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US-Russia Relations/ Regenerative Medicine

Date Wednesday - April 19, 2017
Host George Noory
Guests Stephen F. CohenSheldon Krimsky

In the first half, Stephen F. Cohen, a Professor of Russian Studies and History Emeritus at NYU, offered analysis of the currently volatile state of US-Russia relations, the accusations that President Trump and/or associates colluded with the Russians on the election, and the implications of the recent US attack on Syria. Charges that Trump is somehow a puppet of the Kremlin, or he's complicit with Putin in ways that are detrimental to America's security, may be related to the Clinton wing of the Democratic party that is committed to this narrative, as it enhances their candidates going forward into the 2018 elections, he opined, noting that there's actually no solid evidence for these contentions about Trump.

Regarding Trump's tomahawk missile attack on a Syrian airfield, it's possible it was done for political rather than strategic reasons to deflect away from the Russian accusations, and to show that he was willing to go up against the Russians who are backing Syria, Cohen postulated. No forensic evidence has been presented yet that Assad actually used chemical weapons on his people, so it's possible this whole situation has been misrepresented, he added. Cohen also commented on the unstable situation in North Korea. If people want to have an alternative source of news analysis, he recommended EastWestAccord.com.

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In the latter half, Tufts University Professor Sheldon Krimsky discussed the emerging field of regenerative medicine and how in the future, damaged tissue and organs might be repaired through personalized stem cell therapy as easily as the body repairs itself, revolutionizing the treatment of numerous diseases. However, he advised caution with new forms of biotechnology such as GMOs, which have been foisted upon the public with little health testing, or testing performed mainly by companies that have a vested interest in the product.

If there's damage to a particular part of the body such as in the heart or brain where cells can't be repaired on their own, these are the ones we need to replicate and reproduce, he remarked. There are various social and ethical controversies surrounding stem cells, said Krimsky, such as the use of embryos, as well as stem cell tourism, in which people travel to different countries to get treatments that are not approved in the US. Another promising technology on the horizon is gene editing, he reported, a more precise method for altering cells in the lab.

News segment guests: John Curtis, Lauren Weinstein

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Bumper music from Wednesday April 19, 2017

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