Skip to main content
EDUCATION with Student News

Quick Guide & Transcript: Bush meets with Katrina activist, New method revives stem cell debate


(CNN Student News) -- August 24, 2006

Quick Guide

Lessons from Katrina - Stop by the White House to learn what President Bush discussed with a Katrina survivor.

Storm Shortage - Hear what forecasters are saying about a hurricane season that's off to a relatively slow start.

Stem Cell Discovery - Get the details on a new idea that may cool off the heated debate over stem cell research.



MONICA LLOYD, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: Glad to have you along for CNN Student News! I'm Monica Lloyd. It's Rockey versus President Bush. How this Hurricane Katrina victim got to talk to the president, and what he told him about life "after" the storm. A new technique in stem cell research could save millions of lives. We'll show you what's so different about it. And it's "hot fun in the summertime!" What some zoo keepers do to help animals "chill out."

First Up: Lessons from Katrina

LLOYD: First up, what does it take to get the attention of the President of United States? For a Louisiana man, it took towing a look-alike government trailer to Washington to show that Hurricane Katrina victims still need help almost a year later. Some people thought one of the world's most powerful leaders might not have time for him. But the president proved them wrong. Brianna Keilar tells us what they talked about, and some of the lessons learned from Katrina.


BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Rockey Vaccarella lost his home and his job when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Almost a year later he says he has not lost his faith in President Bush.

ROCKEY VACCARELLA, KATRINA SURVIVOR: I wish you had another four years man.

KEILAR: The president decided to meet with Vaccarella after the Katrina survivor traveled to the Capital in a FEMA-style trailer.

PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH: He caught my attention because he decided to come up to DC and make clear to me that there's people down there still hurting.

KEILAR: The assumption that government must take the lead role in the long term recovery of New Orleans was challenged today. A research team at George Mason University has just released an initial report that points to small parts of New Orleans that are bouncing back. It says grass roots charity and simple acts of neighbors helping neighbors might deserve more credit than government assistance.

DR. EMILY CHAMLEE-WRIGHT, PROFESSOR, BELOIT COLLEGE: Government can hasten private response by scaling back relief efforts as soon as possible to make room for markets and private voluntary organizations to provide basic supplies, food, clean-up and construction services.

KEILAR: But Rockey Vaccarella says he wants to make sure the government remembers the people affected by Katrina.

ROCKEY VACCARELLA, KATRINA SURVIVOR: And the president assured me that he is not going to forget about us and he is going to do everything he can to do it.

KEILAR: The first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is on Tuesday and President Bush says he hopes Americans make it a national day of remembrance. For CNN Student News, I'm Brianna Keilar.



CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS REPORTER: Time for the Shoutout! Fill in the blank... A tropical storm turns into a hurricane when... A) The president declares it a hurricane, B) Its barometric pressure reaches 900 millibars, C) Its winds reach speeds of 74 mph or D) It enters the Gulf of Mexico? You've got three seconds--GO! It's all about wind speeds here -- a Category 1 hurricane has winds of at least 74 miles per hour. That's your answer and that's your Shoutout!

Storm Shortage

LLOYD: Hurricane Katrina wasn't the only storm of 2005. There were some other hurricanes that did some damage, including hurricanes "Dennis" "Wilma" and "Rita." Now another storm is swirling in the Atlantic ocean. "Debby" is the fourth named tropical storm of the 2006 Hurricane Season. Forecasters say "Debby" does "not" pose any threat to land. So far, this season seems pretty mild, but it's not over yet. Rusty Dornin takes a look at whether people should let their guard down:


RUSTY DORNIN, CNN REPORTER: Remember this prediction for hurricane season

MAX MAYFIELD, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER DIRECTOR: The research meteorologists are telling us that we are in this very active period for major hurricanes..that may last another 10-20 years.

DORNIN: Chilling words for the Still family. Their house, north of Miami is still in shambles from Hurricane Wilma in October of last year. When you first heard that his year might be just as bad as last year?

MR. STILL: My first thought was to get on a flight to Denver.

DORNIN: Meteorologists recently downgraded this years originally dire forecast .Here we are in August and it's been eerily quiet. The disaster known as Katrina was in the making this same time last year. A spot on a weather map. The 11th named storm of the 2005 season. Exactly one year later, there's another storm brewing.

WEATHER REPORTER WSVN: We're keeping an eye on three areas of disturbed of them as become tropical depression number four.

DORNIN: That became Tropical Storm Debbie. If the winds reach 74 miles per hour, it will become Hurricane Debbie. Till now experts say the conditions haven't been right for the development of a hurricane. Forecasters say when and if the monster storms develop it'll be closer to the normal patter which is late August, September and October. That means the coast is far from clear.

CHRIS LANDSEA, NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER: The forecast we have is for 7, 8 or 9 hurricanes an average of six so its likely that it's going to get busy and get busy quite soon.

