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Stem Cells Restore Feeling In Paraplegic

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the hooked-on-a-feeling dept.

Biotech 540

Vicissidude writes "According to WorldNetDaily scientists in Korea report using umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal-cord injury patient. The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cytotherapy, centered on a woman who had been a paraplegic 19 years due to an accident. After an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, stunning results were recorded: 'The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation.'"

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Benefit of the doubt (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670827)

Wow, given this potential, I am surprised this work was not published in one of the bigger journals like Science or Nature? Perhaps it was submitted? I cannot get this particular journal with our institutional subscription, so I cannot examine the article first hand.

However, giving them the benefit of the doubt, it is too bad the field of stem cell research in the US has been badly damaged by policies the current Whitehouse administration have put into place. A good number of scientific teams formerly here in the US have had to leave the country to continue their work and others are having to modify their protocols to use one of the "acceptable" lines of stem cells the Bush administration in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to approve for scientists that want to continue to receive federal funding for their work.

It should be noted that it is not just patients who have been paralyzed that can potentially benefit from this work. Other potential therapies to come out of stem cell work include treatments for heart disease, retinal vision loss disorders, Parkinson's disease, Cystic Fibrosis and many others.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670856)

If she gets up and walks, I don't think you need a peer reviewed journal to prove that the therapy works!

Re:Benefit of the doubt (4, Informative)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670859)

I agree with the sentiment against Bush's policies on stem-cell research. But isn't the type of stem-cell used in this article (umbilical cord) actually "okay" to use under the US policy?

Re:Benefit of the doubt (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670909)

Yes, it's only embryonic stem cell research outside the approved lines that won't receive federal funding. In individual states, such as California which just approved billions for stem cell research, you can receive state funding regardless of what type of stem cell you use.

Well... (5, Insightful)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670920)

However, giving them the benefit of the doubt, it is too bad the field of stem cell research in the US has been badly damaged by policies the current Whitehouse administration have put into place.

It's too bad that the OP doesn't understand that umbilical cord blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells, but rather adult stem cells. But you and he are obviously blinded by politics because you fail to see that the US government is funding this kind of research very heavily.

(BTW, there are ethics involved in research of all kinds, in engineering, in law, in business, etc. You simply do not agree with the idea that ethics should be a part of stem cell research.)

Re:Well... (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671049)

(BTW, there are ethics involved in research of all kinds, in engineering, in law, in business, etc. You simply do not agree with the idea that ethics should be a part of stem cell research.)

I hope you don't get modded down here, because it's a good point. I might respect the position of someone who, after much deliberation, believes that embryonic stem cells should be used. However, anyone who thinks that using embryonic stem cells is a no-brainer either doesn't understand the ethical considerations at stake, or simply doesn't believe in ethical considerations at all. Ethics is tricky business, and neither "the ends justify the means" nor "all's well that ends well" are sufficient ethical justifications.

And yes, also the research here was done with umbilical cells, and the US government has absolutely no problem funding research using umbilical cells. The federal government simply put restrictions on the funding of gathering fetal cells, which is a long way from outlawing stem-cell research.

Re:Well... (3, Interesting)

Xenophon Fenderson, (1469) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671133)

...sufficient ethical justifications.

Obviously, I'd benefit from an introductory college course in ethics, but this being Slashdot, I'll ask anyway. Is there a good reference online that describes "Ethics" (capital E) in a fairly general manner, such that the basic axioms like "the ends justify the means" are refuted in a logical and consistent manner? Is there a good book I should be reading on Ethics? Self-study is important to me, and I'd hate to re-hash well known arguments in a debate with someone more knowledgable than I. Appearing stupid or uneducated online is sort of par for the course, but I'd prefer to avoid looking stupid.

Re:Well... (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671059)

It's too bad that the OP doesn't understand that umbilical cord blood stem cells are not embryonic stem cells, but rather adult stem cells. But you and he are obviously blinded by politics because you fail to see that the US government is funding this kind of research very heavily.

Wha-? I'm blinded by politics? I'll have you know that I'm typically a Bush supporter, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything he says and does. He's not Christ reborn or anything.

I have a mind and makemy own decisions thankyouverymuch. I disagree with much of the US policy against stem-cell research *for ethical reasons*. Though I can certainly understand the trepidation some may have towards it.

But you and he are obviously blinded by politics because you fail to see that the US government is funding this kind of research very heavily.

This is just the stupidest thing I've ever been accused of. I gave no reason for why I disagree with the President's policy on stem-cell research and yet you tell me I don't think ethics should be involved. Right....

Re:whoops (1)

Seoulstriker (748895) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671143)

Sorry, I was reponding to your comment about your disagreement with the whitehouse policies, but also to the OP about federal funding. I think my comment got mixed in a jumble. :-)

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0, Troll)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671134)

Religous Right: No she didn't! It's a lie!

