Thursday, June 5, 2008

stem cells

This morning on Mark Bannerman's breakfast program (Radio National) he had a science story from Chris Smith about stem cell research.

A scientific team has taken a group of mice with a genetic deficiency related to damaged myelin on their nerves. Using human stem cells from aborted foetal tissue they've implanted stem cells into the mice and successfully regrown the myelin coatings. Normally, the stem cells would have been rejected by the immune systems of the mice but this didn't happen because these particular mice were immune deficient. Of the mice treated, 25% continued to live beyond their normal life expectancy. I'm not going to comment about this study, I'm just bringing it to your attention as being another avenue of medical research related to MS. If you'd like to read more you'll find it at

Speaking of stem cell research...

After Christopher Reeve had the riding accident that resulted in quadriplegia he campaigned for stem cell research and invested in many research programs. At the same time, he set up a physical training support program to ensure that his body was kept at the peak of it's health. I read somewhere that by doing this he ensured that his body became healthier after the accident than it was prior to it. He was completely convinced that a solution would be found for his condition and he wanted to be ready for it when it did. This is another example where the health of muscle tissue doesn't depend on the nerves connected to them. I have a great deal of respect for the things he achieved after the accident and I sincerely feel that he was more of a Superman in his wheelchair than he was as an actor. A sad loss, but his legacy lives on.

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