Could Stem Cells Cure Spinal Paralysis?
2000: "Scientists announced that they had restored movement to
paralysed mice by injecting stem cells into their spinal fluid"
"There have been many advances recently in this field of research. There is also much debate as to whether this may ultimately yield a 'cure' for spinal cord injury. I personally hope that this research will be successful and result in improving the lives of many people worldwide. There are also many who object to this type of genetic research on moral grounds. I've written below what is currently known in this field and I'll leave you to make your own analysis. I like to believe that this 'cure' will come in time but honestly think it is a very long way off."
Reeve, who was paralysed at C1 & 2, in a horse riding accident,
and died in October 2004 talking about
his hopes for the future and stem cell therapy.
Video Clip of Interview - Part 1
Video Clip of Interview - Part 2
"You will need the 'RealOne' Video Player to see the clips, download it for free Here
humans for stem cells
There is a very important reason why we might want to clone humans. It has nothing to do with producing babies. Scientists have discovered that there are cells of unbelievable power which could one day be used to cure a range of diseases, produce new organs and rejuvenate almost any part of our body. These cells are found in human embryos. This potentially could work to help regrow spinal nerves in those with spinal cord injury
are stem cells?
Stem cells can also be found in adult bodies where they provide
ongoing maintenance and repair. Adult stem cells are said to be partially
differentiated - that is, they have made part of the journey towards
becoming a particular cell type. They nevertheless show great flexibility
- for example, turning from brain into blood cells. Many people who are
worried about wasting embryos would much rather see the development of
treatments which use adult stem cells.
Another possibility is use stem cells in the blood collected from a baby's umbilical cord just after birth. Some parents are choosing to freeze and store this blood so their baby will be able to call on a supply of its very own stem cells later in life.
Further reading about this research can be found at the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Website