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Stem Cells Cure Paralyzed Rats 330

Posted by samzenpus
from the grow-your-own-spine dept.
An anonymous reader writes "According to an article on Forbes as well as other sources, 'Scientists have used [embryonic] stem cells and a soup of nerve-friendly chemicals to not just bridge a damaged spinal cord but actually regrow the circuitry needed to move a muscle, helping partially paralyzed rats walk.'"
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Stem Cells Cure Paralyzed Rats

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  • If only... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Spad (470073) <slashdot.spad@co@uk> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:37AM (#15581387) Homepage
    If only they put this much time and effort into finding cures for human conditions instead of wasting it all on rodents. Bloody mice get all the breaks.
    • Re:If only... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rbarreira (836272)
      Except that maybe the mouse will be smashed with a hammer later on the day :)

      Well, not always, there's a girl living near me who has a big RAT in her apartment. Reason: She (the girl, the rat no longer) works at a laboratory, knew that they were going to kill the rat and decided to take it home instead so that it wouldn't happen, and also because "it's so cute". The only problem is the chewed cables and bed sheets...
      • Re:If only... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by oudzeeman (684485) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:17AM (#15581483)
        Interesting that she is allowed to keep a rodent pet when she works in a laboratory, even though the rodent originally came from the lab...I work at a genetics research laboratory, and I'm not allowed to keep mice, rats, guinepigs, or hampsters as a pet at home, or keep any animal as a pet that eats any of the forementioned rodents as its normal food (cats are okay, even though they might occasionally catch mice).

        The fear is that someone could introduce a parasite, virus, or bacterial infection into one of the mouse colonies, which would be devistating to our research (http://www.jax.org/research/research_areas.html [jax.org]), and our mouse business (http://jaxmice.jax.org/index.html [jax.org]). I don't handle the lab mice, or even come in close proximity of the mice on a regular basis since I'm a software engineer and this restriction still applies to me.

        • Re:If only... (Score:5, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:28AM (#15581516)
          I work at a genetics research laboratory, and I'm not allowed to keep mice, rats, guinepigs, or hampsters as a pet at home

          If the lab you work in is part of Jackson Labs, that's a reasonably paranoid restriction. If a university lab has an infection problem, they're often small enough to treat the issue medically. If not, they can buy a fresh population from, say, Jackson Labs. Jackson needs to have the equivalent of "five-nines" reliability in their animals, where a univeristy vivarium is usually happy with two or thee nines.
        • Be thankful they don't do test on GIRLFRIENDS!

          But on the second thought - nevermind....
          • by oudzeeman (684485)
            while it would suck having to give up my girlfriends, at least I would still have my wife
            • "while it would suck having to give up my girlfriends, at least I would still have my wife"

              Wait - you have girlfriends and a wife? And you are a /. user? So the girlfriend thinks you are with the wife and the wife thinks you are with the girlfriend - leaving more time for the computer. Brilliant!
            • while it would suck having to give up my girlfriends, at least I would still have my wife

              I'm confused. Which one is the rat ?
        • No idea about that, I might ask her later though :)
    • Re:If only... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bsartist (550317)
      Bloody mice get all the breaks.
      I don't think you really want the kind of "breaks" those mice got.
    • If only they put this much time and effort into finding cures for human conditions instead of wasting it all on rodents.

      Please. Broken spine? Cured! [bennyhinn.org] Mysterious foot pain? Cured! [bennyhinn.org] Crippling halitosis? Cured! [bennyhinn.org]
  • For those (Score:5, Funny)

    by celardore (844933) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:39AM (#15581394)
    For those rats who did not regain use of their limbs after the experiment, little miniature wheelchairs and sticks were provided.

    Let's just tell the animal rights protestors that anyway.
    • by MancunianMaskMan (701642) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:46AM (#15581412)
      I am a rat, you insensitive clod (or so my friends say anyway).

      Oh wait... I haven't got any.