Researchers: We have video tapes. The evidence is irrefutable.

Religious Right: You are evil. Satan must be moving her hips, just like He did with Elvis!

Researchers: Umm...

Religious Right: We're going to phone President Bush. He's gonna whoop your asses and deprive you of funding, because he's a good Christian who knows that any science that doesn't agree with us is false and evil.

Researchers: We're moving to Canada. You have fun.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670875)

A similar statement could easily be made about alternate energy research including, but not limited to, fusion. It seems that science poses a threat an administration such as the current one.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670877)

For the one millionth time. The Bush Administration is just being strict on federal funding for embryonic stem cells researcg.

Stem cell research can be funded by state or by private organizations. Also, there is nothing limiting research other types of stem cells.

If you hate that the Bush Administration puts America in a bad light, why do you aid the cause by spreading misinformation which makes America look far worse than it really is?

Re:Benefit of the doubt (4, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670973)

For the one millionth time. The Bush Administration is just being strict on federal funding for embryonic stem cells researcg.

Erm, this is a perfect example of why it is people like you that keep us from moving ahead. You had a knee jerk reaction and did not actually read what I wrote. Specifically, I wrote "for scientists that want to continue to receive federal funding for their work. So, what you fail to understand is how much research is funded by the federal government. If you are unable to acquire NIH funding, that severely limits the type and extent of research that can be accomplished given the current academic infrastructure.

Stem cell research can be funded by state or by private organizations. Also, there is nothing limiting research other types of stem cells.

True, but those funds are very very small compared to the types of funding that the federal government delivers. Also, Universities prefer to receive federal funding because of the indirect costs. In fact, in some situations, it is difficult to maintain a position at a University in biomedical research without federal funding.

If you hate that the Bush Administration puts America in a bad light, why do you aid the cause by spreading misinformation which makes America look far worse than it really is?

I love this country and I have a passion for science. What I want is for us to continue to succeed instead of being hamstrung by political agendas.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671027)

You're a mother fucking idiot.

I just hope you realize that. And that talk about knee-jerk reactions... that was all you, buddy. The dude who replied to you was correcting you, not responding emotionally. You're the one who got all hot and bothered.

I hope your mother gets raped with a chainsaw.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (2, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671069)

"hamstrung by political agendas"

s/political/religious/

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1)

sigzero (914876) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671089)

I believe you fail to see that the current administration has given more funding than any previous administration has including Clintons'.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671093)

Erm, this is a perfect example of why it is people like you that keep us from moving ahead.

Really? Why did you not mention the distinction between embryonic and other stem cells? You painted Bush to against all stem cell research. It seemed to imply because of Bush policies, this spinal cord research would be stunted in the US. But it could be researched here, because Bush isn't against funding this type of stem cell research. But when I pointed it out to you, you just accused me of holding this country back, but you still did not admit your mistake. Now tell me, who is holding the country back? Me for clarifying your mistake? Or you, for misleading us, not admitting your mistake, and attacking me instead?

Listen, stop pointing fingers. Your post was misleading. My post was made to fully clarify the issue not only for you but for others. My italics might have seemed like I was responding to you on both points. That was not the intent, it was to point out the two most often ignored points of this debate to others, as well as to clarify your post.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671055)

If you hate that the Bush Administration puts America in a bad light, why do you aid the cause by spreading misinformation which makes America look far worse than it really is?

They do it because it makes them feel better about themselves, more intelligent and wise than the next person. It boosts their ego. In a world where not nearly as much is going wrong and things are better than they claim, there's no need for their idiot theories, fixes, and blather in general. No need for them.

Insecurity, pure and simple. The world is bad enough without whipping up hysteria which only makes it worse and fulfills the prophecy.

Non-Embryonic Stem Cells (1)

TigerTale (414169) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670900)

A good number of scientific teams formerly here in the US have had to leave the country to continue their work and others are having to modify their protocols to use one of the "acceptable" lines of stem cells the Bush administration in their infinite wisdom have seen fit to approve for scientists that want to continue to receive federal funding for their work.

You are referring to Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. The story clearly states that umbilical cord stem cells were used in this particular experiment. You are conflating two separate, if related, issues.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (2, Insightful)

dustmachine (738614) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670904)

Umm... you wouldn't even need to read the article to see that it says "umbilical cord blood stem cells." President Bush has no problems with using cord blood stem cells -- no ethical dilemas there at all. In fact this type of thing is already being done right here in the U.S.A. It's already established and is sometimes used instead of bone marrow transplants (depends on how close the match and other factors).

Facts are cool.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0, Redundant)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670915)

How much more evidence does the president need before he lifts his restrictions on stem-cell research?

