It’s not cold fusion you know!

by webmaster on July 8, 2009

Today has been a busy day on the science news front, starting off last night with the usual Breaking News on Sky… it made a change from breaking news such they’ve had for most of last week… Michael Jackson still dead…. Man combs hair…. Earth still spinning… etc etc you get the point.

Anyway last night they had something to really shout about, and not just Sky News either. Newstalk Radio in Ireland this morning warned that the new discovery spelled the end for men as we know them, we would be redundant, no longer needed. No it’s not the story that women are now putting up their own shelves or putting their own Ikea furniture together, rather it was the story that scientists had created sperm from stem cells, and not just from any old type of stem cells either, from embryonic stem cells – well they were UK scientists after all. But I digress: future blog posts and my upcoming first science podcast will discuss that at length with a real expert!

Let’s just keep to the facts [pun intended]. The stories on Sky and the BBC and in the Irish Times also all reported on new research published today (8th July ’09) in the journal Stem Cells and Development. I’ll allow you to read the articles yourselves, because I’m not really blogging about the actual science. The story was also covered in Nature Online
The difference though is that the very first thing you see when you click on the link to Nature is ‘but research is only preliminary, researchers caution’ a phrase noticeably missing from the other reports. The other reports overhype the story as usual, news editors (TV and print) searching for a headline see only what they want to see and go for it on the first uncorroborated paper, even if it comes from a peer reviewed journal, and what’s the point of that? I mean, it’s not cold fusion you know…
Oh, and that reminds me… the Daily Mail reported today on the scientists that have found what they thoughtfully call the ‘elixir of youth’ – this report didn’t even mention the peer reviewed journal… maybe there wasn’t one!

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