Stanford University

Under the direction of Dr. Gary Steinberg, an advance long considered impossible is moving forward today: Stanford announced yesterday that it will participate in Geron's human clinical safety trials for a novel treatment for spinal cord injury. These are safety trials to be sure and not efficacy trials, more tests will need to be run, but this is already farther along than ever before.

A good report about bone marrow transplantation in progress comes from the National Hockey League, of all places. Mandi Schwartz, a Yale women's hockey player, was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and is being treated at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance.

In the name of full disclosure, that's the center that cured my mother's lymphoma, so let's just say I'm a fan.

Two interesting reports today discuss the relationship between basic research and the kind of translational research that is the most visible sign of progress toward cures.

In his blog, the director of the bay area biotech collaborative QB3 Regis Kelly writes about public speakers at the Translational Medicine Alliance speaking out against basic research. He says:

On Monday the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine went to Robert Edwards for his efforts to make in vitro fertilization a reality. The Nobel Prize-winning discovery not only allowed millions of couples to start families, it opened up the field of stem cell research.

According to the Nobel Prize press release:

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