Ground Zero: A microscopic view of a human embryonic stem cell ©Andrew Leonard/Photo Researchers
This year delivers a major spike in federal funding for all types of stem cells, and new legislation puts fewer restrictions on how to spend it. With just one U.S. clinical trial of embryonic-stem-cell therapy under way, the hope is that this double shot of adrenaline will help American researchers pick up the pace.
Amount of money the National Institutes of Health (NIH) spent on stem-cell research in 2008: $938 million
Approximate amount of money the state-funded California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has approved in research grants since its inception in 2005: $693 million
Number of clinical trials on embryonic stem cells sanctioned by the Food and Drug Administration: 1
Estimated number of sanctioned clinical trials involving non-embryonic stem cells: 2,450
Estimated number of companies developing stem-cell products worldwide: 300
Approximate number of patients in the U.S. who have received stem-cell-based therapy within the past three years: 30,000
Estimated amount of annual revenue stem-cell therapies are expected to generate in the U.S. by 2018: $8 billion
Percentage of Americans in favor of embryonic-stem-cell research: 73
Sources: California Institute for Regenerative Medicine; clinicaltrials.gov; Geron Corporation, National Institutes of Health; RRY Publications; Time Poll, 2008single page
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.