Hope For the Paralysed

All my life I’ve hoped that technology would advance enough to repair spinal cord damage. Maybe its not too far off.

From ABC News

Hat Tip Not PC

Stem cells taken from mouse embryos have helped paralyzed rats move again, U.S. researchers said on Monday.

The study was the best evidence so far that controversial embryonic stem cells might be used to treat people with spinal cord and other traumatic injuries, the researchers said.

“This study provides a ‘recipe’ for using stem cells to reconnect the nervous system,” Dr. Douglas Kerr of The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine said in a statement.

“It raises the notion that we can eventually achieve this in humans, although we have a long way to go … We found that we needed a combination of all of the treatments in order to restore function.”

Kerr and colleagues used a soup of compounds called growth factors to cause stem cells from the mouse embryos to develop into a type of nerve cell called a motor neuron.

Writing in the Annals of Neurology, they said the transplanted cells, combined with the right mix of compounds, helped paralyzed rats regrow some of their nerve cells and use their hind legs.

This work is a remarkable advance that can help us understand how stem cells might be used to treat injuries and disease and begin to fulfill their great promise,” said Dr. Elias Zerhouni, director of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the study.

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7 thoughts on “Hope For the Paralysed

  1. “I abhor vivisection with my whole soul. All the scientific discoveries stained with innocent blood I count as of no consequence.” Mohandas Gandhi

    “Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.” George Bernard Shaw

    “Animal studies are done for legal reasons and not for scientific reasons. the predictive value of such studies is meaningless–which means our research may be meaningless.”–Dr JD Gallagher, Director of Medical Research, Lederle Laboritories, 1964

    “A drug is a substance that, when injected into a rat, produces a scientific paper.”——Dr. Toni Jefferys PhD

    Dr Werner Hartinger, a German surgeon, surmised in 1989: “There are, in fact, only two categories of doctors and scientists who are not opposed to vivisection: those who don’t know enough about it, and those who make money from it.”

    etc etc.

  2. While I am not generally a fan of vivisection, if it can genuinely improve or save human life I am for it.

    I am in favour of the above experiments. Do you know how the same result could be achieved without the use of animals?

  3. I will endeavour to answer your question in due course, in the meantime ponder this.

    I was thinking about your post as I was lying in bed last night (this is unusual – trust me) and my overactive imagination thought of something. If aliens from another planet were to abduct humans and use us in experiments, I wonder if all those humans are in favour of vivisection would have a problem with it? Afterall, the aliens are obviously more intelligent than us, and are using us in the name of scientic research to create a better world for themselves. My assumption is that they would probably be against it, and say something like “they have no right to use us in experiments just because they are more intelligent; we have the right to be left along to live our lives free from the horros they would inflict on us in the name of advancement, etc etc”.

    That is a line that is hard to argue with. Just because the aliens benefit from the research does not make it morally right, and nor does the fact that (sometimes) humans benefit from vivisection make it right. Use your imagination to ponder the scenario I described if you can. Think about it from another angle and see if your opinion changes.

    Chris.

  4. Thanks for flashing the ego and then leaving, pc. So what is the libertarian defence of vivisection? Enlighten me.

    Chris.

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