university shows academic weaknesses

Achim Recktenwald, PhD achim at ibex.ca
Mon Mar 10 09:17:14 EST 1997


Alexander Berezin wrote:
> 
> On 1 Mar 1997, William Bains wrote:
> 
> < prev. snipped >
> >
> > It depends why Prof. Silver was wrong, and why the Scottish group
> > succeeded. If Prof Silver had based his whole book on a premise that was
> > not only wrong but also provably silly, then perhaps he or she is not the
> > right person to supervise graduate students, have research grants etc. If
> > he or she just said "it seems very unlikely that cloning technology will
> > extend to cloning adult animals", then, hey, it -was- very unlikely. It
> > proved very difficult.
> >
> > I do not understand why Dr. Berezin says that this is like cold fusion.
> > The cold fusion story was embraced with the same skepticism as the idea of
> > cloning aduly mammals. "I won't believe it until you do it" was the
> > general response. And the two researchers, and half a dozen other groups
> > around the world, could not do it. They simply could not get the original
> > experiments to work again. So the scientific community said "I don't
> > believe it." The difference with Dolyl the Cloned Sheep is that she is
> > walking around, being very believable.
> 
> There are similarities and  differences between both
> stories, the main (difference) is that unless the
> Cloned story collapses in withing a year, Walmut (sp ?)
> is travelling to Stockholm this October, while
> Poons and Fleishmannn missed a trip by just a few months.
> 
> It is difficult (perhaps impossible) to predict how
> the Sheep story develope. Stocks may go up or may reverse.
> Cases of the latter do exist. If you don't like cold
> fusion analogy, take High-TC (High Temperature
> Suerconductivity). Almost all enthusiasm of 1986 is
> by now gone and on a net count we don't have too
> much. Good luck to Dr. Walmuth, best health to Dolyl !
> 
> Alex Berezin



There is still the problem of reproducibility: The success rate, so far,
is 1 in 271 trials. Dolly could be an 'accidental success' in the sense
that the research group does not have full control over the procedure,
yet, does not know all the factors necessary to reproduce the experiment
successfully. 


Achim



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