Non è stata una buona settimana per la scienza italiana e non si può non concordare con Nature che non abbiamo fatto abbastanza per meritarci maggior rispetto dall’estero. Tacere le critiche non è né giusto né utile. Meglio guardare cosa si pensa di noi dall’estero e cercare di affrontare con serietà tutte queste vicende.
L’Italia non è un Paese per gli scienziati
La vicenda delle immagini di elettroforesi manipolate che coinvolge il dott. Alfredo Fusco
The regional administrative court of Lazio, Italy, today ruled unlawful the scientific committee that had advised the health minister not to proceed with a planned €3 million clinical trial of a controversial stem-cell therapy.
That gives the Brescia-based Stamina Foundation, headed by Davide Vannoni, a second chance to push for the government-sponsored trial which the committee had declared as lacking a scientific basis and potentially dangerous.
In its written judgement, a ruling on an appeal filed by Vannoni, the court said the committee was not appropriately objective because its members had previously publically expressed negative opinions against the validity of the method. It said committee members should have been recruited from experts, possibly foreign, who have not already commented on the case.
Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin was quoted in the daily La Stampa as saying that she would immediately select a new committee of experts in line with the court’s ruling.
But Amedeo Santosuosso, a judge himself and a member of the discredited committee, criticised the judgement, which he describes as suitable only for a political committee, where representation of different views is necessary. “A technical committee requires technical experts, and those who are identified as experts will have published in the area. The court’s ruling undermines the function of a technical committee.”
Vannoni has been lobbying hard for permission to use his therapy, which involves extracting bone marrow stem cells from patients with a wide range of incurable diseases and injecting them back into the blood or spine of the same patients. On 25 November he held a protest in front of the Chamber of Deputies with patients who threw blood at pictures of Italy’s prime minister and the president. In July, a Nature investigation found that his patent applications on his protocol were based on manipulated data.