Thursday, March 7, 2013

Day 4: Is Science Good or Bad?

On our last day in Boston, we had much to do before leaving the city and heading home to NHS. We met with Mr. James Killarkey at Boston's Hello Rehab House for men. Mr. Killarkey, also called Whitey, is a recovering alcoholic and a counselor now at the house. Men who live in the house were in a detox facility before here and are now looking for help to be a part of society again by being surrounded by men like themselves. These men have been addicted to alcohol, heroin, cocaine or prescription drugs. We had many questions for Whitey about the facility and got to take a tour of the house.

Afterwards we walked a few blocks to Boston Medical Center to go to the Pulmonary Center of CReM (Center for Regenerative Medicine). In association with Boston University Medical School, we met with Dr. Darrell Kotton, head researcher in the lab. He gave us a presentation on embryonic stem cells and iPS cells (induced pluripotent stem cells). Their research lab uses both types of cells to learn more about iPS cells and to help patients. Their goal is to help find cures to diseases affecting the lung, intestines, and pancreas. Dr. Kotton was generous to share his view point on the ethics of using embryonic stem cells. We also got to check out some iPS cells by another doctor trying to find a cure for cystic fibrosis. It was a very interesting visit and students asked many questions. They were also asked questions by researchers regarding their thoughts on stem cell research.

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