Stories about: Stem cell

This week on Thrive: March 8 – 12

Here’s a quick look at what Thrive was up to last week:

Sleep deprivation affects how we interpret emotional cues. The FDA is tired of misleading food labels. Second hand smoke has deadly consequences. Children’s launches a new stem cell website. One mother tells her story of finding out her daughter has celiac disease. Do you know what disease sounds like? Children’s Facebook fan page reaches 100,000 fans. Ray Tye, a noted children’s philanthropist, dies. Michael Agus, MD, reports back from Haititwice. Should you take your kids to see Alice in Wonderland?

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Children's launches new stem cell Web site

stemcellBy Jonathan Kraft, president of The Kraft Group and New England Patriots

As a long-time supporter of stem cell research, I’m proud to announce the launch of a new Children’s Hospital Boston Web site that we hope will demystify the science of stem cells and answer some of the public’s questions about them. For the past three and a half years, my wife, Patti, and I have served as co-chairs of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Stem Cell Task Force because we believe that stem cells hold incredible promise for the future of health care. During this time I’ve gotten to know Len Zon and George Daley, the two physician-scientists who head up the hospital’s Stem Cell Research Program, and I believe that the work they are doing will revolutionize health care.

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A decade of stem cell research, what do we know?

CHB-1Leonard Zon, MD, the director of Stem Cell Research Program at Children’s Hospital Boston, is interviewed in this NPR story that recaps a decade of stem cell research.

So where does the science of embryonic stem cells stand after a decade of political wrangling? A lot of exciting basic research is being done with embryonic stem cells, says Len Zon, a stem cell researcher at Children’s Hospital in Boston. But using stem cells for therapy?

“I think that’s still a ways off,” Zon says. “Although there are some studies that the FDA is considering, I think we still have to figure out how to make these cells in a more efficient and effective way, and I think that’s going to take awhile. You have to remember that the stem cell field is only 10 years old at the moment.”

Zon points out that it’s frequently two decades or more before new medical technologies find their way into patients.

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A great day for stem cell research

Stem cell researcher Willy Lensch
Stem cell researcher Willy Lensch

By M. William Lensch, PhD, from the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston

At just a little after 12:30 p.m. EST today we reached the end of a very long road. That was when the NIH announced that the first human embryonic stem cell lines (hESC) had been approved for federal funding eligibility under the rules put forth in President Obama’s executive order from earlier this year. A small group of us here in George Daley’s lab were listening in to the NIH press conference over the speaker phone. I couldn’t help but clap my hands and cheer! A lot of us have worked toward this moment for a long time.

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