Baboon Marrow Transplant

I am compelled to respond to the recent commentary by Michal Jasienski entitled "Wishful Thinking And The Fallacy Of Single-Subject Experimentation" (The Scientist, March 4, 1996, page 10). The commentary presents a viewpoint regarding the appropriateness of the attempt to use baboon bone marrow for AIDS treatment involving a single patient (S. Benowitz, The Scientist, March 4, 1996, page 3). Contained in the commentary are misinformed statements regarding single-subject experimentation. The m

Janine Janosky
May 26, 1996

I am compelled to respond to the recent commentary by Michal Jasienski entitled "Wishful Thinking And The Fallacy Of Single-Subject Experimentation" (The Scientist, March 4, 1996, page 10).

The commentary presents a viewpoint regarding the appropriateness of the attempt to use baboon bone marrow for AIDS treatment involving a single patient (S. Benowitz, The Scientist, March 4, 1996, page 3). Contained in the commentary are misinformed statements regarding single-subject experimentation. The most erroneous statements are as follows: "Single-subject studies, such as a widely publicized attempt to use baboon bone marrow for AIDS treatment involving a single patient, named Jeff Getty, represent a seriously flawed scientific methodology. Consequently, the results of all single-subject studies are bound to be erroneous" and "Experimentation on single subjects (and self-experimentation in particular) violates basic assumptions of scientific inquiry and must be abandoned. It precludes statistical analysis and lets the dark forces...