This is a major breakthrough, and it is only the tip of the iceberg. The cure for cancer, AIDS, and other genetic diseases could be closer than we think if more laboratories were able to conduct research using stem cells.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1)

SeekerDarksteel (896422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670916)

However, giving them the benefit of the doubt, it is too bad the field of stem cell research in the US has been badly damaged by policies the current Whitehouse administration have put into place.

If you'd read the summary you'd have seen that the stem cells were taken from umbilical cord blood, not embryos. No one has any ethical issues with such a source of stem cells and nothing the White House has done would have any impact on this kind of research.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0, Redundant)

BillPhillips (595253) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670945)

it is too bad the field of stem cell research in the US has been badly damaged by policies the current Whitehouse administration have put into place

The article says the research is related to umbilical stem cells, not embryonic stem cells. US physicians have been able to use umbilical stems cells without restriction. Even more ironic is that the article itself says this:

Like most breakthroughs using adult stem cells, this one has been completely ignored by the U.S. mainstream media, Smith pointed out. "Can you imagine the headlines if the cells used had been embryonic?" he asked.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0)

XXIstCenturyBoy (617054) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670951)

I find it weird that the US always objected to stem cells research. I mean they have the most genome sequencing lab, they should put it to good use (Well i'm sure they already do, with stuff like the Genome Project, but still). If the States were to research, i'm sure stems cells research would progress way faster than it is right now. Its troubling that only California has some sort of bylaw to allow this... Not surprising seeing as it is the capital of plastic surgery (and thats why its troubling. It feels like they aren't really looking for anything else than a cash cow).

And the sadest thing is that it look like US politicians refuse to look into it on nothing else than religious ground.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0)

TummyX (84871) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671090)


I find it weird that the US always objected to stem cells research. I mean they have the most genome sequencing lab. ...
Its troubling that only California has some sort of bylaw to allow this


I find it weird and troubling that you're so ignorant. The US under Bush is the first administration to fund stem cell research with federal money. The only limitation is that you can't use federal>/i> money to research embryonic stem cells beyond the existing lines which have been approved for research (yes, Bush allowed existing embryonic stem cells to be used in research).

There is no "special bylaw" in California that allows them to fund stem cell research. Any private or state money can be used to research stem cells (embryonic or not). It's probably a good idea that federal money NOT be used to fund something so contraversial until the ethical "issues" can be resolved. Until that time there is nothing to stop individual states and private entities from doing the research on embryonic cells if they deem it worth while.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (2, Informative)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671130)

The US under Bush is the first administration to fund stem cell research with federal money.

This is utterly and factually incorrect. What would be factually correct to say is that Bush was the first president to address the issue of stem cell research specifically. Stem cell research has been going on for years and years before the Bush administration came into power.

I gotta get me some of these (1)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670955)

Jeez, I gotta get me some of these for my dick...

Re:I gotta get me some of these (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671026)

Yeah so instead of 2 minutes, its 1 minute right? Think of the time savings!

Re:Benefit of the doubt (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670982)

It has not really been "badly damaged." It has been left to states and to private entities, which have ponied up quite a bit of money (California = $3 billion for example).

The Federal Government probably shouldn't be spending public money on issues of extreme controversy. The focus on federalism is largely political. Trying to force issues like this using public monies is not the best way to go.

If you want to make a contribution or do research no one is stopping you... that's your choice. But don't force people to contribute to something that they find morally unconscienable by making it a federal program.

Yes, yes, I know this is a line of argument that can be counterposed by examples where federalism is a useful thing (roads etc.) but considering there's no major moral controversy over roads, I think the exceptions tend to prove the rule.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671038)

Also, building roads is directly related to regulating interstate commerce, which the constitution allows Congress to do. Funding medical research isn't listed as an authorized federal activity.

Re:Benefit of the doubt (1, Flamebait)

b17bmbr (608864) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671083)

I'm sorry, but this is pure hyperbole "A good number of scientific teams formerly here in the US have had to leave the country to continue their work". Actually, it is bullshit. What there is simply is a ban on federal funding of stem cell research. Sure, they might have left, but not out of fear. In fact, many firms are funding research on stem cells. There is no ban. Period. To say otherwise is a lie. Perhaps firms aren't putting as much money into it because maybe they don't feel there's significant returns possible. On that, I do not know. Maybe they think there's better returns on umbilical cord reserach. I don't know either. But if there was a potential for profit, they'd follow it with money.

Many, myself incldued are leary of stem cell research, not because of religious hang ups,but because of the potential for abuse. The cautin is warranted. And as for federal funding, they feds have no place in funding medical research. I looked in the constitution, and can't find mention of it anywhere. So, I oppose it on a) federalist principles and b) some moral qualms. But mostly a.

