Rob Stein Rob Stein is a Correspondent and Senior Editor on NPR's Science Desk.
Rob Stein, photographed for NPR, 22 January 2020, in Washington DC.
Stories By

Rob Stein

Mike Morgan/NPR
Rob Stein, photographed for NPR, 22 January 2020, in Washington DC.
Mike Morgan/NPR

Rob Stein

Correspondent and Senior Editor, Science Desk

Rob Stein is a correspondent and senior editor on NPR's science desk.

An award-winning science journalist with more than 30 years of experience, Stein mostly covers health and medicine. He tends to focus on stories that illustrate the intersection of science, health, politics, social trends, ethics, and federal science policy. He tracks genetics, stem cells, cancer research, women's health issues, and other science, medical, and health policy news.

Before NPR, Stein worked at The Washington Post for 16 years, first as the newspaper's science editor and then as a national health reporter. Earlier in his career, Stein spent about four years as an editor at NPR's science desk. Before that, he was a science reporter for United Press International (UPI) in Boston and the science editor of the international wire service in Washington.

Stein frequently represents NPR, speaking at universities, international meetings and other venues, including the University of Cambridge in Britain, the World Conference of Science Journalists in South Korea, and the Aspen Institute in Washington, DC.

Stein's work has been honored by many organizations, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Association for Cancer Research, and the Association of Health Care Journalists. He was twice part of NPR teams that won Peabody Awards.

Stein is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He completed a journalism fellowship at the Harvard School of Public Health, a program in science and religion at the University of Cambridge, and a summer science writer's workshop at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Mass.

Story Archive

Friday

Surgeon Christoph Haller and his research team from Toronto's Hospital for Sick Children are working on technology that could someday result in an artificial womb to help extremely premature babies. Chloe Ellingson for NPR hide caption

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Chloe Ellingson for NPR

An artificial womb could build a bridge to health for premature babies

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Wednesday

Artificial wombs could someday help save babies born prematurely

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Thursday

Surgeons perform the first transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney into a living human at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Michelle Rose/Massachusetts General Hospital hide caption

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Michelle Rose/Massachusetts General Hospital

First human transplant of a genetically modified pig kidney performed

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Thursday

Results from a DNA sequencer used in the Human Genome Project. National Human Genome Research Institute hide caption

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National Human Genome Research Institute

'All of Us' research project diversifies the storehouse of genetic knowledge

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Wednesday

Massive project aimed at diversifying genetic data reports first results

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Could woolly mammoths walk again among humans? Scientists are working to resurrect the extinct species. Mark Garlick/Getty Images/Science Photo Library hide caption

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Mark Garlick/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Scientists take a step closer to resurrecting the woolly mammoth

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Thursday

A young, genetically modified pig raised at a Revivicor farm for organ transplantation research. Scott P. Yates for NPR hide caption

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Scott P. Yates for NPR

How genetically modified pigs could end the shortage of organs for transplants

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Sunday

When can a person be declared dead? The question can be hard to answer. skaman306/Getty Images hide caption

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skaman306/Getty Images

Debate simmers over when doctors should declare brain death

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Wednesday

An experimental gene therapy tested in young children with an inherited form of deafness restored some hearing for most of them. VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/Getty Images/Science Photo Library hide caption

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VICTOR HABBICK VISIONS/Getty Images/Science Photo Library

Gene therapy shows promise for an inherited form of deafness

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Monday

"The therapy has really transformed my life more than I could have ever imagined," Victoria Gray, the first person to receive the CRISPR gene-editing treatment tellls NPR. "It gave me a new lease on life." Orlando Gili for NPR hide caption

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Orlando Gili for NPR

Sickle cell patient's journey leads to landmark approval of gene-editing treatment

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Wednesday

Diana and Paul Zucknick have tried repeatedly and unsuccessfully to have children. The Austin, Texas, couple are intrigued by scientific research that may someday make it possible to create eggs and sperm from their skin cells. Montinique Monroe for NPR hide caption

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Montinique Monroe for NPR

Infertile people, gay and trans couples yearn for progress on lab-made eggs and sperm

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Saturday

The FDA approved the first gene-editing treatment for human illness

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Friday

"I'm ecstatic. It's a blessing that they approved this therapy," said Victoria Gray, the first person in the U.S. to undergo CRISPR gene-editing for sickle cell, of the Food and Drug Administration's decision. Orlando Gili hide caption

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Orlando Gili

FDA approves first gene-editing treatment for human illness

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Wednesday

One of the scientists shows the petri dishes in which they grow cells at the department of Genome Biology, Graduate School of Medicine. Osaka University, Osaka, Japan, August 7th, 2003. Kosuke Okahara for NPR hide caption

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Kosuke Okahara for NPR

A look at the international race to create human eggs and sperm in the lab

In which we meet the pioneers of one of the most exciting — and controversial — fields of biomedical research: in vitro gametogenesis, or IVG. The goal of IVG is to make unlimited supplies of what Hayashi calls "artificial" eggs and sperm from any cell in the human body. That could let anyone — older, infertile, single, gay, trans — have their own genetically related babies. As such, the field opens up a slew of ethical concerns.

A look at the international race to create human eggs and sperm in the lab

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Sunday

Preliminary results from a study show that gene-editing technology can be used to successfully treat a genetic disorder that increases the risk of heart disease. Gerardo Huitrón/Getty Images hide caption

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Gerardo Huitrón/Getty Images

For the first time, gene-editing provides hints for lowering cholesterol

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Tuesday

The FDA is closer to approving a gene-editing treatment for sickle cell disease

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"It's really life-changing," says Victoria Gray, when describing the gene-editing treatment for sickle cell disease that she received as part of a clinical trial in 2019. Orlando Gili for NPR hide caption

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Orlando Gili for NPR

FDA advisers see no roadblocks for gene-editing treatment for sickle cell disease

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Monday

Two scientists win Nobel Prize for research that led to COVID-19 vaccines

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Secretary-General of the Nobel Assembly Thomas Perlmann speaks in front of a picture of Katalin Karikó and Drew Weissman, winners of the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm on Monday. JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP via Getty Images

Nobel Prize goes to scientists who made mRNA COVID vaccines possible

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Friday

Americans are urged to get vaccinated against 3 major respiratory viruses

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Thursday

Developing mouse egg cells glow on the computerized display of a microscope. These were grown using stem cells in Katsuhiko Hayashi's lab at Osaka University. Kosuke Okahara for NPR hide caption

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Kosuke Okahara for NPR

Japanese scientists race to create human eggs and sperm in the lab

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Wednesday

A reproduction revolution is on the horizon: vitro gametogenesis or IVG

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Friday

Experts say the new COVID boosters are a much closer match to currently circulating variants than prior vaccines and boosters. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Everything you need to know about the latest COVID booster

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Thursday

What to know about the new COVID-19 booster

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