World-first transplant to treat macular degeneration could augur rise of iPS cell banks

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In 2001, President George W. Bush issued an executive order banning federal funding for new sources of stem cells developed from preimplantation human embryos. The action stalled research and discouraged scientists. Five years later, a Kyoto University scientist, Shinya Yamanaka, and his graduate student, Kazutoshi Takahashi, re-energized the field by devising a technique to “reprogram” any adult cell

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Cells were matured in a lab dish, edging toward a process that may one day work in humans

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But will they work in humans? Scientists have discovered three existing drugs — used for cancer, hepatitis C and for parasitic infections — that they say appear promising against the Zika virus. The experiments were conducted only in lab-grown human cells in petri dishes, but the results were dramatic

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A high-profile congressional campaign against the use of fetal tissue in medical research is hitting a tough-to-ignore obstacle in the shape of the Zika virus, now blamed for thousands of birth defects in South America

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Although the kidneys cannot perform the functions of a fully formed adult kidney, the researchers hope the achievement will someday lead to new ways to treat people suffering from kidney failure

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Where are they now? The stem-cell debate got really heated. But then … it just sort of fizzled out from public view. So whatever happened to stem cells? (w quote from our Alan Regenberg)

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Our intern Saad Anjum on the confluence of pressures faced by stem cell scientists

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