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Chitose Suzuki / AP

Researchers stopped treating Parkinson's Disease with brain cell transplants 14 years ago because it was largely unsuccessful and, in some cases, yielded negative side effects, like increased involuntary movement. But now they're giving an updated version of the transplant method another try, per NPR.

How it works: Parkinson's destroys cells that produce dopamine, which signals the brain's motor pathways to control how we move. Now, scientists are transplanting dopamine-producing cells into patients' brains to replace the ones that the disease destroyed. With new cells in place, the brain can control movement once again.

What's different: In the past, researchers lifted stem cells from aborted fetuses, and the samples they took contained dopamine-producing cells among several other types of cells. Viviane Tabar, a stem cell biologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, told NPR those extraneous cells may have caused the negative side effects. But scientists have spent the past several years figuring out how to fix this problem: they've developed a method of picking out just dopamine-producing cells from a larger stem cell sample.

Why it matters: While existing Parkinson's drugs supplement dopamine, their effectiveness can wane over time. Replacing the producer cells themselves could yield a much stronger treatment. By isolating dopamine cells, scientists can now conduct pure transplants without worrying about side effects of other cells.

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

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Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

5 hours ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.