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Success and setbacks in embryonic stem cell research

Stem cells show promise in treating Parkinson’s. Stem cells could one day be used to treat Parkinson’s disease, say researchers at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research. They converted human embryonic stem cells into nerves cells that created dopamine and cured Parkinson’s symptoms when inserted into the brains of mice, rats and monkeys.

The long road to stem-cell treatment for diabetes. When scientists first derived stem cells from human embryos, they flagged diabetes as a potential condition they could be used to treat. Years later, scientists still have a long way to go in using stem cells to trigger the body to make insulin at just the right time. “It’s been incredibly frustrating that we can’t bring this to the clinic more quickly,” said one Boston researcher.

J&J drug’s second approval. Rivaroxaban, Johnson & Johnson’s deep vein thrombosis drug for patients undergoing joint replacements, was approved by the FDA for stroke prevention in patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation. It’s the first oral direct factor Xa inhibitor to be approved for stroke.

What’s up with venture capital in healthcare? Investing in medical devices is down, but that doesn’t mean investors have lost interest in healthcare. Kaiser Health News and The Washington Post suggest funding is instead being funneled into information technology, business services and other health-focused companies.

Once a doctor, not always a doctor. Just like with any other profession, doctors don’t always stay doctors. How do you know if it’s right to leave your practice, and what the heck to do you afterward? Read on transitioning to a nonclinical career.

Entrepreneur bills head to Senate. Two non-partisan bills that could help small business raise money passed the House last week. The Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act would make it easier for businesses to raise money via the Internet and would allow them to to sell unregistered securities less than $2 million. The Small Company Capital Formation Act would raise the threshold at which companies can issue stock without registering with the SEC to $50 million.

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Comments (2)

The people who have been pushing embryonic stem cell research the most, especially federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, are not the researchers, but the people who intend to sell the embryonic stem cells to researchers.
In addition, researchers have had more success with adult stem cells than they have with embryonic stem cells. Adult stem cell research is where private investors have been putting their money, because that is where the action is.

Besides the ethical and moral dilemmas that in order to do research with human embryonic stem cells, the human embryo must be killed, embryonic stem cell research is about two things, patents and money.