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Adult skin stem cells heal spinal injuries
September 6, 2007 8:50 PM   Subscribe

Canadian scientists heal spinal injuries with stem cells from skin (in rats). "Over the course of their research, the team found that skin-derived stem cells share characteristics with embryonic neural stem cells, which generate the nervous system. ... After 12 weeks, the rats were able to walk better, with more co-ordination."

Previously on the Blue: Making adult stem cells embryonic, regenerating liver tissue with adult bone marrow stem cells
posted by Artifice_Eternity (40 comments total)

 
And they get the cells from your own skin so no transplant rejection. This sounds very cool.
posted by Mitheral at 9:08 PM on September 6, 2007


helping thousands of Canadians to walk again.

emphasis added. Against the will of God in America.
posted by stbalbach at 9:09 PM on September 6, 2007


Sorry my confusion, God is cool with skin stem cells - he's got some confusing rules and regs.
posted by stbalbach at 9:11 PM on September 6, 2007


Previously (using human embryonic stem cells) [from this]
posted by peacay at 9:12 PM on September 6, 2007


Against the will of God in America.

I think it's a stupid attitude, too, but, to be fair, these are not stem cells derived from fetal tissue, so it's unlikely there would be much objection from Christians.

On the other hand, it is useful to note that the United States is losing its leadership in life science research because of foolish, irrational faith-based policies like these.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 PM on September 6, 2007


-losing its leadership in life science research-
I didn't know there was a contest and I'm not sure the rest of the world ever conceded.
posted by peacay at 9:16 PM on September 6, 2007


This is an abomination again God. A wonderful abomination which may eventually restore hope and bring joy into many people's lives.
posted by arcticwoman at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2007


This makes baby jebus' skin crawl.
posted by Poolio at 9:19 PM on September 6, 2007


As has been noted, these are adult stem cells, so presumably there will be no religious objections to this kind of therapy.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 9:29 PM on September 6, 2007


...so presumably there will be no religious objections to this kind of therapy.

they'll think of something.
posted by Avenger at 9:42 PM on September 6, 2007


Can these grow brain cells? I see political problems if so.
posted by Brian B. at 9:51 PM on September 6, 2007


...so presumably there will be no religious objections to this kind of therapy.

they'll think of something.


As it says in Genesis 3: 20-22 -

20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
22 Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”—

For if you take of the skin, my brothers, and make if it not clothes (for which the lord God had intended it - see how it clothes your flesh and blood given to you by Jesus Christ) but make of it base, vile Nerve Tissues to extend your life, are you not, like doomed Adam, cursing the Lord's name by reaching once again for immortality? How can you let this abomination lie?

So I say to you: Reject this notion of Skin Cells Regeneration, my brothers. I tell you, when your flesh crawls, let it be. When it burns and scabs and blisters, aggravate it as much as can pain. Your pain is a reminder of Adam's sorrow. When it pimples and bruises, you will know Adam's shame. For each of this is a reminder of Adam's sin, and to ignore his lessons given him by The Lord is to poison your soul with these foul ideas of immorality from the Skin.

And woe unto those who would attempt to poison and destroy, my brothers. They shall know his name is The Lord when he lays a smackdown on your meaningful science that might actually help people with no consequences.
posted by mr_book at 9:58 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


ERECT IN DEFIANCE OF GOD'S WILL

(sorry, I've been listening to a lot of Patton Oswalt lately)

Just a few more years, me pretties, and we're (note: 'we' means first-world rich folks -- others need not apply) going to be growing our own replacement organs in vats, and living for millennia.

Just have to keep the old ticker ticking over a little longer...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:04 PM on September 6, 2007


Here's the abstract. I'm definitely going to check out the paper tomorrow. Looks very promising; but there's always that evil-eye in the "this works in mice; will it work in humans?" glaring down upon it.
posted by porpoise at 10:09 PM on September 6, 2007


SHE'S A HAIR FOLLICLE NOT A CHOICE
posted by Citizen Premier at 10:19 PM on September 6, 2007


Seems like stem cell research of any kind is going to eventually anger the people who confuse the acorn with the oak.
posted by mullingitover at 10:23 PM on September 6, 2007


Ooh, nice metaphor, mullingitover! "confusing the acorn with oak tree", confusing potentiality for personage.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:29 PM on September 6, 2007


I didn't know there was a contest and I'm not sure the rest of the world ever conceded.

The highest "quality and quantity" of biotech research is being done in the United States [cite] but with reduced federal grant funding and increased faith-based interference in research, that can change quickly — indeed, it is already happening. A lot of cutting-edge stem cell and fertility research is being done in Korea and Italy, for example, and Singapore has thrown hundreds of millions of dollars into turning itself into a biotech magnet. There are lots of deleterious secondary effects for the US — beyond not being the leader in this technology — including lost jobs, a smaller economy, and a weaker educational infrastructure that results in brain drain to other parts of the world. For the US not to learn any lessons from handing over its manufacturing sector to Japan and China would be tragic for its citizens.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:31 PM on September 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


I would rather like it if mad Christians refused treatment that prolonged their lives.
posted by A189Nut at 3:09 AM on September 7, 2007


Oh the sin won't be against God, the sin will be against Pharmaceutical companies, which the US Gov't worships equally, if not moreso.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 5:15 AM on September 7, 2007


Boy, we sure take care of our rats around here.
posted by JDHarper at 5:44 AM on September 7, 2007


Metafilter: ERECT IN DEFIANCE OF GOD'S WILL
posted by LordSludge at 6:19 AM on September 7, 2007


It's not a competition, save with injury and death.

