I’ve posted before about the most unusually frank, thorough and intelligent postings on current health issues by the British National Health Service (NHS) called NHS choices, [SciTechStory: Behind the headlines, a systematic source of science candor]. This time I’m drawing attention to a longer piece made available through the site, called Hope and hype: stem cells in the media, which is as the title suggests a rather more sober look at the promise and delivery of stem cells for medical procedures. It’s a real-world topic in that many people are now routinely traveling to countries such as China and Thailand for stem cell treatments that are proscribed or unavailable in western countries – especially those such as the United States, which have developed a legal phobia around stem cell research. This is an issue rife with hype and misunderstanding, which this 21 page, well written and well illustrated paper (pdf) does much to clarify. It’s not against stem cell medicine, not at all, but at the same time it tries to make clear where the science really stands.
The cover page for downloading is at: NHS choices, Hope and hype: stem cells in the media.