September 1, 2014
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Stephen Hawking is visiting a stem cell lab in Los Angeles where scientists are studying ways to treat Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological disorder that affects the British physicist.
The 71-year-old met with the project's researchers Tuesday, then addressed an audience of doctors, nurses and staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Last year, the hospital received $18 million from California's stem cell agency to study the disease also known as ALS, which gradually affects people's ability to speak or move.
Hawking was diagnosed with the nerve disorder 50 years ago. He has been almost completely paralyzed for years and communicates through an electronic voice synthesizer.
Hawking is best known for his work on black holes and theories about the universe's origins. He has authored several books, including some for children.