In Soviet Russia (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670834)

In Soviet Russia, cell STEMS YOU!!!

Wow (3, Funny)

kushboy (233801) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670836)

I don't know much about this kind of stuff, but that seems pretty amazing. Does anyone with more knowledge know how amazing it is?

Re:Wow (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670874)

I am more knowledgeable and yes this is very amazing.

2nd post? (-1, Offtopic)

mamas (468872) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670838)

2nd post?

Miracle Treatment (0, Troll)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670858)

If god wanted her to walk, he wouldn't have set up that devastating accident.

Re:Miracle Treatment (2, Insightful)

evil agent (918566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670910)

If god wanted her to walk, he would have allowed it through the use of stem cells. Oh, wait, he has.

Re:Miracle Treatment (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671127)

Moderation -1
    40% Flamebait
    30% Troll
    30% Funny

OK, it's "Funny". "Flamebait" is in the eye of the TrollMod. But how is that a "Troll"? Don't you believe the lord smote that woman because she'd later turn to stem cells to thwart god's will?

And what did it take.... (-1, Troll)

GmAz (916505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670863)

It took killing who knows how many babies through abortion to help a middle age woman who will still never walk again get some "tingling" feelings in her feet.

It just angers me to know that doctors can kill a baby and have no repercussions from it. What ever happened to the hippocratic oath?

Re:And what did it take.... (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670887)

read the article..

"Umbilical cord cells are considered "adult stem cells," in contrast to embryonic stem cells, which have raised ethical concerns because a human embryo must be destroyed in order to harvest them."

Re:And what did it take.... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670911)

It's just not fair, is it? I killed some babies too, and they actually locked me up for it, like? I don't see why. They were only babies, evil doctors kill them for fun all the time. It's not like I even ate them or anything, or laughed, like the evil doctors do.

Re:And what did it take.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670918)

Obviously you did not read the article. Otherwise you would have found out that the stem cells used were not EMBRYONIC but rather UMBILICAL which are 2 distinct things. The UMBILICAL stem cells that were gathered did not involve the deaths of any babies. They were gathered from the blood in the umbilical cord that is cut when the baby is BORN. Make sure you read the article before posting next time.

Re:And what did it take.... (2, Insightful)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670936)

While I agree that aportion = killing babies, RTFA... It was adult Stem cells NOT embryonic.

Re:And what did it take.... (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671012)

But embryonic stem cells are still used in research and articles like this just fuels the research fire and hearing of one positive thing from it all starts to make people think of it more as a good thing than a bad thing.

Re:And what did it take.... (1)

SuperDuperMan (257229) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671082)

So you are saying that it's bad that a method that does not harm anybody but only helps is bad because it's closely related to something that is? Your concern is only an issue if people don't RTFA!

Re:And what did it take.... (1)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671022)

In all due respect, abortions are going to happen weather anyone likes it or not. Why would you waste perfectly good cells that could some day lead to the cure to something that you or a loved one may one day suffer?

How different is the value of a baby's life compared to the life of someone suffering from a terminal disease?

RTF Summary, Smegbrain. (1)

saudadelinux (574392) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671074)

You may be incurably stupid, but I'll try anyway...

Umbilical stem cells != embryonic stem cells. Note the key word "umbilical". That means from the umbilical cord.

A few seconds' research provides http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umbilical_Cord [wikipedia.org]

and

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cord_blood [wikipedia.org]

Précis: They're stem cells harvested from cord blood, which comes from the umbilical cord, which comes from newly-born babies ... not aborted fetuses.

It's Eviiiiilll, don't you all see? (3, Funny)

Audent (35893) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670868)

Come on, helping people regain sensation in their long-dormant limbs? Where can it lead?

Oh the humanity!

Won't someone think of the children!?

etc.

ahem. Sorry. pre-emptive sarcasm mode, OFF!

Re:It's Eviiiiilll, don't you all see? (5, Funny)

Pusene (744969) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671021)

In other news, the makers of Viagra, Pfizer, is suing Korea for copyright infringement. An official is quoted saying: "Only we are the makers of medication which makes sensation return to long-dormant limbs."

For purposes of consistency... (-1, Flamebait)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670870)

Since GWB is against stem cell research, should he pass on this treatment if his legs go FDR on him? Afterall, he wouldn't want to look like a hypocrite, would he?

Re:For purposes of consistency... (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670921)

He's only against stem cell research that comes from the death of an embryo. Harvesting umbilical cord stem cells does not kill the child, therefore it's not a problem to the common pro-life beliefs. However, there are some uncommon pro-lifers who think ALL medical advancements are wrong, because we are playing God or some such idea.

