betrayed.”

Um… What?

I have folks send me all manner of things on snake oil clinics.  I am rarely surprised at what lengths these hucksters will go to, but if there was an Oscar for Tin Foil Hats, the award would go to Stemaid. Then again, should anyone be surprised the Raelian Movement would want to get in on the snake oil game?

Some would wonder why even shed light on this, given the obvious absurdity.  Please, allow me to explain.  For the average patient (or parent of) navigating through medical issues and scanning the internet for hope or options, they are overwhelmed with dozens if not hundreds of snake oil sites put out there by cowboys (and aliens).

When they see the same lies and misinformation over and over again it is misinterpreted as some kind of legitimate consensus, and the cowboys know it.  What might be perfectly obvious for most of the readers of this Blog is not as clear cut for the rest of society.  At the end of the day, it’s the cowboys that present the greatest level of harm to legitimate science and patients.