Stem Cell Research & Cloning

April – February 2014: Stem Cell & Cloning Research

 

 

NEW! Amazing New Spinal Cord Implant Revives Legs of 4 Paralyzed Men

Save a Baby’s Life, Save Two Lives with Umbilical Cord Blood

Error Eventually Promotes Truth

 [Ed. While this is actually not a stem cell success, it is a regenerative success, nonetheless!]

Amazing New Spinal Cord Implant Revives Legs of 4 Paralyzed Men

Improvement is generally thought of in a positive light. Medical technology has improved to help people’s lives in all sorts of ways…

Four men who were completely paralyzed below the waist are now able to move their legs, toes and lift up to 100 kilograms with their legs. These men are part of a group who have received electrical implants which have “reawakened” their spinal cords.

New Scientist explains how the breakthrough technology works:

The device – an array of electrodes – is implanted not at the point of injury, but in the still intact lumbosacral region of the spinal cord, which is the main information hub linking the brain to the lower limbs. Despite being crushed, Angeli says, the spinal cord and its associated nerve connections retain huge capacity to continue sending messages.   …

    Angeli says the implant restores what in healthy people would be the resting potential of the spinal cord – the baseline electrical activity that keeps the cord alert, but which wanes through lack of use in people who are paralysed.

    Once this background electrical impetus is restored artificially, the cord reawakens and can register the brain’s “intent” to move and convert this into fine movement at the motor neuron level. And by modulating the voltage for each individual and for each task, algorithms that optimise delivery of electrical activity for specific movements can be worked out and applied at will by the patients.

Claudia Angeli, of the Kentucky Spinal Cord Injury Research Center at the University of Louisville mentions that, with emphasis added,  “[t]here’s not been anything like this, and no hope previously for the most severely injured patients, so this is a very important step forward for them.”

Another improvement from the implants is that all men have recovered, to varying degrees, their bladder, bowel and sexual function. Roderic Pettigrew, director of the US National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, Maryland, mentions “[t]hat really restores dignity.”

All people, regardless of disability, have dignity. Though Pettigrew does has a point in how medical technology used for good can protect life and restore dignity and worth that may have been forgotten due to a condition.

The improvement of medical technology can provide hope for those who had none for their condition. We need not be certain that there is never hope for improvement or a cure with disabilities. Breakthroughs are happening in ways which would have once been thought “unthinkable.”

The unborn with disabilities, such as Down Syndrome, have been targeted through prenatal testing. And while this kind of knowledge before a child’s birth may provide helpful insights for parents, moms are saying that they don’t even want the option of knowing.

But while medical technology has been used against those with disabilities, it has also been used to improve the quality of life for those with such conditions. This is the kind technology we need more of, that which affirms and protects life.

Parents faced with the diagnosis of a disability for their unborn child need not turn to abortion as their only choice. And those faced with disabilities later in their lives need not give up the thought of living a happy, healthy and productive life.

Doctors may portray that there is no hope with a diagnosis for those with disabilities. While professionals, doctors do not know everything. The spinal cord implants are considered a breakthrough in their own light, and there may certainly be more improvements to come. The unborn child and the disabled adult are worthy of life. As human beings they deserve to live with hope. And regardless of their condition, they may live their life with the dignity we are all entitled to.

http://www.lifenews.com/2014/04/11/amazing-new-spinal-cord-implant-revives-paralyzed-mans-legs/

 

 

 

Save a Baby’s Life, Save Two Lives with Umbilical Cord Blood

This year we mark the 41st anniversary of the onset of tragedy; a tragedy because of the horrific loss of life, and many more lives than we realize. http://www.lifenews.com/2014/01/22/save-a-babys-life-save-two-lives-with-umbilical-cord-blood/

Error Eventually Promotes Truth

[Ed. When embryonic stem cell research [ESCR] gained prominence — and multiple millions in taxpayer dollars — beginning decades ago, there was tremendous concern bordering on panic over the immorality and ethical failure of ESCR. However, time has proven the scientific failure of ESCR, in favor of ethical,easily obtained — and successful —  adult/umbilical cord stem cells.]

The Charlotte Lozier Institute has found that the bulk of stem cell funding grants in key research states California and Maryland are moving toward ethical adult stem cell research. Of 100 grants the CA Institute for Regenerative Medicine issued in its first year, none went to adult stem cell projects. By 2012, however, CIRA gave 15 grants to ethical non-embryonic research projects, and only 6 grants to embryonic projects.

In 2007, the Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission funded 11 projects with human embryonic stem cells and 4 with ethical stem cells. By 2013, the Maryland commission funded only one (1) unethical embryonic project and 28 adult stem cell projects.

"The only real effect of error is to promote truth."
[Cincinnati Rt to Life News Brief, Feb/Mar 2014]