Monday, February 9, 2009

Another Exciting Stem Cell Study

A study recently published in the online journal, Stem Cells, showed regeneration of function in paralyzed rats. The authors transplanted stem cells from different sources to find the best way of repairing injury. This study shows hope for the use of non-embryonic stem cells in treating spinal cord injuries.
Before and after videos of the rats can be seen here:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Exciting New SCI Studies

The last two weeks have been an exciting time in the science of nerve cell regeneration. First, a study published January 22 tells of the identification of specific genes responsible for restoring injured nerve cells in nematodes. These genes have direct correlates in humans. Activating these genes in humans may eventually be a way of treating neurological damage.

Secondly, and closer to fruition, on January 23, the FDA Approved a human study injecting embryonic stem cells into the spinal cords of recently injured people with paraplegia. The researchers hope to improve function below the injury site, as has been the case in similar rodent studies.

Links: ScienceExpress article (required paid subscription)
Geron, the company running the human study

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

President Obama's Disabilities Agenda

The new administration has a page on its website devoted to plans related to improving conditions for Americans with disabilities. It offers a four part plan for increasing education, restoring the ADA, increasing employment rates, and supporting independent community living.

In addition, the site itself is promised to be accessible to all. The Accessibility page invites comments from people with disabilities, "To improve the accessibility of, the White House has asked users with disabilities to review the site and has also reviewed the site's accessibility with outside web tools. The results of these reviews have been incorporated into the website. The White House welcomes comments on how to improve the site's accessibility for users with disabilities."

It's a great time to get involved and keep pressure on politicians to live up to their promises. Help ensure that the new era of transparency includes all Americans.