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
Jan 30, 2015
Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch gathers her papers during a break in her testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination. (AP)

Obama abroad. Hostage drama. Attorney general hearings. Snow days. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Jan 30, 2015
In the new film "American Sniper," Bradley Cooper plays real-life US Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who was the deadliest marksman in American history. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

“American Sniper.” Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper’s war film keeps crushing at the box office and stirring more controversy. We’ll go to it.

RECENT
SHOWS
Jan 30, 2015
In the new film "American Sniper," Bradley Cooper plays real-life US Navy Seal Chris Kyle, who was the deadliest marksman in American history. (Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures)

“American Sniper.” Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper’s war film keeps crushing at the box office and stirring more controversy. We’ll go to it.

 
Jan 30, 2015
Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch gathers her papers during a break in her testimony on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015, before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on her nomination. (AP)

Obama abroad. Hostage drama. Attorney general hearings. Snow days. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: January 30, 2015
Friday, Jan 30, 2015

Emails, on-air interactions and the dystopic legend of Shia LaBeouf. (We aren’t kidding about that last one, we swear).

More »
1 Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: January 23, 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

New thoughts on Facebook, new analysis of State of the Union twitter activity and new weekend excitement. New! And exciting!

More »
Comment
 
Meet On Point’s Interns: Spring 2015
Friday, Jan 23, 2015

Good news! We have interns, and they are wonderful, and here they are for the spring term. Meet them digitally, right here.

More »
3 Comments