DORNIN: As for the Stills...the insurance company still hasn't paid their full claim. They can't fix their home till they get the money. And their house looks like another open invitation for the perfect storm.

GEOFF STILL: You never let your guard own whether it's May or November, a storm can come and you are at risk.

DORNIN: A risk they know only too well... Living in the hurricane zone. Rusty Dornin, CNN Miami.


Word to the Wise

AZUZ: A Word to the Wise... mitosis: (noun) a process that takes place when the nucleus of a cell divides, creating two new nuclei with the same number of chromosomes as the original nucleus

Stem Cell Discovery

LLOYD: There may be a way to solve the debate over using human embryos for stem cell research. It involves using a new technique to create new stem cells without destroying human embryos. A single cell is taken from an embryo, allowing it to divide into more cells with the same genetic information or mitosis. That means the rest of the embryo can still become a healthy human. Christy Feig shows us why this discovery could save lives.


CHRISTY FEIG, CNN REPORTER: This tiny cell is called an embryonic stem cell...and many researchers believe cells like this may hold the key to curing diseases like Alzheimer's, or even diabetes. But many researchers who use government money feel they are stymied in their efforts. To study embryonic stem cells, because, by law, they can't do any research that would destroy the embryo in the process.

FEIG: Now a new study, published in the Journal Nature, might hold a solution. A researcher for a private bio-tech company, Dr. Robert Lanza, used a technique sometimes done in fertility treatments, when doctors want to check for genetic problems.

ROBERT LANZA, ADVANCED CELL TECHNOLOGY: You remove one single cell from an eight cell stage embryo and then that cell is allowed to divide, and then one of the cells is sent off for testing and the other cell is then used to create an embryonic stem cell line.

FEIG: Providing more cells for research but sparing the embryo.

LANZA: Over 2000 healthy babies have been generated using this procedure. to date we haven't seen any abnormalities

FEIG: So it sounds like a win-win situation right? Not so fast say some prominent stem cell researchers like Dr. John Gearhart of Johns Hopkins. he says there are many concerns about the long term safety of this approach.

JOHN GEARHART, JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICAL INSTITUTE: The contention that no harm is done to the embryo from which this cell has been removed is still under investigation.


Gupta Analysis

LLOYD: Last month, the White House vetoed federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. It now calls the latest research "a step in the right direction". Kyra Phillips and Dr. Sanjay Gupta sort out how the new stem cell method works.


DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN SR. MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: When you're talking about specific embryos and just how embryos develop, what's happened in the past is that you'd have these cells sort-of divide cell after cell, and then basically you'd take cells -- all of these cells -- and try and create as many stem cell lines as possible. A lot of times, you'd have a hundred cells, but you'd only get maybe one or two stem cell lines. What's exciting here is you still have an embryo, you still have an embryo that can go on to be a human being, but you're basically just taking one cell out of this embryo and basically taking that one cell and coaxing it to grow into a stem cell line. This technique is still being developed, but it looks pretty promising.

KYRA PHILLIPS, CNN REPORTER: Well as you know, this has been such a tremendous debate among politicians -- among the world, really. Will this appease the Christian Right? Will this debate go away now?

GUPTA: It's a great question, and I think the unfortunate answer is no. I don't think the debate is going to go away for a couple of simple reasons. Going back to this diagram here for a second, first of all, some people will ask, "Well, what is the potential of this one cell? Could that one cell still have grown into a human being?" And that, obviously, is at the very heart of all of this debate. The other part of it is, "What happened to this embryo as a whole? Will somehow this embryo or this potential human being be damaged in some way by removing that one cell?" These arguments are going to continue to be out there, I think, even if this technique becomes more widely accepted.



LLOYD: Just FYI, you won't wanna miss the next CNN Presents Classroom Edition. "In the Footsteps of bin Laden" airs commercial-free next Monday morning. Find out when to set your VCR, at And while you're there, check out the free classroom materials we've put together for the show!

Before We Go

LLOYD: Before we go: even animals need to "chill out", literally. Animals at Israel's zoo near Tel Aviv, are getting a chance to beat the country's record heat. Turtles were hosed down with cool water, and, monkeys got a taste of some icy treats. Zoo keepers also give the bears a special treat. Its sort of a popsicle made with fish, grapes, watermelon, and a little pepper.


LLOYD: That's it for this edition of CNN Student News. I'm Monica Lloyd.

Story Tools
Subscribe to Time for $1.99 cover
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.
Top Stories
Get up-to-the minute news from CNN gives you the latest stories and video from the around the world, with in-depth coverage of U.S. news, politics, entertainment, health, crime, tech and more.

© 2007 Cable News Network.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more
Radio News Icon Download audio news  |  RSS Feed Add RSS headlines