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Thread: Stem-Cell Gamble

  1. #1

    Stem-Cell Gamble

    Magazine: Feature
    Stem-Cell Gamble
    After years of controversy, a therapy based on human embryonic stem cells is finally being tested in humans. The treatment holds out hope to paralyzed people, but at how great a risk?

    July/August 2011
    By Antonio Regalado


    Hans Keirstead wakes up every morning at his home near Los Angeles and checks CNN. He's looking for news about the first-ever human test of embryonic stem cells, launched in October by the biotechnology firm Geron. Mostly, he's looking for bad news. "If someone dies, or is in pain, then it's over," he says, pushing a hand through his tawny hair. Keirstead, dressed in a loose linen shirt and wearing a thumb ring, is a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, who has variously been called the "rock star," "miracle worker," and "Pied Piper" of stem-cell science. Today he has a corner office in a new $67 million research center paid for in part by California voters, whom he helped persuade to vote for a $3 billion stem-cell spending plan in 2004 with a video of partially paralyzed rats walking again after stem-cell transplants performed in his laboratory.
    That same treatment is now being tested in human beings. No wonder Keirstead is anxious. Although he is not directly involved in the clinical trial, the discovery he patented, promoted to Californians, and later licensed to Geron has now become the leading test of whether embryonic stem cells will finally live up to their medical potential. "I'm dying to know if it works," he says.

    read...

    http://www.technologyreview.com/biomedicine/37787/

  2. #2
    Senior Member Van Quad's Avatar
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    "If someone dies, or is in pain, then it's over," he says, ...
    does he include complications from anti-rejection drugs?

  3. #3

    Angry

    "as with most paraplegics not being able to walk is the least of his problems"

    They are not talking for me when hey say that - I would choose walking first for the access, the physical fitness and the appearance of normality.

    Being able to feel my bladder and bowels but not being able to get out of my wheelchair would surely make going out and about even harder?

  4. #4
    For many of us walk is the last of our problems. Breath and hands/arms for quads must be the number one target for a SCI research.
    -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

    -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

  5. #5
    Exactly - a quadraplegic surely would never say bladder and bowel control are the most important thing they had lost. Obviously hand and arm function are the most important.

    I am saying as a paraplegic, to me, walking is the most important thing I lost and I can't understand why I read quite often that paraplegics want bladder and bowel back more.

    I'm not sure a proper regenerative process would only pick out some functions. I would think they would all come back the same degree, 20%, 50%,100%

  6. #6
    I am one of those paraplegics. If given the choice of bowel and bladder vs. walking I would go with bowel and bladder without a second thought.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Christopher Paddon View Post
    Exactly - a quadraplegic surely would never say bladder and bowel control are the most important thing they had lost. Obviously hand and arm function are the most important.

    I am saying as a paraplegic, to me, walking is the most important thing I lost and I can't understand why I read quite often that paraplegics want bladder and bowel back more.

    I'm not sure a proper regenerative process would only pick out some functions. I would think they would all come back the same degree, 20%, 50%,100%
    I always thought that hands are more complex to recover than walking. May be Dr.Young can bring some light about this.
    -Ramps in buildings are necessary, but it would be usefull to have another ones for people (mind/heart).....

    -Hoc non pereo habebo fortior me

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