This Is Amazing

From South Korea:

A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after
scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived
from umbilical cord blood.

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

Now, I really do not know a whole lot about the whole stem cell debate, beyond that Federal money is not to be used for research in the US, and I am not even 100% sure on that. But, if research can be done with the blood, without harming the baby, sounds pretty good.

Now, she is only one success, at least to date, and more research (that sounds cold, but I think y’all know what I mean) needs to be done. Let’s get to it.

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11 Responses to “This Is Amazing”

  1. Jeremy says:

    To date, there are three sources of stem cells: the fetal blob called cytoplasm, the standard person’s fat cells and umbilical cord blood.

    And there’s been much heralded success with all three techniques.

    I saw a report a week or two ago on the new craze for infants with increased risk of getting genetic problems. They’ve been taking the umbilical cord blood regularly and freezee-drying it just in case. I think it costs about 1,000 bucks or so.

  2. triticale says:

    In fact it has only been during the Bush administration that Federal funds have been available for embryonic stem cell research. The restriction has been that the funding would go only for stem cell lines which had already been established. Even tho the embryos harvested for stem cells are surplus to in vitro fertalization and not collected by abortion, this restriction involved too much of an ethical decision for the pro-choice anti-Bush crowd.

  3. Nichevo says:

    there are other sources, e.g. bone marrow and the peripheral blood stem cells secreted by the marrow.

  4. Pajama Hadin says:

    Paralyzed woman walks again!

    Paralyzed woman walks again after stem cell therapy

    A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

    (Source: AFP World News)

  5. Told ya I didn’t know much about it 🙂

    Seriously, I suppose I should read some more on the subject, it is rather important for the future.

  6. I was going to post something on this myself, but decided not to since I didn’t want to open the ESC can of worms again. Exciting research, though. All the better that ESC was not used in this case since it takes the morality question out of the debate.

  7. David Ross says:

    What PW said.

    There is a lot of confusion out there between “ESC” and non-embryonic stem cells. Much of this is deliberate: Bush’s restriction (not even ban) on federal funds for ESC has been dishonestly caricatured as a ban on all SC research, most notably at the last Dem convention. Bravo to those of your commentors who’ve made this distinction clear.

    I’m very thankful that they got this lady walking again through standard SC research, in such a way that they didn’t have to resort to ESC.

  8. John Thacker says:

    Indeed, umbilical cord blood is “adult” stem cells, at least in comparison to embryonic. Not affected by the ban at all.

  9. M. E. says:

    Actually, the research done with fetal stem cells has had pretty dismal results so far, unlike that with umbilical cord cells. Some of the research done with fetal cells (in particular, fetal cells transplanted into Parkinson’s patients) had absolutely horrifying results, with some patients developing tumors that contained hair and teeth. There really is no legitimate scientific reason to kill human embryos for their stem cells. Since there are good alternatives that pose no thorny moral issues, I think our research money, federal or otherwise, would be best spent on that. I truly hope the story linked above does pan out, and that it can be replicated many times.

  10. David Ross says:

    Oh man. Do a Google on “teratoma” and “stem cell” and you’ll see what M.E. is talking about. It’s not just the usual suspects either; the Athersys website has a discussion on teratomas as a drawback specific to ESC.

    Those things are beyond horrifying. They’re unholy.

  11. Stem Cell Therapy’s First Cure??

    A South Korean paraplegic woman has apparently taken her first steps in 20 years following treatment with umbilical cord derived stem cells.

    A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her …

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