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Doctor: We can change the world with human embryonic stem cells
December 30th, 2010
05:17 PM ET

Doctor: We can change the world with human embryonic stem cells

Editor’s note: This week, The Chart is taking a closer look at the most important health stories of 2010. One was stem cell research, a topic with which Dr. John McDonald  is very familiar. McDonald is director of the International Center for Spinal Cord Injury at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore. The longtime stem cell researcher, who was one of Christopher Reeve’s physicians, provides his perspective on the first human clinical trial of embryonic stem cell research.

By Dr. John McDonald
Special to CNN

We are living in an amazing time.

This year marked what just a decade ago many believed would be an impossible feat - the first human has been injected with cells from human embryonic stem cells (hES). hES cells, and embryonic stem cells in general, are one of the greatest scientific tools for discovery of the 21st century.

The clinical trial brings together the best we have to offer in central nervous system research to address the difficult problem of spinal cord injury.

FULL POST


Filed under: 2010 Year in Review • Stem Cells

2010 Year in Review: Stem cell research
December 30th, 2010
05:16 PM ET

2010 Year in Review: Stem cell research

Editor’s note: This week, The Chart is taking a closer look at the most important health stories of 2010. Each day, we'll feature buzzwords and topics that came to the forefront over the past year.

From the start, 2010 was a fascinating year for stem cell research.

Back in January, we learned that the first adult patient in the United States had cells grown from 8-week-old stem cells directly injected into the spinal cord.

A few months later, researchers published a study showing that induced pluripotent stem cells, or IPS cells, could be used to produce baby pigs. Pigs physiologically resemble humans much more than mice, so this could potentially tell us more about human illnesses. It will also allow scientists to grow pigs that can provide dependable body parts, such as heart valves and islet cells, for humans.

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2010 Year in Review: Food safety
December 30th, 2010
03:03 PM ET

2010 Year in Review: Food safety

Editor’s note: This week, The Chart is taking a closer look at the most important health stories of 2010. Each day, we'll feature buzzwords and topics that came to the forefront over the past year.

According to an old adage, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But for egg eaters across the United States, breakfast briefly became potentially deadly. FULL POST


First successful organ transplant donor dies
December 30th, 2010
02:04 PM ET

First successful organ transplant donor dies

Ronald Lee Herrick, the man who made history in 1954 when he donated one of his kidneys to his twin brother, died Monday at the age of 79. It was the world's first successful organ transplant, giving Ronald's brother, Richard, eight more years of life. The medical pioneer died at the Augusta Rehabilitation Center in Maine.

The surgery took place at what is now Brigham and Women's hospital in Boston and lead surgeon Dr. Joseph Murray was awarded the Nobel Prize. At the time,the procedure marked the beginning of a new era in medicine that was so groundbreaking some considered it unethical to take an organ from a human being.

The Herrick brothers helped pave the way for organ donation back in 1954.  Now, 56 years later, organ transplants are much more common. In the first eight months of this year alone, 21,648 people received transplants, according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.

But according to those who knew him, Herrick's legacy was much more about his gifts as a teacher to than about his kidney donation.  The Boston Globe reports Herrick was a math teacher in Northborough and Winthrop, Maine until retiring in 1986.   He later became a math instructor at the University of Maine in Augusta before retiring again in 1997.


5  tips for better sex in 2011
December 30th, 2010
08:00 AM ET

5 tips for better sex in 2011

Heading into 2011, I thought it apt to revisit some of the themes I wrote about in 2010. With CNN reporting that nearly 40 million americans are stuck in sexless marriages, starting the new year off with a “bang” is more important than ever. With that in mind, here are five relationship resolutions to consider for your list:

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Filed under: Ian Kerner Ph.D. - sex counselor • Sex

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About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

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