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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.

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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 lady: Let’s work together to reverse childhood obesity
December 29th, 2010
09:06 AM ET

First lady: Let’s work together to reverse childhood obesity

Editor’s note: This week, The Chart is taking a closer look at the most important health stories of 2010. One was the growing problem of childhood obesity – something that first lady Michelle Obama is trying to fight with her “Let’s Move!” initiative.

By Michelle Obama
Special to CNN

Since my husband first took office, one of my primary missions - one that I care deeply about as both a first lady and a mom - has been to confront the challenge of childhood obesity so that all our children can lead healthy lives right from the beginning.

Today, one in three American children is either overweight or obese. Doctors are now starting to see conditions like hypertension and type 2 diabetes in children that they used to only see in adults –- conditions that cost our country billions of dollars a year to treat. And today, too many of our children are actually on track to lead shorter lives than their parents.

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2010 Year in Review: 'Let's Move!'
December 29th, 2010
09:05 AM ET

2010 Year in Review: 'Let's Move!'

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.

Simply called “Let’s Move!” the national initiative headed by first lady Michelle Obama is aimed at fighting childhood obesity.

The number of overweight children in the U.S. has tripled since 1970.  Seventeen percent of kids are now obese, increasing the rate of medical problems such as childhood diabetes and high blood pressure. Health experts warn that this could be the first generation that might not outlive its parents.

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2010 Year in Review: Haiti
December 29th, 2010
09:04 AM ET

2010 Year in Review: Haiti

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.

In just 30 seconds this year, an earthquake devastated the impoverished nation of Haiti.

The damage from January’s quake was widespread. One-third of the population was affected. The 7.0-magnitude quake took 230,000 lives, injured more than 300,000 and left 1.3 million homeless.

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2010 Year in Review: Blasts from the past
December 28th, 2010
12:24 PM ET

2010 Year in Review: Blasts from the past

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.

We’re closing out the first decade of the 21st century, but our technology still can’t combat some health issues that seem antiquated.

Bedbugs are among the most annoying characters of 2010 that crawled in the news and wouldn’t go away. A National Pest Management Association report declared bedbugs a rising problem in July, with calls about them going up 81 percent since 2000. FULL POST


2010 Year in Review: Concussions
December 28th, 2010
12:24 PM ET

2010 Year in Review: Concussions

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.

For an injury that is practically invisible, concussions got a lot of attention in 2010.

Some of it was disarming: Two young football players died, and the numbing suggestion is that concussions are to blame. There was even a link - tenuous, yet tantalizing - forged between Lou Gehrig's disease and concussion. Those dark stories catalyzed the scientific community as study into concussion expanded. FULL POST


2010 Year in Review: 'Obamacare'
December 28th, 2010
11:47 AM ET

2010 Year in Review: 'Obamacare'

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.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Who could be against something with a name like that?

At times in 2010, it seemed the answer was “everyone.”

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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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