Friday, June 27, 2008

Holy Over-pitched Claims, Batman!

A new company in California is trying to become the first to gain federal approval to test an embryonic stem cell treatment in humans.

And the chairman of their scientific advisory board, Hans Keirstead, is making some rather, um, bold claims:

Stem cells have the potential to treat every single human disease, but there's a lot that's over-pitched out there.

Oh, the irony!

Reading this, I couldn't help but recall this exchange from this episode of The Simpsons:

At the Mayo Clinic, Burns receives the results of his tests.

Burns: Well, doc, I think I did pretty well on my tests. You may
shake my hand if you like.

Doctor: Well, under the circumstances, I'd rather not.

Burns: Eh?

Doctor: Mr. Burns, I'm afraid you are the sickest man in the
United States. You have everything.

Burns: You mean I have pneumonia?

Doctor: Yes.

Burns: Juvenile diabetes?

Doctor: Yes.

Burns: Hysterical pregnancy?

Doctor: Uh, a little bit, yes. You also have several diseases
that have just been discovered -- in you.

Burns: I see. You sure you haven't just made thousands of

Doctor: Uh, no, no, I'm afraid not.

Burns: This sounds like bad news.

Doctor: Well, you'd think so, but all of your diseases are in
perfect balance. Uh, if you have a moment, I can explain.

Burns: Well ... [looks at his watch]
[the Doctor puts a tiny model house door on his desk]

Doctor: Here's the door to your body, see? [bring up some small
fuzz balls with goofy faces and limbs from under the desk]
And these are oversized novelty germs. [points to a
different one up as he names each disease] That's
influenza, that's bronchitis, [holds up one] and this cute
little cuddle-bug is pancreatic cancer. Here's what
happens when they all try to get through the door at once.
[tries to cram a bunch through the model door. The
"germs" get stuck]
[Stooge-like] Woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo-woo! Move it,
[normal voice] We call it, "Three Stooges Syndrome."

Burns: So what you're saying is, I'm indestructible!

Doctor: Oh, no, no, in fact, even slight breeze could --

Burns: Indestructible.

(This site has the video of said episode, but I can't get it to play.)

For the record, it's also worth reminding ourselves which types of stem cells have yielded the bests results treating disease heretofore:

[HT: JivinJ]

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