It’s taken a while, but the scientists of this planet are finally seeing the rubber hit the road in stem cell research. Undoubtedly there will be some people (religious conservatives) who are infuriated by this. I ponder what they would do if their child was suddenly paralyzed in an accident and could be cured if they would agree to this treatment. If they refuse it, I think that maybe, the rest of us humans on this planet should kick them off of it. I know how we could get them out of here, by the way . . .
To be eligible, patients have to have suffered what’s called a complete thoracic spinal cord injury, which means no movement below the chest. While patients can still move their arms and breathe on their own, they are complete paraplegics; they have no bowel or bladder control and can’t move their legs, Okarma explains.
The injury to the spinal cord would have to have occurred between the third and tenth thoracic vertebrae and the patient has to be injected with the stem cell therapy, called GRNOPC1, within seven to 14 days after the injury. “At the time of the injection, they [the cells] are programmed to make a new spinal cord – they insulate the damage [to the spinal cord],” says Okarma. The cells work just like they would if they were in the womb and building a spine in a fetus, Okarma explains.
Embryonic stem cells are only four to five days old and have the ability to turn into any cell in the body. But the cells that the patient receives aren’t pure human embryonic stem cells anymore. The cells in the GRNOPC1 therapy have been coaxed into becoming early myelinated glial cells, a type of cell that insulates nerve cells.
Exhilarating indeed. After reading a few of the comments, I came across one that really stuck out. It was someone defending Bush/conservatives. They said (and I’m paraphrasing) “Bush didn’t ban embryonic stem cell research, he just didn’t allow government funds for it.” Well played sirs, well played.
And another thing: