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← Scientists Create Blood From Stem Cells

kkelly's Avatar Jump to comment 9 by kkelly

Here's a recent Discover Magazine interview with Robert Lanza.
http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/19-fighting-for-the-right-to-clone

This seems like lifesaving technology on an unprecedented scale, yet the work has been stymied by politics. It must be frustrating to have these cells sitting around the lab, in storage, when you could be helping people.
Four years ago I was driving to work, going up a hill on a quiet little road with a speed limit of 15 miles an hour. I was in a rush and whirled into the parking lot, and there's this police cruiser next to me. I almost hit it. "Oh, jeez, now I'm screwed," I thought. I went into my office, started working, and a few minutes later a scientist from the next office over comes in and says, "Bob, there's a police officer out there who wants to see you. He has handcuffs and a gun." The whole lab is thinking he's there to arrest me. He says, "Dr. Lanza, could I speak to you in your office?" so I brought him in. It turns out that I had just published a paper showing that we could create human retinal pigment epithelial cells capable of restoring visual function in animals. The officer had a 16-year-old son who would go totally blind in two years without the therapy. By the time he finished his story, I was almost in tears because we had these cells and they had been frozen at that point for nine months.

Wed, 20 Aug 2008 16:24:00 UTC | #221480