Breakthrough

First Human Treated With Stem Cells

Stem-cell therapy has now become a reality. Doctors on Friday injected embryonic human stem cells into a human patient who had been partially paralyzed by a spinal-cord injury. The patient was treated at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, one of seven sites participating in a stem-cell research study aimed at determining the safety of this procedure. Scientists cheered the milestone, which marks the first time a human has been treated with stem cells. Although some countries claim to be able to do the procedure, it is only known to be done on animals. But not all are excited: Those with moral objections to stem cells taken from human embryos have already come out against the trial, and some have accused of Geron Corp., which funded the study, of only trying to inflate its share price. Even if this study is successful, the future of embryonic stem-cell research remains very much in doubt after a federal judge in August banned more funding for any more studies.