He probably wouldn't (1)

Work Account (900793) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670927)

He does contradict himself a lot. I'm not a huge GWB hater, but the other day in a press conference he stumbled through a speech asking Americans to conserve fuel. But back in 2001 someone asked and the administration vehemently stated that by no means should Americans cut back on their energy consumption; it's the American way, etc.

So yeah, newsflash, politicians don't always keep their promises. "Flip-flopping" is more common than many think, and Kerry isn't the only one who does it :)

Re:For purposes of consistency... (1)

Aadain2001 (684036) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670957)

You know he would use the treatment, but he would find some way to twist his reluctance of allowing stem cell research into being a champion of the field and how it would have died without him blah blah blah.

(Unfortunately, this is how all politicians act, doesn't matter the party affiliation)

Re:For purposes of consistency... (3, Informative)

DrStrange66 (654036) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670980)

He's not against stem cell research. He's against destroying embryos. Huge difference.

Your statement reminds me of a movie "Head of State" where there was a campaign ad from the opponent stating "Mays Gilliam for Cancer!"

Re:For purposes of consistency... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671091)

Yes, he's so consistent that he's even against fertility clinics.

Wait, he's not.

Yoda Says: (1)

dwayner79 (880742) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670872)

FTA: "One patient does not a treatment make."

Yoda Also Says: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670898)

"Korea a country is not."

America!!! Fuck yeah! (0, Flamebait)

austinpoet (789122) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670882)

Who cares about the olympics, when we're being outpaced in the sciences we'll have nothing left to convince other nations to loan us the billions of dollars needed to cover our debts... Way to screw science (in yet another way) you Right-To-Life fuckers!

What type of stem cells? (0, Troll)

tbcpp (797625) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670883)

But what type of stem cells are they? I have yet to hear of embryonic stem cells ever working in a situation like this. Adult stem cells yes. That's the thing that makes this whole debate about the embryonic stem cell research null and void. Any comments by someone with a little more knowledge than me?

Adult stem cells, not embyonic. (1)

j1m+5n0w (749199) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670934)

According to the article, these were umbilical cord cells, which are considered adult stem cells.

Re:What type of stem cells? (4, Funny)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670952)

Vicissidude writes "According to WorldNetDaily scientists in Korea report using umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal-cord injury patient. The research, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cytotherapy, centered on a woman who had been a paraplegic 19 years due to an accident. After an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells, stunning results were recorded: 'The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation.'"

Yeah, if only somebody could make it clear what type of stem cells they were! I mean, that's something you think could even get into the story summary!

Re:What type of stem cells? (1)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670977)

The summary states that it's umbilical cord cells, which is perfectly ethical by pro-life standards.

Re:What type of stem cells? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670987)

per the article, they were cord stem cells.

By the by, do you abide by Leviticus 19:27?
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard.

Shaved lately?

They're umbilical cord blood stem cells (4, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670991)

From a blog [nyud.net] i found on google:

<SNIP>
I have known about this for some time, but because I didn't want to be guilty of the same hyping that is so often engaged in by some therapeutic cloning proponents, I waited until it was published in a peer reviewed journal. Now it has been and the news is HUGE: Korean scientists have used umbilical cord blood stem cells to restore feeling and mobility to a spinal cord injury patient. I have no link, but I do have the report published in Cytotherapy, (2005) Vol 7. No. 4, 368-373.

The patient is a woman who has been paraplegic from an accident for more than 19 years. (Complete paraplegia of the 10th thoracic vertebra.) She had surgery and also an infusion of umbilical cord blood stem cells. Note the stunning benefits: "The patient could move her hips and feel her hip skin on day 15 after transplantation. On day 25 after transplantation her feet responded to stimulation. On post operative day (POD) 7, motor activity was noticed and improved gradually in her lumbar paravertebral and hip muscles. She could maintain an upright position by herself on POD 13. From POD 15 she began to elevate both lower legs about 1 cm, and hip flexor muscle activity gradually improved until POD 41." It goes on from there in very technical language.

The bottom line is this, from the Abtract: Not only did the patient regain feeling, but "41 days after [stem cell] transplantation" testing "also showed regeneration of the spinal cord at the injured cite" and below it. "Therefore, it is suggested that UCB multipotent stem cell transplantation could be a good treatment method for SPI patients." (My emphasis.)

We have to be cautious. One patient does not a treatment make. Also, the authors note that the lamenectomy the patient received might have offered some benefit. But still, this is a wonderful story that offers tremendous hope for paralyzed patients. Typically, it has been extensively ignored in the American media (although it has gotten some foreign press attention). (Can you imagine the headlines if the cells used had been embryonic?)

One last point. This is a patient with a very old injury--making the results even more dramatic.

Onward!
</SNIP>

For those who missed the reference, it's
Cytotherapy, (2005) Vol 7. No. 4, 368-373.