    • About 3 years ago I was driving and saw a woman in a wheelchair (electric) driving along the sidewalk. As I passed her I noticed a small dog in front of her with a wheelchair as its hind legs!
      I have come to question how one aquires a paralyzed dog? Usually a household pet will be saved and given some sort of help, but the dogs you find at the pound would be put down if they were "broken" from the waist down (although I don't agree with it, it is true). I mean, you couldn't obtain a paralyzed dog from the ve
    • by Idarubicin (579475) <allsquiet@ho[ ]il.com ['tma' in gap]> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:22AM (#15581772) Journal
      Let's just tell the animal rights protestors that anyway.
      Please don't tell the animal rights people anything. Please! Tell them that we're working with nuclear weapons or lasers or something.

      One of my coworkers worked in a Drosophilia (fruit fly) lab as a summer student some number of years ago. One Monday morning, he came in to the lab to wryly smiling colleagues. Apparently, animal rights activists had broken in to the lab over the weekend, and set all of the fruit flies 'free'. Unfortunately, this particular lab was working with curly-wing and wingless mutants, so the freed flies took a few tottering steps, then fell out of their open tubes and collected on the floor.

      • Re:For those (Score:3, Interesting)

        by celardore (844933)
        I know, I know... Animal protesters are ridiculous. They were protesting outside my workplace a while back. Reason? We deliver stuff to a research centre. Could be pencils & pens, who knows - but the animal activists wanted us to put a stop to it! Needless to say, we got a court injunction against them.

        My boss wouldn't let me throw eggs (from battery hens) at them. Spoilsport.
      • Re:For those (Score:5, Interesting)

        by SargeantLobes (895906) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @11:14AM (#15582670)
        Unfortunately, this particular lab was working with curly-wing and wingless mutants, so the freed flies took a few tottering steps, then fell out of their open tubes and collected on the floor.

        Lab animals being set free often end up like that. They've been in labs for their entire lifespan (which is required, because all the variables need to be known and controllable), and they don't know how to fend for them selves. All those mice being set free usually just curl up somewhere and die. They don't really know how to look for food (they just nibble everything), and they don't know to run from predators.

        Animal rights activists don't usually know anything about animals/nature. Animal rights acivists got egg collecting (from a rare species of bird, that lays it's eggs in fields) banned here last year. What they didn't know was, that when the colletors collected the first batch (which usually freezes to death) they put a flag near the nests so the farmer wouldn't drive over it. So all those years it was the egg collecting sustaining their existance (farmers don't go around putting flags near nests just for the heck of it, they've go 'better' things to do.

      • Re:For those (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Zaatxe (939368)
        A few weeks ago I saw in a newspaper that a company in England was selling bottled water in which the bottles are made of a special kind of plastic, made with corn flour. The nice thing is that this plastic can vanish in 70-90 days when exposed to the elements. The funny note was that Greenpeace didn't approve this plastic, because "it could be made with transgenic corn". The question is, is there a way to please environmentalists and animal rights activists?
        • Answer: yes (Score:3, Insightful)

          by brian0918 (638904)
          "The question is, is there a way to please environmentalists and animal rights activists?"

          That's easy. Take your pick:

          A. Kill off the entire human species.
          B. All of the above.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:39AM (#15581395)
    We must immediately ensure that this life-changing new medical technology is placed under a raft of arbitrary and politically motivated legal restrictions.

    We must do this as quickly as possible. For science!
    • Perhaps we can find a way to exempt ourselves and our top campaign contributors from any such restrictions, however...
  • by bloodredsun (826017) <martin@bloodre d s u n . com> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:42AM (#15581402) Journal
    Life imitates Art yet again.
  • by OscarBlock (861399) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:42AM (#15581405)

    From the article ""They did something that people have been trying to do for at least 30 years and literally hit a brick wall until now," said Dr. Naomi Keitman..."

    Is this why they developed an interest in repairing spinal cord injuries? I think we should be told...

  • Got ya (Score:5, Funny)

    by overbaud (964858) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:44AM (#15581408)
    "bridge a damaged spinal cord" so if anyone is thinking of sticking their head in a life sized rat trap... good news!
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:44AM (#15581409) Homepage Journal
    a Surface mount chip.
    Its always going to be messy and you will likely fuse the wrong things together.
    But having some movement/sensation is good so Thumbs (and index finger) up to this research.
  • Question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Francisco_G (676828) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @07:51AM (#15581423)
    Who paralyzes the rats in the first place? Do the scientists step on 'em?
    • Re:Question (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Spinal injuries are pretty common sports injuries so the real question is did the scientist have to teach the rats to ski and play football first? I can't believe there are enough wheel accidents to provide a decent test group.
    • Re:Question (Score:3, Informative)

      by poot_rootbeer (188613)
      Who paralyzes the rats in the first place? Do the scientists step on 'em?

