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Full Stem Ahead

Researchers pursue a controversial technique intended to cure diseases by transplanting custom-made cells

2:33pm, March 29, 2005

In many ways, 9-year-old Jacob Sontag is much like his fourth grade classmates. He loves reading, watching movies, and listening to music, and he's well liked by a large circle of friends. However, Jacob is not a typical boy. He has Canavan disease, a rare neurodegenerative disorder that has gradually depleted the myelin, or electrical insulation, in his brain and confined him to a wheelchair. Jacob and his family are looking to a controversial experimental approach to cure him someday.

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