The First Cloned Monkeys Provoked More Shrugs Than Shocks

The First Cloned Monkeys Provoked More Shrugs Than Shocks

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the two cloned macaques.

(Credit: Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo, Institute of Neuroscience of the Chinese Academy of Sciences)


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Bernard Siegel
Bernard Siegel, J.D., is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Regenerative Medicine Foundation, with a mission of accelerating regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. Bernie founded and co-chairs the annual World Stem Cell Summit & RegMed Capital Conference, founded and serves as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed World Stem Cell Report (AlphaMed Press) and is the editor of the 360 Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine weekly newsletter. He founded and is the spokesperson for the Stem Cell Action Coalition, a 100+ member international alliance of nonprofits and research institutions leading the global "Pro-Cures Movement." As a recognized advocacy and policy expert in the fields of stem cell research, regenerative medicine and related subjects, Bernie works with the leading scientists and patient advocates, raising public awareness and educating lawmakers, the media and public.
This man spent over 70 years in an iron lung. What he was able to accomplish is amazing.

Paul Alexander spent more than 70 years confined to an iron lung after a polio infection left him paralyzed at age 6. Here, Alexander uses a mirror attached to the top of his iron lung to view his surroundings.

Allison Smith / The Guardian

It’s a sight we don’t normally see these days: A man lying prone in a big, metal tube with his head sticking out of one end. But it wasn’t so long ago that this sight was unfortunately much more common.

In the first half of the 20th century, tens of thousands of people each year were infected by polio—a highly contagious virus that attacks nerves in the spinal cord and brainstem. Many people survived polio, but a small percentage of people who did were left permanently paralyzed from the virus, requiring support to help them breathe. This support, known as an “iron lung,” manually pulled oxygen in and out of a person’s lungs by changing the pressure inside the machine.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.

When doctors couldn’t stop her daughter’s seizures, this mom earned a PhD and found a treatment herself.

Savannah Salazar (left) and her mother, Tracy Dixon-Salazaar, who earned a PhD in neurobiology in the quest for a treatment of her daughter's seizure disorder.

LGS Foundation

Twenty-eight years ago, Tracy Dixon-Salazaar woke to the sound of her daughter, two-year-old Savannah, in the midst of a medical emergency.

“I entered [Savannah’s room] to see her tiny little body jerking about violently in her bed,” Tracy said in an interview. “I thought she was choking.” When she and her husband frantically called 911, the paramedic told them it was likely that Savannah had had a seizure—a term neither Tracy nor her husband had ever heard before.

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Sarah Watts

Sarah Watts is a health and science writer based in Chicago.