What Are The Benifits of Stem Cell Research?
Could Fix Spinal Cord Injuries
Many scientists around the world are working on how to use stem cells to treat spinal cord injuries that cause paralysis. Recently researchers from Rochester, New York, and Colorado have revealed a new effective technique to repair damaged nerves in the spine. They used GRP cells that give rise to two subgroups of astrocytes during development. These cells are created in a lab dish using stem cells. Once enough cells where created they were injected into mice with damaged spines and compared to other spinal repairing techniques. They were shocked to find that the mice injected with two subgroups of astrocytes showed effective nerve regeneration and functional recovery. They also found higher levels of cell growth and overall survival in the mice. Clinical trials are still continuing in the mice but the teams remain optimistic that this technique can one day be used to help victims of paralysis affected by spinal cord injuries.
(Medianet, (2008). "Stem Cell Breakthrough in Spinal Cord Injury Repair")
Could Cure Alzheimers
Studies recently conducted in the United State suggest that stem cells could be used to cure neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Scientist used mice that had severe damage in their hippocampus, the area of the brain that controls memory, and also the area of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s patients. The team injected neural stem cells into the brain and found after the cells matured over a few weeks that the mice recovered nearly 70% of their short term memory. Scientist are confident that this is evidence that one day stem cells could be used to help Alzheimer victims and even people who suffered from brain damage from strokes. (RHIANNON, EDWARD (2006). "Stem cells offer hope of Alzheimer's cure")
Replace Almost Any Damaged Organ
Scientist in Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York believe that stem cells can fix almost any damaged organ. Embryonic stem cells can be grown into almost any tissue the body may need, but now scientist revealed that stem cells can secrete chemicals that help tissue rejuvenate themselves. In their study they found mice (still in the womb) with heart deformities that are nearly 100% fatal at birth and introduced stem cells and their chemicals into the womb. Scientist claimed that the chemicals basically prompted the heart to rebuild its self into a healthy and perfectly functional pump. (Weiss, Rick (2008). “Scientists Find New Way Stem Cells Repair Organs”)
Claudia Castillo is a modern medical miracle. This mother of two suffered from tuberculosis which destroyed her windpipe. Scientist where able to collect enough adult stem cells from her bone marrow to grow them into cartilage. These cartilage cells were placed on a windpipe of a cadaver and allowed to re-grow on the donor organ. Then the organ was transplanted back to Claudia. This replacement windpipe is made of her own cells and functions perfectly. This case is further proof of the potential of stem cells, claims the lead scientist Prof Hollander. (ANDREA HAMMETT, Grow your own organs?)
Doctors at Queen Victoria Hospital in Sussex have a revolutionary new procedure to cure Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) one of the most common causes of blindness in humans. Over 40 people have regained their sight from transplants of lab dish grown corneas stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are used to grow this cells and then are injected into the back of the eye where they repair the retina. (McCall, Becky (2008). “Cell transplant may restore lost sight”)
Could Even Cure AIDS
A 40 year old American male living in Berlin suffered from AIDS and leukemia. He attended Dr. Gero Hutter and Thomas Schneider of the Clinic. He was offered a bone marrow transplant from a near identical match. The donor carried a genetic immunity to the AIDS virus. The donor’s bone marrow was then cloned using stem cells then transferred to the 40 year old man. Two years later test confirmed that the man is still 100% AIDS free and no longer suffering from leukemia.
(Piyush, Diwan (2008). “Bone Marrow Transplant Could Cure AIDS”)