Motivation, Anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670889)

How does this news not get it's way to our current *cough* regime, If it does in time, why won't they (yes, i'm assuming) ignore funding for it?

Arghh!

Stem cells work! (3, Funny)

redgopher (650527) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670899)

So then, if the stem cells are placed next to a Shakey's Pizza, they would become another Shakey's Pizza! And you'd have your own Shakey's Pizza where you didn't have to charge yourself to eat!

With apologies to Trey Parker & Matt Stone... (1)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670903)

What the article doesn't say is that the staggering results are not due to the infusion of stem-cell material, but rather that her body was taken over by an inter-galactic cockroach bent on turning every country on Earth into a third world country employing strategically positioned WMD's that will all be concurrently detonated at the culmination of a 'World Peace' summit...

"Hu-rrooh..."

Re:With apologies to Trey Parker & Matt Stone. (1)

Atzanteol (99067) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670994)

Completely off-topic, mod as such.

"I hope there's a hell, and when these reporters get there, that Satan's waiting with cameras & microphones"

I have to know where this quote is from! I've delt with the press and can completely relate to the sentiment.

Re:With apologies to Trey Parker & Matt Stone. (1)

ScoLgo (458010) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671139)

Heh. It's paraphrased, (due to slashdot's signature character limit), from 'Millenium' by John Varley. Here's a non-affiliate linky [amazon.com] .

Great book. So-so movie.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670905)

"One patient does not a treatment make."

Who was that quote from? Yoda?

"Hmmm... help you I can, yes?"

The paper's title, abstract, and URL (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670907)

Title:

A 37-year-old spinal cord-injured female patient, transplanted of multipotent stem cells from human UC blood, with improved sensory perception and mobility, both functionally and morphologically: a case study pp. 368 - 373
            K-S Kang, SW Kim, YH Oh, JW Yu, K-Y Kim, HK Park, C-H Song, H Han
            DOI: 10.1080/14653240500238160

Abstract:

HLA-matched UC blood-derived multipotent stem cells were directly transplanted into the injured spinal cord site of a 37-year-old female patient suffering from spinal cord injury (SPI). In this case, human cord blood (UCB)-derived multipotent stem cells improved sensory perception and movement in the SPI patient's hips and thighs within 41 days of cell transplantation. CT and MRI results also showed regeneration of the spinal cord at the injured site and some of the cauda equina below it. Therefore, it is suggested that UCB multipotent stem cell transplantation could be a good treatment method for SPI patients.

http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/(hibl2tibmt1yldq lfhsywa55)/app/home/contribution.asp?referrer=pare nt&backto=issue,8,9;journal,1,40;linkingpublicatio nresults,1:107693,1 [tandf.co.uk]

Re:The paper's title, abstract, and URL (1)

Hentai (165906) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670953)

Wow. This girl makes a wonderful testimonial to the power of modern science.

Congratulations to the research team that pulled this off, and my heartfelt thanks in case I ever (gods forbid) find myself in need of similar treatment.

We may not end all human suffering in our lifetime, but we're certainly getting there incrementally, in steady steps. Wow.

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells? (3, Interesting)

EdwinBoyd (810701) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670914)

Does this mean that these cells were not harvested from an aborted fetus? If so this treatment could really take off without all the ethical and political problems that plague conventional stem cell treatments.

Re:Umbilical Cord Stem Cells? (1)

KevlarTheSleepinator (827583) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670963)

precisely. in TFA it states theyre adult stem cells (in this case which came form the umbillical cord), which are not harvested from living embryos and because of this dont require an abortion or any other ethically-debatable things to happen.

Re:Umbilical Cord Stem Cells? (2, Interesting)

erlenic (95003) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671006)

This is exactly the type of research that pro-life groups have been advocating as an alternative to embryonic stem cells for years. Remember, there are four types: embryonic, umbilical, adult, and something I don't remember right now. The pro-life arguements against stem cells are all against embryonic only, because of the abortion issue, as you seem to already know.

MOD THIS THE HELL UP (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671109)

I'm getting tired of all these ignorant people out there saying "the USA is bad! they don't care! why do they hate stem cell research?" when the majority of the country is more than willing to spend money on "stem cell research" but they stop at "embryonic stem cell research" due to ethical concerns. You know, ethics, what science has been trying to ignore for the past 20 years.

Research ban (0)

Izago909 (637084) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670917)

It will be interesting to see how this will affect the stem cell ban in America. Seeing in how it was instituted as a moral stance against abortion, I can't imagine much religous outcry against the collection of donations for research and development.

It won't (2, Interesting)

nonlnear (893672) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670970)

This research has nothing to do with the stem cell ban in the USA. Only fetal stem cells are restricted. This research used umbilical cord stem cells. The use of cord blood stem cells is completely unrestricted.

