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More on Regenerative Medicine, as to Fingers and Other Things:

The Speculist has more, arguing that there's a lot of there there.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. More on Regenerative Medicine, as to Fingers and Other Things:
  2. Boy, I Sure Hope This Pans Out:
lonetown (mail):
Reminds me of cold fusion in the sense that its science by press release.

There is probably not much there if the principles are using publicity to drive the project.

How did that cold fusion work out?
5.6.2008 5:30pm
Phil Bowermaster (mail) (www):
Well, even if that plastic surgeon in the UK was a little glib in his assessment that this is junk science, here at last we have an ironclad analysis. This can't be real -- they issued a press release.
5.6.2008 5:49pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
And what does "The Speculist" have to offer in refutation of Simon Kay? Exactly three things. One, the article is quoted as referring to Kay as a ""leading plastic surgeon""; since that is in quotes, the implication is that he is not. Two, the U.S. Army is spending a lot of money to fund the research in question. Three, it is claimed that all of Kay's information came from a short online video; this may or may not be true, but "The Speculist" does not give any additional source of documentation.

There is no refutation at all of Kay's content. In fact, the original video is very unconvincing: we do not see the finger from the nail side until it is already healed, so it is not clear how much of the finger was really missing.
5.6.2008 7:34pm
Crane (mail):
LTEC - According to the original video, just the tip of the finger was cut off, with no bone loss. I think that works out to about an eighth of an inch, max. Possibly less.
5.6.2008 9:12pm
Phil Bowermaster (mail) (www):
LTEC --

There is no refutation at all of Kay's content.

This is truer than you apparently realize. Kay doesn't have any content, just a few glib statements. There was nothing to "refute," nor did I attempt to do so -- I merely pointed out that his facile dismissal of a wide body of research is no more authoritative than the original claim, impressive credentials notwithstanding.

There is serious research going on in in this area at both Wake Forest University and the University of Pittsburgh, with substantial publication of results. Spievack's story is an anecdote which has made the popular press. It's not scientific evidence of anything. Kay is not wrong to point that out, but to leap to an accusation of "junk science" strikes me as unfair to the people doing the research.
5.6.2008 9:40pm
LTEC (mail) (www):
Phil Bowermaster --

The content is as follows:

"But Kay, consultant plastic and hand surgeon at St James' University Hospital, Leeds, said Spievack's injury did not look to have been serious from studying before and after photos. ... It looked to have been an ordinary fingertip injury with quite unremarkable healing. ... Kay said there was "no evidence" that ACell had manipulated the regenerative capabilities of the human body."

Regarding the appropriateness of his "facile dismissal" of certain things, it seems to me that all he is saying is that the specific claims in the finger case are "junk science"; he is not saying (in this article anyway) that there is anything wrong with research in this direction. (And by the way, your facile dismissal of his credentials (which you now admit) doesn't help your case.)

What I'd really like your opinion on is what you think about the extent of damage to the finger in question.
5.6.2008 10:53pm
Phil Bowermaster (mail) (www):
And by the way, your facile dismissal of his credentials (which you now admit) doesn't help your case.

Pointing out that credentials don't bestow immediate and unshakable authority isn't the same as dismissing them.

What I'd really like your opinion on is what you think about the extent of damage to the finger in question.

I have no basis for coming to any kind of conclusion on that. Certainly not based on the photos shown in the BBC clip.
5.7.2008 12:28am