      Not the scientists, no. That what lab assistants are for! I wish I was joking.

      Actually, they probably design some sort of rat-spine-breaking device so the assistants can paralyze them more uniformly than could be achieved just by stepping on them. I wish I was joking about that too.
  • ...would viagra go out of business...?
    • ...would viagra go out of business...?

      Of course not, and asking means you understand neither how an erection (and Viagara) work nor how spinal cord injuries work.

      Viagara is a Vasoconstrictor [wikipedia.org] which causes blood vessels to contract. It was developed for other clinical applications, and had the happy side effect of granting erections to people. Except for a few people, it's probably not used very much for its original purpose.

      Using stem cells to re-connect severed nerves means that the conduit to transmit ne

  • No longer will they be the 3 blind mice group, someday?
  • rats or mice (Score:4, Interesting)

    by illtron (722358) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:03AM (#15581451) Homepage Journal
    So are they rats or mice? Headline says mice, summary says rats. They're not the same thing. Think before you write!
    • Re:rats or mice (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ElleyKitten (715519)
      So are they rats or mice? Headline says mice, summary says rats. They're not the same thing. Think before you write!
      From the article:
      First, Kerr mixed embryonic stem cells from mice with chemicals that caused them to turn into motor neurons. He transplanted them into the spinal cords of partially paralyzed rats.
      Uhh, so both then? Or maybe the reporter is confused too?
  • by Cleon (471197) <{cleon42} {at} {yahoo.com}> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:04AM (#15581454) Homepage
    Really, this exemplifies the sort of research we've been talking about when it comes to stem cells. Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

    Stem cells, biology (evolution!), global warming...The subjection of science to political considerations has to stop.
    • Did the article say if it was adult stemm cells or embryonic stem cells were used. It seems to me it doesn't need to be a political issue. Use adult stem cells. They've shown much promise in humans.
      • These were probably rat stem cells, so who cares whether they were adult or embryonic?
      • Did the article say if it was adult stemm cells or embryonic stem cells were used. It seems to me it doesn't need to be a political issue. Use adult stem cells. They've shown much promise in humans. They used embyronic. Why? Because they're much more usable than adult stem cells. Get over it.
    • Actually (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Shivetya (243324) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:23AM (#15581503) Homepage Journal
      getting the government out of the way has opened more doors.

      many don't realize the numbers of restrictions and amounts of red tape that come with government funding. So while the motive for limiting federal participation in stem cells may be political/religous/etc in basis it does also follow the theme of letting private industry take the risks and reap the rewards.

      making people well is big business but along with that comes great cost and time. Innovations come from those who are not bound by restrictions and having the government looking over one's shoulder.

      look at it this way, with private entities doing the work, competeing with each other, we will may end up with different cures for the same problems allowing a broader range of people to benefit. we also have multiple avenues to not being impacted in the future by the government agencies as the work was performed in the free market.

      • Innovations come from those who are not bound by restrictions and having the government looking over one's shoulder.
        Business has a tendancy to demand 'profitability'. Fortunately, stem cell research is considered 'profitable' by Wall Street right now, and those companies are getting the funding they need.
      • Re:Actually (Score:2, Insightful)

        I want to nominate you for Twit of the Year Award.

        It has been demonstrated time and time again that Big Business is not in the habit of taking risks. They would rather tweak an existing drug, repackage it and bingo we have another anti-histamine (Claritin-D). If you have done the research you will know that the big cures have NOT been happening. That drug companies have dumped more money into advertising than R&D. The bottom line, government funding is necessary for BASIC RESEARCH. Basic Research is ver
      • Re:Actually (Score:3, Interesting)

        by misleb (129952)

        look at it this way, with private entities doing the work, competeing with each other, we will may end up with different cures for the same problems allowing a broader range of people to benefit.

