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September 29, 2001

Research: Cure

Question from Hockley, Texas, USA:

I tried to ask about the stem cell procedure for my two year old, but they say she's too young. Still, I just wonder why because this would look like the right time to get little ones involved in this and try to find the cure before it's too late. Can she wait until she's 18 years old?

Answer:

You are jumping the gun — research is not done on children. First in lab animals, then in adults and only then in children. Stem cell research has great potential, but it is still very early. Many years of hard research is still needed with much money and international scientific collaboration. So, stay informed but try not to get too carried away with early successes until they can be replicated and proven. We do not want to do anything to cause more harm than benefit, of course.

SB