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MIT Technology Review

The Troubled Hunt for the Ultimate Cell

July 1998

Capturing the human embronic stem cell might change the face of medicine. But to get there, a small band of researchers and biotech firms must endure a federal funding ban and ethical controversy.

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Letter from the editor

Features

  • The ferocious progress in disk storage densities has come thanks to an IBM lab that was slated for elimination–until it met the “gigabit challenge.”

  • The researchers who invented a lightweight plastic battery found themselves thrown into the world of venture capital and big business. Navigating these waters requires different skills from those that work in the lab.

  • Entrepreneur Jim Benson hopes his mission to the asteroids will usher in an era of private–and profitable–exploration of space.

  • He’s seen R&D done the old Bell Labs way and in the new, market-driven style. Now research vice president of Bellcore, Lucky thinks broadly and deeply about how ideas get from lab to market.

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