        See, the problem with that is private entities are quite often not interested in finding cures. More than anything, they try to come up with long term treatments that will bring in recurring profits from each and every user over the lifetime of their patent. Privatization is not the answer to everything. I'd almos

    • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:56AM (#15581633) Homepage

      Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

      One could just as easily say "Ach, mein Fuerher, too bad the actual scientific possibilities of eugenics were overshadowed by a bunch of moral concerns." Part of subscribing to a moral code is realizing that its requirements are overriding. If embryos are considered human beings, which at least according to statistics of religious affiliation (add up the number of Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and non-mainline Protestants) is a belief held by the vast majority of the Western world, then one simply cannot experiment on embryos no matter how much one desires to see the results.

      It seems like a lot of Slashdot posters think that the best thing human beings could do is just junk whatever moral notions they have about the dignity of the human person, and just do a lot of crazy whizbang scientific experiments just because they are there.

      • by Alinabi (464689) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:03AM (#15581662)

        Part of subscribing to a moral code is realizing that its requirements are overriding.

        Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

        • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:09AM (#15581691) Homepage

          Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

          Many moral codes require that one do one's utmost to save innocent human life. One is not permitted to simply look over the taking of human life, as you suggest when you say that "they can just refuse treatment". Now, legislative power is a means to protect life in this case, therefore it is entirely sensible that it be used for such a purpose.

          You obviously disagree with the viewpoint against the use of embryonic stem cells. Fine. But don't try to pretend that that viewpoint simply doesn't exist. It does exist, and those who hold it have certain responsibilities toward it. Surely in order to obtain a university degree you did the obligatory Ethics course.

          • Surely in order to obtain a university degree you did the obligatory Ethics course.

            I have two university degrees, and we never had Ethics. Uh, I mean... Here in the U.S. at least, Ethics isn't required. Uhmmm...

            Forget it.

            --Rob

          • Not people.

            The religious rightists are killing real people with this "moral code" that blocks desperately needed medical research for cures for terrible diseases. It is not a secular moral code of any sort, it is simply a purely religious belief that a soul is created in the human egg cell when a human sperm cell enters it.

            These cells are created and expired all the time in fertility clinics, the religious rightists would prefer that these cells be thrown in the trash rather be used to help cure disease.

            The
        • by hasbeard (982620) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:19AM (#15581757)
          Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.
          Do you really believe "The government has no business legislating [moral codes]"? Does that mean that you won't care if someone kidnaps your children, hacks into your back accounts and empties them out, steals your car, and backs a moving van up to your home and empties it? Some people believe that the government's job is to help protect its people--all its people, including the unborn. Abortion and creating embryos (human lives) for the purpose of using their parts are morally wrong and the government would be remiss in not prohibiting them.
          • Do you really believe "The government has no business legislating [moral codes]"?

            I firmly believe this. The government should be about enforcing agreed upon ethics that result in a conflict between individuals, not about morals.

            Does that mean that you won't care if someone...

            There is a difference between "caring" and thinking it is the government's job.

            ...kidnaps your children,

            Common ethics says children need to be protected until they mature. If one individual tries to violate that ethical rule

          • Your extreme argument has no relevance to the discussion. You are talking about acts that injure other people. The parent poster was talking about personal actions that affect no one else. Maybe it disgusts some people, but it doesn't hurt anyone. He wasn't talking about absolute freedom of action. Did you really think that is was he was saying?
        • Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

          Here is the thing about governments: it serves the people. More than that, it represents the people (ideally), and it makes laws in a way that reflect the constituency.

          If the US was a representative democracy with a majority composition of pag
        • Oh bullshit. Governments are made of people. All governments act according to a moral code. The best governments act according to a code dictated by the citizens. Bad governments operate on a code dictated by very few powerful people or in the worst cases one person.
      • There's a lot of Christians who don't believe that embryos are people. You can't just look religious affiliation stats and say that all of these people believe this, because they don't.

        Also, we're not talking late-term fetuses that look like babies. We're not talking about fetuses like the ones you see on ultrasounds. We're talking about microscopic eggs that have been fertilized for a few days. If they were in a woman, she wouldn't know. If they failed to implant or miscarried, she'd never notice. However, they're not in a woman. Most embryos for stem cell research come from fertility clinics, extras created for backup and then unneeded, so they will never go in a woman and grow into a baby. If they weren't donated to science, they'd be thrown away. I for one, would rather they be used to help people, or even animals, rather than be thrown away.
        • There's a lot of Christians who don't believe that embryos are people. You can't just look religious affiliation stats and say that all of these people believe this, because they don't.

