Monday, December 27, 2004

Cyborgs Don't Have to be Paralyzed

Stem Cell Researcher Makes Paralyzed Rats Walk

From Irvine, California:
"Hans Keirstead is making paralyzed rats walk again by injecting them with healthy brain cells sussed from a reddish soup of human embryonic stem cells he and his colleagues have created.

"Keirstead hopes to apply his therapy to humans by 2006. If his ambitious timetable keeps to schedule, Keirstead's work will be the first human embryonic stem cell treatment given to humans. [...]

"Keirstead has been turning stem cells into specialized cells that help the brain's signals traverse the spinal cord. Those new cells have repaired damaged rat spines several weeks after they were injured."

A related Reuters news release describes injecting polyethylene glycol intravenously to improve the healing of dogs with severe accidental spine injuries. Earlier experiments indicated that polyethylene glycol was capable of "fusing" severed spinal cord nerves in guinea pigs.


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