Because active stem cells are a critical (and natural) part of the development of organs in a fetus, they have the potential to be harvested and used to repair or even replace adult organ tissue damaged either through trauma, aging, or disease. It was the groundbreaking work of teams of researchers under the direction of Evan Y. Snyder, born in 1955, that first proposed in the early 1990s specific application of stem cells to treat brain injuries as part of a much broader investigation into degenerative neural diseases, specifically Parkinson’s and cerebral palsy, as well as Alzheimer’s; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease; and metastatic brain cancers.

Given that his breakthrough work coincided with the ignition of the national political debate over ...

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