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The Future Gets Closer, Part IV: Mouse Edition
December 9, 2010 12:38 PM   Subscribe

Some scientists have used stem cells to regenerate myelin in mice, paving the way for new MS treatments. Other scientists have created mice from two fathers. Meanwhile, using stem cells to treat paralysis advances from mice to monkeys.
posted by StrikeTheViol (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Alternate FPP title "Fuck you, conservatives! Love, Science"
posted by Artw at 12:40 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Now just mass produce artificial stem cells to bypass all the religious/ethical mumbo-jumbo.
posted by mooselini at 12:45 PM on December 9, 2010


Uncomfortable FPP juxtaposition....
posted by schmod at 12:46 PM on December 9, 2010


I'm sure God will step in to put a stop to all this science nonsense.
posted by Avenger at 12:46 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for my dead baby injections.
posted by cmoj at 12:50 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I can't wait until they can make uterus as easily as they do bladders, then every gay man can get one, be implanted by their gay lover, and pop out a baby. Hooray!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 12:52 PM on December 9, 2010


>I can't wait for my dead baby injections.

Are we really opening up the 'dead baby' jokes door?

too easy.
posted by mooselini at 12:52 PM on December 9, 2010


I can't wait until they can make uterus as easily as they do bladders, then every gay man can get one, be implanted by their gay lover, and pop out a baby. Hooray!

Fanfiction.net is down the hall on your right ---->
posted by Avenger at 12:56 PM on December 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Slowly but surely, the bar for "unnatural is being raised or lowered, depending where you sit on the spectrum.
posted by nomadicink at 1:00 PM on December 9, 2010


It's an amazing time to be alive...and a mouse.
posted by The Tensor at 1:03 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would love to have a child with my partner. Go science!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:03 PM on December 9, 2010


I can't wait for my dead baby injections.

"Faith is for the afterlife... for this life, there's NecroSoft (TM)"
posted by yeloson at 1:04 PM on December 9, 2010


Mice are awesome.
Science is awesome.

Once we breed a race of scientific mice, the whole world will be awesome!
posted by ardgedee at 1:06 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can't wait for my dead baby injections.

I was hoping more for a nutritional supplement. Or a suppository sorry
posted by backseatpilot at 1:06 PM on December 9, 2010


>I was hoping more for a nutritional supplement. Or a suppository sorry

Only if it's a dead baby suppository!
posted by mooselini at 1:11 PM on December 9, 2010


Other scientists have created mice from two fathers.

THANKS SCIENCE LIKE I NEED MY MOM PESTERING ME BOUT HAVING KIDS LIKE SHE PESTERS MY BROTHERS THANKS A FUCKTON.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM on December 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wonderful timing. I've been researching Murphy Roths Large mice and the possibility for non-hippocampal neuron regeneration this morning. These articles are fantastic additions along a similar vein.

If anyone is curious, here is a brief video from last year with Robin Franklin, referencing additional research in the possible role of mitochondria in the degeneration of nerve fibers and an (unsuccessful) clinical trial using Lamotrigine to enhance neuroprotection in MS patients, as well as the remyelination research that is the subject of the first link.

There's a lot of exciting research going on. Thanks for sharing, StrikeTheViol.
posted by byanyothername at 1:17 PM on December 9, 2010


Other scientists have created mice from two fathers.

It's like a Disney version of a Paul Reiser and Greg Evigan sitcom from NBC!

Therefore, I must oppose this.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:26 PM on December 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My father died of respiratory complications from progressive Multiple Sclerosis at the ripe old age of 48.

The progressive form is particularly nasty. MS is essentially a disease that robs people of their ability to control their own bodies. A simplistic explanation: when myelin is intact, it functions as a sort of insulation over the surface of nerves, similar to the way insulation protects an electric wire and ensure the proper flow of electricity from the plug to an appliance. Without that insulation, nerve signals become disrupted as they travel from the spine or brain to their intended targets.

Any neurologic function may be disrupted by the loss of myelin, but usually the disease begins to manifest through the loss of fine motor function control and vision problems. Sometimes, speech may become slurred. Over time, additional physical symptoms manifest. Gross motor functions may be affected. Muscle spasms, numbness (or pins and needles), limb tremors, loss of balance. Vision and bowel control symptoms are extremely common. My dad was subject to drastic mood swings at first, and eventually some of his symptoms were reminiscent of the early stages of Alzheimer's: an inability to concentrate, pronounced short-term memory loss and/or cognitive deficiencies.

My dad was a high school teacher. He took disability retirement because he found himself unable to teach after age 40. His mind was still intact... but physically and mentally it became too difficult.

In most patients, MS symptoms manifest gradually in their 20's and grow gradually worse through their 30's and 40's. "Relapsing / Remitting" MS is kinder to its victims than the progressive form. But in all cases, MS patients, who were once fully in control of their own bodies will find themselves losing that control at a disturbingly young age. My father became unable to walk without assistance before he was 30. He was almost completely wheelchair-bound when he was my age: 38.

In his teens and early 20's, he was the captain of his high school baseball team, and loved to play football, swim and jog. And by the time he was in his mid- to late-30's, he had lost the ability to even stand and walk.

No one knows why. No one knows what causes MS.

His story isn't unique. There are plenty of people who are disabled in this world who fight similar battles every day. Some far, far worse than his. To do the things that those of us who aren't disabled probably take for granted. To be treated with respect and consideration, rather than pity.

I hope... wish... and pray this breakthrough marks the beginning of a cure. Because what he dealt with was godawful and I wouldn't wish it on anyone.
posted by zarq at 1:33 PM on December 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Once we breed a race of scientific mice, the whole world will be awesome!

Narf!
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2010


So, I'm cool with two dudes having children who are genetically theirs.

But how do we make sure that this is able to be done safely without human experimentation?
posted by I_pity_the_fool at 2:43 PM on December 9, 2010


what's the time frame on these sorts of treatment.
damn stem cells seem like a miracle but it's all taking so loooong!
if there was ever anything worthy of Manhattan-project or moon-landing levels of support, it's this technology.
posted by moorooka at 4:31 PM on December 9, 2010


Follow up: Human intestinal tissue grown in the lab.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 11:47 AM on December 12, 2010


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