IT doesn't (1)

slashkitty (21637) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671037)

There is no ban on stem cell research in the US!!! There is only a limitation on government funding of some specific types of stem cells.

I think there should be limits on all sorts of government funding. I have no idea on why everyone is suddenly for unlimited government funding of the drug industry.

Re:Research ban (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13670974)

Two points:

1. First of all, this was done with umbilical cord stem cells, not the fetal stem cells that gets the fundies up in a tizzy. Bush & Co. advocate the use of umbilical and other non-fetal stem cells instead of cells from aborted fetuses, meaning that they are probably celebrating this announcement today, as it bolsters their claims that fetal stem cell research is unnecessary.

2. Secondly, there is no "ban" on fetal stem cell research. You can experiment on fetal stem cells all you want in America; just don't expect to get federal funding for it.

The miseducation on the stem cell research issue is so disturbing. How can the American people be expected to make a decision on this issue, if they don't even know what they're deciding for or against?

Steam cells (1)

Zlib pt (820294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670926)

Wasn't this already achieved with Christopher Reeve? Just watch its documentary

Lumbar laminectomy was also done (5, Informative)

ugmoe (776194) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670938)

The posted article does not mention that the patient also had a Lumbar laminectomy performed.

http://www.wesleyjsmith.com/blog/ [wesleyjsmith.com] We have to be cautious. One patient does not a treatment make. Also, the authors note that the lamenectomy the patient received might have offered some benefit. But still, this is a wonderful story that offers tremendous hope for paralyzed patients. Typically, it has been extensively ignored in the American media (although it has gotten some foreign press attention). (Can you imagine the headlines if the cells used had been embryonic?)

http://www.spineuniverse.com/displayarticle.php/ar ticle545.html [spineuniverse.com] "The goal of a laminectomy is to relieve pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerve by widening the spinal canal. This is done by removing or trimming the lamina (roof) of the vertebrae to create more space for the nerves."

Re:Lumbar laminectomy was also done (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671044)

Just to be anal, that actually was mentioned in the article. In fact, its pretty much the same text as you quote in your first link:

"We have to be cautious," said Smith, a senior fellow at the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and a special consultant to the Center for Bioethics and Culture. "One patient does not a treatment make."

The authors of the study note, writes Smith, that the lamenectomy the patient received might have offered some benefit.

How to fix the real stem cell problem (1, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670939)

Oh boy, an AnCap's favorite topic!

This news, if true and long lasting, is great.

In the short and long run, this topic is so political that even my brain runs in circles.

The first problem is the stem cell source. Umbilical cords get around the fetal tissue issue, but that problem will surface until the abortion issue is settled. Aabortion is an "is it murder?" issue. The definition of murder, Constitutionally, is a State right. Federally, the only Constitutional crimes are treason, piracy and counterfeiting. So stem cells are not in the federal domain of control.

Second is funding. Our Congress has no power Constitutionally to fund science. Medical research thrives on competition; in fact there are almost no medical discoveries that can be associated with federal studies. Let different companies compete and more people will be helped or saved.

Thirdly, regulations set up by the FDA on drugs pending approval are holding back many drugs that can help in stem cell use. The FDA is unconstitutional and costs tens of thousands of lives annually in delays. I'd rather leave drug testing and acceptance to UL-like private companies. When drugs go bad, lawsuits control the companies. The FDA has helped no one and prevented no one's death.

We have the free market to thank for so many medical discoveries. Why should we burden new ones with bureaucracy?

Extremely sceptical (2, Interesting)

InternationalCow (681980) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670960)

is what I am. A long standing spinal injury is characterized by severe gliosis, ie the formation of neural scar tissue. This effectively blocks the path for new nerves to grow. This alone makes it hard to believe for me. Furthermore, the rapidity of the recovery is implausible. Nerve cells will grow at a speed of about 1 mm per year. Hence a recovery of lost feeling (thin fibers) within the time span indicated is unlikely. Then there is the issue of homing and differentiation - umbilical cord stem cells will typicall find their way to the bone marrow, not the the spinal cord or other neural tissues. Finally, the fact that this alleged breakthrough has been published in a very minor journal is quite telling IMHO. I do not believe this, unless I see more convincing proof. I'm willing to wait, this is only a first press publication after all, but don't hold up your hopes too high on this one.

Re:Extremely sceptical (1)

Da_Biz (267075) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671112)

From the "counting our chickens before they hatch department," mod parent up, please.

Scrambling for the truth (0, Troll)

fragmentate (908035) | more than 9 years ago | (#13670968)

If this were to work out it would put a halt to the "I can justify abortion because I'm providing stem cells" argument.