          If they profess membership in a church and don't actually agree with the church, then that makes them hypocrites. Seems like quite a problem, don't you think?

          • I guess you better leave America then, unless you agree with every single bill passed, ever, including the ones that contradict each other.

            And, in addition, not all Christian churches believe as a matter of doctrine that zygotes are little tiny people screaming out for protection with their cytoplasm mouths.
            • And, in addition, not all Christian churches believe as a matter of doctrine that zygotes are little tiny people screaming out for protection with their cytoplasm mouths.

              Nor did I say so. Look at my post, where I mentioned the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, which have very clear stances against the use of embryos, and certain non-mainline Protestant groups.

              • The full text of your post was "If they profess membership in a church and don't actually agree with the church, then that makes them hypocrites. Seems like quite a problem, don't you think?"

                I pointed out that: no, it wouldn't. If I didn't see the context of the earlier discussion, then my second point was indeed offtopic, but the first point is the more important one.
          • Most humorous statement given the history of the christian religion. Let the stoning begin! Seriously, just because you're christian doesn't mean you give up the right to form your own opinions without being a labeled a hypocrite. It's not hypocritical because the church is not the voice of a priest or even a Pope. Over time their opinions change because people challenge common accepted ideas.

            With that said I think a lot of people completely misunderstand exactly what an embryo is. It's a pile of goo and

          • If they profess membership in a church and don't actually agree with the church, then that makes them hypocrites. Seems like quite a problem, don't you think?

            First of all, whether they they're hypocrites or not doesn't make them pro-lifers.

            Second of all, not all churches are against abortion and stem cell research. The United Church of Christ [ucc.org] very much supports a woman's right to choose, and The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice [rcrc.org] has information on being pro-choice within other faith tradi

      • It seems like a lot of Slashdot posters think that the best thing human beings could do is just junk whatever moral notions they have about the dignity of the human person, and just do a lot of crazy whizbang scientific experiments just because they are there.

        Without such an attitude, we'd still consider leeches as the pinnacle of modern medicine. The human body was once considered holy and untouchable, and cutting it open was not something a doctor could even consider without risking to be burned alive.

        In
      • "Part of subscribing to a moral code is realizing that its requirements are overriding."

        But at least when talking about laws and actions in the real world, I'd like to only include moral reasons that actually have a real world basis. Claiming that stem cells have tiny little souls is as useful in a moral debate as claiming that rocks have then and geology is evil. If someone thinks that killing a stem cell is wrong, then they've as much sent up a giant firework that blows up and displays the words "I have
      • CRCulver [slashdot.org] wrote [slashdot.org]:

        If embryos are considered human beings, which at least according to statistics of religious affiliation...

        "Consideration" and "belief" shouldn't enter into the discussion. It is an objective fact that embryos are human beings. One needs only look at the embryo's genetic make up.

        Deciding if embryos are human or not via statistics of beliefs or opinion polls of the populace is subjective to the whims of the day. It is like 1850's United States southern farmers `deciding` if blacks were peo

    • It's not just medical research that's being handicapped by the politicisation of the stem cell issue in the US. Stem cell research has the potential to generate billions in revenue in the future. For example, in my University and some others in Sweden and Germany (Including the pre-eminent Karolinska institute), the EU has started and is funding a project to use embryonic stem cells to analyse drug toxicity and metabolism. The eventual goal is to replace animal testing with cell culture testing.

      Results woul
    • Really, this exemplifies the sort of research we've been talking about when it comes to stem cells. Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

      The source of stem cells is a profoundly important debate. Do we really want to breed and sacrifice a race of sound humans to fix broken bodies already deselected by nature?

      Stem cells, biology (evolution!), global warming...The subjection of science to political considerations has to stop.

      The debate

      • "The source of stem cells is a profoundly important debate. Do we really want to breed and sacrifice a race of sound humans to fix broken bodies already deselected by nature?"

        No, we want to culture cells, which are as different from "sound humans" as almost any living thing aside from viruses and bacteria as anything could be. The full grown cow that I eat for lunch is FAR FAR more like a human being than any stem cell. Stem cells are just that: cells. That they are genetically human and can under certai
        • On abortion, I can see the reason in saying that with no bright line, we must err on the side of life. But with stem cells, they are so far over on the "non-person" side of that line that that argument becomes nonsense.

          Seems we agree. The source of stem cell lines will continue to be of interest.

          The debate over evolution in general (common descent, natural selection shaping speciation events, etc.) is over. The only reason people are still debating is because they generally don't know what they are t

    • Meanwhile in Europe, 400m godless baby eaters are wondering what the fuss is all about, if they even are aware of it...
  • Embryonic? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Umm article says stem cells, halfway down they are talking about embroynic stemcells.

    which ones did they use to help the rats walk.

    stem cells are legal to use.

    embroynic stem cells can be used but require private funding.

    article doesn't distinguish wich ones are used on the rodents :(
  • Miracle (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:17AM (#15581482)
    Don't be silly. Jesus cured those rats, and He would have cured even more of them if those godless scientists hadn't been mucking about with evil stem cells...
  • by losec (642631) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:17AM (#15581484)
    thats what i'm going to call long island ice tea from now on.
  • I for one (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Welcome our recently unparalyzed rat overlords.
  • Geeze (Score:5, Funny)

    by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @08:52AM (#15581610)
    I wish I could be a rat, they can cure paralysis, aids, being overweight, being underweight, many types of cancer, mood disorders, aggression, lots of diseases and I even think baldness.

    Groups like Peta think that rats are abused in laboratories, but they don't realize how easy a life they have it. Scientists are curing all sorts of problems in rats, making it easier for rats to survive. Billions of dollars are spent every year to cure rat problems.

    I just wish that scientists would start curing stuff in humans, it would be nice if one of these days they started applying these discoveries on humans and maybe helping the human race out. If they could just take some of those billions spent on rat research and put it towards humans, what a wonderful world it would be.

    So, hurray, scientists cure something else in some lab rat! Let me know when they start working on humans.
    • I am sure you were being sarcastic (well hope) but on a more serious note. Write your congressman, governer, president, newspaper, etc and bitch at them for supporting religious zealots.

      What we need is a president and a few high ranking congressman in wheel chairs. Once they know how it feels to be paralyzed they won't be so quick to say stem cell research is evil.

      While I do not believe an embryo should be grown and harvested specifically for research, I do think that if a woman does have an abortio
  • by 99luftballon (838486) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @09:09AM (#15581687)
    If they can get a similar process in place for humans it'll cut the legs out from under the luddites opposing stem cell research (no pun intended). It's amazing how many people will decide the ethics of stem cell research aren't that much of a problem when they have the chance to see loved ones walk again, or recover from illnesses like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.
    • "If they can get a similar process in place for humans it'll cut the legs out from under the luddites opposing stem cell research"

      We are talking about embryonic stem cell research,and it wouldn't change my viewpoint to have a cure for myself or a loved one dangled in front of me. Some of those "luddites" are not expressing an irrational fear of technology, but a set of deep-seated values.
  • by jbeaupre (752124) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @10:02AM (#15582098)
    I like this approach better: http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic le?AID=/20060308/NEWS01/60308003 [courier-journal.com]

    I've met these folks. They are getting great results with procedure that is easy to duplicate AND the method uses the patient's own cells. Not only does that avoid the pesky ethics issues, there's no tissue rejection issues.
  • If something like this research was to get into the mainstream, it could definately fix some things that have been bothering the human race for at least a good deal of it's life span. But we also have to think of who this would benefit. Sure, if we can get around the political and legal and moral bullshit that all the "Animal Rights" people, Puritans, and the political puppets who listen to them, and get a thing like this out into the public to cure, can we simply deny giving it to the aforementioned people
  • by Bones3D_mac (324952) on Thursday June 22, 2006 @01:47PM (#15583778)
    They're already working to get human clinical trials [geron.com] (bottom of the page) going on this. I'm strongly considering being a test subject for it if they can get a site set up near my area.

    Considering how things are currently going in the US though, this could end up being the only chance many of us will have for getting this sort of treatment any time soon. Eventually, some self-righteous asshat is going to propose federal bans on this, forcing those of us suffering from this type of condition to either live with the problem as-is, or leave the country and pay for it out of pocket.

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