The progress of science is paved with stories of high hopes and heartbreaks. But in a busy lab at the University of Rochester the two extremes have met in one dazzling yet devastating experiment.
Researchers there have for the first time essentially cured rats of a Parkinson’s-like disease using human embryonic stem cells. But 10 weeks into the trial, they discovered brain tumours had begun to grow in every animal treated.
“Here we have this method that works so well to reverse the symptoms of Parkinson’s,” said lead investigator Steven Goldman, “But no matter how you look at it, it’s an expanding mass and that’s bad news.”
None of the cells growing out of control were cancerous tumours. But as Dr. Goldman pointed out, “In the brain, nothing’s benign.” read the rest of this story
- Jennifer Lahl, MA, BSN, RN, is founder and president of The Center for Bioethics and Culture Network. Lahl couples her 25 years of experience as a pediatric critical care nurse, a hospital administrator, and a senior-level nursing manager with a deep passion to speak for those who have no voice. Lahl’s writings have appeared in various publications including Cambridge University Press, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Dallas Morning News, and the American Journal of Bioethics. As a field expert, she is routinely interviewed on radio and television including ABC, CBS, PBS, and NPR. She is also called upon to speak alongside lawmakers and members of the scientific community, even being invited to speak to members of the European Parliament in Brussels to address issues of egg trafficking; she has three times addressed the United Nations during the Commission on the Status of Women on egg and womb trafficking.
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