DEC 14, 2017 07:48 PM PST

Stem Cell Therapy Enables Paralyzed Rats to Walk Again

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

When researchers first began to learn more about stem cells, their potential seemed unlimited. But first researchers had to find a supply of these cells for therapeutic use. That took time, but eventually, scientists learned how to reprogram adult cells so they had the potential to become any cell type, as stem cells. A steady supply has now allowed the research to begin to reach its potential, in areas like regenerative therapeutics.

One recent breakthrough has enabled paralyzed rats to walk once again. A spinal cord injury was simulated with a cut, and scientists led by Dr. Shulamit Levenberg at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology then implanted human stem cells into those rats. Additional work was required; a scaffold was built, chemical treatments were added, but eventually, 75 percent of the rats responded to stimuli to their hind legs, and 42 percent could support weight on those legs. The work illustrates the incredible possibilities of stem cells.

"Although there is still some way to go before it can be applied in humans, this research gives hope," said Dr. Levenberg.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
NOV 07, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
NOV 07, 2018
Why Are Fruit Flies Attracted to Rotting Fruit Smell?
Fruit flies are the staple pests in the kitchen during summer. As much as these unwelcomed guests enjoy sucking up sugary juice, they are actually more att...
NOV 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 07, 2018
Here's How Far Your Sneeze Can Travel
When you get stuck with a cold or the flu, sneezes are inevitable. But have you ever wondered how far your sneezes travel? As it turns out, your sneeze may...
NOV 18, 2018
Space & Astronomy
NOV 18, 2018
All About NASA's Plan to Drill Deeper Into Mars Than Ever Before
When NASA’s InSight lander arrives at Mars, it will land near the planet’s equator at Elysium Planitia. This location is flat, which is ideal f...
NOV 25, 2018
Health & Medicine
NOV 25, 2018
Why Does E. Coli Make us Sick?
  Escherichia coli, or E. coli refer to a diverse group of of bacteria commonly found in the lower intestine of warm blooded animals. While E. coli ga...
NOV 27, 2018
Videos
NOV 27, 2018
The Challenge of Creating a Vaccine for HIV
The CDC estimates that 1.1 million people in the US have HIV, and around 15% are unaware they have it....
DEC 16, 2018
Videos
DEC 16, 2018
Maternal High-Fat Diet Raises Inflammation Risk in Offspring
The diet of an average American consists of over 35 percent fat - more than what is recommended by the USDA....
Loading Comments...