Stem cell research makes headlines

By Nicholas DiNubile, MD

Scoliosis, plantar fasciitis, yoga, MORE Awards also in the news
Stem cell technology—particularly as it applies to orthopaedics—is of great interest around the world. At the end of March, New York Times reporter Bill Pennington filed a story entitled “For athletes, the next fountain of youth?” The story dealt with elite athletes’ “banking” stem cells from their offspring’s umbilical cords to one day heal potentially career-ending injuries to tendons, ligaments, muscle, and cartilage. The piece presented the many sides to this complex issue, and also appeared in the International Herald Tribune, which has wide circulation in Europe. Several AAOS fellows contributed to this story, including Regis J. O’Keefe, MD; Scott A. Rodeo, MD; and Freddie H. Fu, MD. Johnny Huard, PhD, of the Orthopaedic Research Society, was also quoted.

The Associated Press wire service ran an article on children with severe scoliosis. Though these maladies are not common, they can be life-threatening. The article featured Behrooz A. Akbarnia, MD, and Colin Crawford, an 8-year-old with severe scoliosis. The piece examined Dr. Akbarnia’s “growing rods,” a technology he developed to help straighten and stabilize the spine. The story was picked up by a number of outlets, including the Houston Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and MSNBC.com.

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