90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
What's Next for Stem Cells
In this photo made available by Advanced Cell Technology, a single cell is removed from a human embryo to be used in generating embryonic stem cells for scientific research.(AP)

In this photo made available by Advanced Cell Technology, a single cell is removed from a human embryo to be used in generating embryonic stem cells for scientific research. A Massachusetts biotechnology company has developed a new way of creating stem cells without destroying human embryos. (AP)

On August 9, 2001, President George W. Bush hit the brakes on embryonic stem cell research. Not a complete halt, but a big slowdown on research into the wonder cells that can turn into any other kind of cell in the human body.

Potential cures for cancer, diabetes, heart disease, MS, Parkinson’s, and more, all seemed further away. But the work didn’t stop. Scientists in other countries jumped in, in a big way. American researchers found new ways forward.

Now Bush is gone, Obama’s in, and hopes and expectations are rising again. Stem cell research has come in from the cold, once more promising medical miracles. Last month, the FDA approved the first trials of embryonic stem cell therapy for human patients — paralyzed patients with spinal cord injuries.

All this as new methods of creating new cells from adult tissue may bypass debates over human embryos entirely.

This hour, On Point: The leading edge of stem cell research — now.

You can join the conversation. Are you hoping that stem cell therapies may one day save you or someone in your family? Are you ready to let the research roll?

Guests:

David Scadden, professor of medicine at Harvard University, where he’s co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Regenerative Medicine.

John Gearhart, director of the Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1998, he led one of two teams — along with James Thomson’s at the University of Wisconsin — that first isolated and identified human embryonic stem cells.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Oct 20, 2014
A statue of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt on New York City's Roosevelt Island. (Flickr / Alexisrael)

Greatness and the American Presidency. Aaron David Miller says aim for good. Really good.

Oct 20, 2014
In this Oct. 2, 2014 photo, patrons line up for “Nightmare: New York,” a haunted house attraction in New York. (AP)

Afraid of snakes? Heights? Ebola? We’ll unpack the science of fear.

RECENT
SHOWS
Oct 17, 2014
Jazz violinist Regina Carter. (Courtesy of the Artist)

Regina Carter turns her jazz violin down home with her new album “Southern Comfort.”

 
Oct 17, 2014
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) Ky., center, and Democratic opponent, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, rehearsed with host Bill Goodman before their appearance on "Kentucky Tonight" television broadcast live from KET studios in Lexington, Ky.,Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP)

The CDC in the hot seat on Ebola. Markets reeling. Mid-term fireworks. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Introducing The Explicast: A New Podcast From On Point Radio
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Confused about the news? Don’t worry: so are we sometimes! Introducing a new On Point Radio podcast: The Explicast. You can find Episode One right here.

More »
Comment
 
Two LIVE Tracks From Jazz Violinist Regina Carter
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

Regina Carter shares two live tracks — one arrangement, and one original composition — with Tom Ashbrook in the On Point studio.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: October 17, 2014
Friday, Oct 17, 2014

We talk Facebook mishaps, whether Katy Perry was actually right and the glory of architectural giants and their iconic windows.

More »
Comment