We had a demonstration locally at an abortion clinic. Ironically, it wasn't anti-abortionists. It was pro-abortionists (versus pro-choice) touting the magic of embryonic stem-cells. I bet this discovery might put a damper on any such demonstration in the future.

I doubt it, though. I suspect that it's easier to keep being wrong than to admit being wrong and accepting an alternative.

Note: I made a distinction here between "pro-choice" and "pro-abortion". I truly there are those that support a woman's choice, and are advocates for the women. Then there are those that just want abortion legal because they can't keep their peckers in their pants, or they can't keep the peckers out of their pants (depending on gender, obviously). They're just too cool for condoms!

Question for bio-geeks (2, Interesting)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671011)

I'm guessing we're talking about a severed spinal column here. How do the stem cells "know" how to get the correct nerves to growth back together? Does each nerve have a unique chemical signature so it knows how to reconnect to its partner?

Re:Question for bio-geeks (4, Interesting)

FluffyWithTeeth (890188) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671080)

they just connect random ones, and the brain works it out afterwards.

They've cut mice in half and done this, and while their back half screws around for a bit, it's really not very long until their motion is completely back to normal.

Prediction of postings (4, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671019)

80% Bush sucks! Grrrr! Rowlf! Hisss! Spit! (modded Insightful)
10% General antireligious screeds. Woof! Bark! (modded Flamebait)
9% "Bush only bans funding for embryonic stem cells" Hiss! Grrr! (modded Troll)
0.9999% Thoughtful comments on stem cells. (modded Offtopic)
0.0001% This post. (modded into oblivion)

DNA (1)

bastardknight (918695) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671032)

Do the injected stem cells affect the recipiants dna?cDo any one have a link or info about this?

South Korea (5, Interesting)

shadowmatter (734276) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671063)

Californians voted on Proposition 71 and pledged 300 million dollars over 10 years for stem cell research. Apparently, right-leaning political officials are now using bureaucracy to deny the 3 billion dollar pledge, and so not a dime has been issued yet. In this month's Wired magazine (which I don't have in front of me right now), they interview the head of the agency that is supposed to distribute the money; he explicitly said that if the US does not fund stem cell research, South Korea will soon emerge as the world leader. Being that I just read this yesterday, he seems to be very prescient...

BEEP BEEP BEEP Goes the Bullsh*t Detector (1, Interesting)

ScottyB (13347) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671086)

Cytotherapy? For something like this? Sounds like they couldn't stand up to the peer review of Nature or Science, even if this is not just a completely inaccurate story. It should tell you something when a giant discovery is announced through a lesser-known journal and the only news source you can find on it is WorldNetDaily, a B-"news" site if there ever was one.

So yet again, what the hell do the Slashdot "editors" actually do other than randomly his "yes" or "no" without any fact checking?

Re:BEEP BEEP BEEP Goes the Bullsh*t Detector (1)

Seanasy (21730) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671138)

This story is only showing up on right-wing pseudo-new sites (like WorldNetDaily) so far. Considering that this is about adult stem cells, it's almost certainly more propaganda than science.

RTFA (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671088)

This is about using ADULT stem cells. The president is for this kind of research. Making a blanket statement that he is against stem cell research is equivalent to saying clasical music lovers hate music because of a dislike for disco. Lets be intelectually honest folks.

To quote the article

Like most breakthroughs using adult stem cells, this one has been completely ignored by the U.S. mainstream media, Smith pointed out. "Can you imagine the headlines if the cells used had been embryonic?" he asked.

STEM CELLS !! F*CK YEAH !! (1)

VonKruel (40638) | more than 9 years ago | (#13671092)

What an awesome story -- can you even begin to imagine having sensation in your lower half again, after losing it for 19 years?? Stem cells are going to help a lot of people, and it truly is exciting and awe-inspiring. I often wonder what it would be like to be involved in work like this - that has the potential to change so many lives.... I work on software for a living, and my job is alright, but I doubt it would even come close in terms of job satisfaction.

Anyone who wants to hold back this research has got their head firmly planted in their ass.

World Net Daily not Credible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671097)

WND is not a credible source. They're little more than a hard right-wing propoganda site. To see this, one need do no more than search WND for 'evolution.' Here are the some of the first few results:

BRAINWASHING 101: [worldnetdaily.com] Indoctrination and sexual corruption on America's college campuses"

Do you believe in accidentalism? [worldnetdaily.com]

Dogmatic Darwinists [worldnetdaily.com]

What are the Darwinists afraid of? [worldnetdaily.com]

Now, this is not to say that WND is lying as usual in this case, just that you don't want to trust them without looking at something better. Hell, even Fox News or moveon.org are more believable.

Good thing... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13671107)

Good thing out current administration has all but completely outlawed any stem cell research in this country.
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