You're missing a fundamental point of the way science works. Unlike business, where it's an advantage to hoard information, science only works in a collaborative environment. No (good) scientist ever works in isolation, they always build on the work of others.

With the US reducing funding on stem cell research, the rate of advancement for the whole world slows. The US, for all its faults, still has the most vigourous and integrated research community on the planet in any dicipline. The rest of the world will and is continuing research, but America turning away from stem cell work harms everyone.
posted by bonehead at 7:00 AM on September 7, 2007


The US, for all its faults, still has the most vigourous and integrated research community on the planet in any dicipline.
What arrogant hubris.
posted by peacay at 8:24 AM on September 7, 2007


It's neither, as somebody working in Australian academia, it still largely represents the truth. If we have better talent, the US poaches it...
posted by Thoth at 9:46 AM on September 7, 2007


...and, for the record, I work in Canada. I don't think the dominance of the US in almost every field of research one can name is healthy either (for exactly reasons like the stem cell research ban), but I'd be hard pressed to name bigger funders or a country with more researchers (or a common pool sharing the same values, meeting regularly). China, maybe in a generation, but not now. Europe is too devided by language and politics. Maybe continuing integration with the EU will change that, but that's also decades away, I think.
posted by bonehead at 10:32 AM on September 7, 2007


I don't see how that statement is hubristic, peacay - at least in regards to the biosciences. Do you know of anyone who surpasses us? If so, please share.
posted by Anduruna at 10:57 AM on September 7, 2007


I find it rather sad how many people use amazing, uplifting discoveries like this to play a round of lolxtians (especially when there's been no outcry from any Christian outlet, and it's doubtful there will be).
posted by mikoroshi at 11:14 AM on September 7, 2007


Could be because this sort of discovery could have happened years ago, if scientists hadn't been forced to defer to the policy of fundamentalists.

"Sad", indeed. You have no idea.
posted by LordSludge at 11:59 AM on September 7, 2007


Huh, from the same issue of that journal: Nonpsychoactive Cannabidiol Prevents Prion Accumulation and Protects Neurons against Prion Toxicity

For the lay audience: weed's protectin' your brains from the mad cows. But not the fun part, so they can make weedpills that don't get you high and do the work.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 12:58 PM on September 7, 2007


I still don't get how how people are claiming that the "policies of fundamentalists" have been standing in the way of this research. It doesn't deal with fetal stem cells, people.
posted by Anduruna at 1:06 PM on September 7, 2007


What Anduruna said, LordSludge, yer grasping. If yer gonna hate fundies, hate em for the right reasons.
posted by mikoroshi at 1:24 PM on September 7, 2007


It doesn't deal with fetal stem cells, people.

My contention is that scientists started doing this sort of thing, with embryonic stem cells, years and years ago. They were blocked by fundies. So scientists had to find other approaches to the same problem that didn't offend fundies.

Finally, it appears that one of the workarounds has borne fruit. We could have been here years ago, were it not for fundies. That's too late for a lot of people, including my 5yo niece and now-deceased nephew.

Got it?
posted by LordSludge at 1:31 PM on September 7, 2007


I still don't get how how people are claiming that the "policies of fundamentalists" have been standing in the way of this research. It doesn't deal with fetal stem cells, people.

Think of it as having to find workarounds for dealing with an irrational bureaucracy. How much time and how many lives were avoidably lost because of having to do this type of end run?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2007


There was a PBS documentary in the last ten years on the development of anesthetics. According to this source, when a usable form of nitrous oxide (ether) was introduced in the mid-1800's to be used in surgery, it quickly became the religious issue of the day. Apparently more than a few Christian preachers railed against ether as a surgical aid, citing the pain as a fate to be endured. And this was in an era when people were removed to special remote wings of hospitals so they could keep the screaming at a distance from other patients.
posted by Brian B. at 2:53 PM on September 7, 2007


Religion is a curse. Ironically, a curse put on us by a god. Probably that Loki god, 'cause he's a real asshat.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:33 PM on September 7, 2007


See, the thing is, this is an article about medical research. And I read this thread (just about the worst thread I've seen on Mefi) and it has been skewed into a "we've got the biggest penis in the world" and "fuck the fundies" politico-American raving.

Obviously politics has a large say in the practical realities of medical research but these nationhoods you speak of are practically irrelevant to the laboratories and scientists who continue their work collaborate with people around the globe.

My thoughts as to 'where' USA ought to be placed on the scorecard of medical research are irrelevant. It's the insistence of people here that there is a fucking scorecard and that this is a subject worth debating that smacks of hubris and arrogance. Go peddle your nationalistic ego some place else.
posted by peacay at 10:11 PM on September 7, 2007


I see now that my previous comment was a bit of an appeal to emotion, which is inappropriate, even though this is a fairly painful subject to me. Blazecock Pileon put it better than me -- the delays caused by placating fundamentalists *has* caused death and suffering, and will continue to do so. I just happen to be very close to two particular examples. I want to say, "Please, think of the children." but in this case I'm not joking.

And, peacay, I care nothing about keeping a scorecard or whatever, I'm just frustrated to see medical progress stunted for religious reasons and people I love endure terrible tragedy as a result. I just want them to stop. Stop interfering. Please.
posted by LordSludge at 11:37 AM on September 8, 2007


Yes of course. My mistake. I'm sorry.
Everything is about America or how it affects America. Or doesn't exist unless it's viewed from an American standpoint. Or is irrelevant until the American angle on the topic is voiced. Or until the American political problems on the same or similar topics are expressed and lamented. Or until the group(s) responsible for the American political problems are named and shamed.
aMEericaFIlter
posted by peacay at 12:01 AM on September 9, 2007


WTF?
posted by five fresh fish at 8:10 AM on September 9, 2007


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