AUSTIN (KXAN) - Stem cell experts say they are making progress in developing new cures for disease and illnesses, but that it will take time and money.
Researchers from around the world met for a symposium in Austin on Friday. Texas was an appropriate host, said David Bales, chairman of Texans for Stem Cell Research .
"Texas is a leader in adult stem cell research," Bales said. "We've more clinical trials than any other state in the union, and most of those are related to cancer and heart disease."
Bales said progress is being made but that the state and federal governments should pour in more money.
President John F. Kennedy, he said "set a goal of putting a man on the moon in 10 years."
"I believe the federal government can do the same thing for stem cell research," Bales said. "You'd start seeing cures for things like diabetes, cancer, spinal cord."
One of the symposium speakers was Dr. Wise Young, former physician for the late actor Christopher Reeve and a leading research expert in the world. Young said scientists are close on spinal cord treatment.
"We're not far from the first therapies that will actually improve function in people," Young said. "To get a cure we've got a number of years to go but the first therapies to restore function we'll be gettiing them in two to three years."
In the next six months, Young hopes to perform the first human clinical trials in the United States at Austin's University Medical Center -- Brackenridge. He'll work with 20 paralyzed patient.
"We have the therapies that will replace cells in the spinal cord," Young said. "We have therapies that can regenerate the spinal cord. This is the first time in human history I think we'll be able to do this and it would be wonderful if Austin is the first place to have this done."
Mack Brown's attorney and the university's new athletics director say the Texas coach has not resigned, denying a report that Brown was ready to step down after 16 seasons with the Longhorns.
A large majority of the crowd that poured into Austin City Hall on Tuesday night was disappointed with the Parks and Recreation Department's decision to approve a smaller off leash area at Auditorium Shores.
The top prosecutor in Travis County found herself on the witness stand Tuesday to answer questions about her professional and personal history along with her history of alcohol.
A proposal to build a highway in south Austin is getting mixed reviews from neighbors.
An Austin man has been convicted in a human smuggling case in which a teen says she was forced to wear revealing clothes and sexually assaulted while bound for New Jersey.
An historic early December cold spell is slowly waning, but temperatures will remain well below average for a couple more days.