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Stem Cells Cure Paralyzed Rats

samzenpus posted about 8 years ago | from the grow-your-own-spine dept.

330

An anonymous reader writes "According to an article on Forbes as well as other sources, 'Scientists have used [embryonic] stem cells and a soup of nerve-friendly chemicals to not just bridge a damaged spinal cord but actually regrow the circuitry needed to move a muscle, helping partially paralyzed rats walk.'"

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330 comments

Also works as a gender change medicine! (-1, Troll)

scsirob (246572) | about 8 years ago | (#15581385)

Look! They turned paralized *MICE* into walking *RATS*..

Re:Also works as a gender change medicine! (2, Insightful)

LMacG (118321) | about 8 years ago | (#15581397)

Gender? o.O

Re:Also works as a gender change medicine! (1)

scsirob (246572) | about 8 years ago | (#15581819)

Sheez.. Thanks for changing the headlines afterwards... It said MICE in the headline and RATS in the text.

If only... (5, Funny)

Spad (470073) | about 8 years ago | (#15581387)

If only they put this much time and effort into finding cures for human conditions instead of wasting it all on rodents. Bloody mice get all the breaks.

Re:If only... (2, Interesting)

rbarreira (836272) | about 8 years ago | (#15581432)

Except that maybe the mouse will be smashed with a hammer later on the day :)

Well, not always, there's a girl living near me who has a big RAT in her apartment. Reason: She (the girl, the rat no longer) works at a laboratory, knew that they were going to kill the rat and decided to take it home instead so that it wouldn't happen, and also because "it's so cute". The only problem is the chewed cables and bed sheets...

Re:If only... (5, Interesting)

oudzeeman (684485) | about 8 years ago | (#15581483)

Interesting that she is allowed to keep a rodent pet when she works in a laboratory, even though the rodent originally came from the lab...I work at a genetics research laboratory, and I'm not allowed to keep mice, rats, guinepigs, or hampsters as a pet at home, or keep any animal as a pet that eats any of the forementioned rodents as its normal food (cats are okay, even though they might occasionally catch mice).

The fear is that someone could introduce a parasite, virus, or bacterial infection into one of the mouse colonies, which would be devistating to our research (http://www.jax.org/research/research_areas.html [jax.org] ), and our mouse business (http://jaxmice.jax.org/index.html [jax.org] ). I don't handle the lab mice, or even come in close proximity of the mice on a regular basis since I'm a software engineer and this restriction still applies to me.

Re:If only... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581516)

I work at a genetics research laboratory, and I'm not allowed to keep mice, rats, guinepigs, or hampsters as a pet at home

If the lab you work in is part of Jackson Labs, that's a reasonably paranoid restriction. If a university lab has an infection problem, they're often small enough to treat the issue medically. If not, they can buy a fresh population from, say, Jackson Labs. Jackson needs to have the equivalent of "five-nines" reliability in their animals, where a univeristy vivarium is usually happy with two or thee nines.

Re:If only... (1)

ceeam (39911) | about 8 years ago | (#15581747)

Be thankful they don't do test on GIRLFRIENDS!

But on the second thought - nevermind....

Re:If only... (2, Insightful)

bsartist (550317) | about 8 years ago | (#15581473)

Bloody mice get all the breaks.
I don't think you really want the kind of "breaks" those mice got.

Re:If only... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581487)

Where is your cynicism?

The only reason they're developing medical techniques for rats is that soon the politicians will be the only ones able to afford them, so they might as well ensure that the techniques they will use are compatible.

Re:If only... (1)

adamlazz (975798) | about 8 years ago | (#15581494)

I don't give a rat's spinal cord on this one.

Re:If only... (3, Funny)

I Like Pudding (323363) | about 8 years ago | (#15581663)

If only they put this much time and effort into finding cures for human conditions instead of wasting it all on rodents.

Please. Broken spine? Cured! [bennyhinn.org] Mysterious foot pain? Cured! [bennyhinn.org] Crippling halitosis? Cured! [bennyhinn.org]

great news... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581393)

there's nothing worse than a rat in a wheelchair.

For those (5, Funny)

celardore (844933) | about 8 years ago | (#15581394)

For those rats who did not regain use of their limbs after the experiment, little miniature wheelchairs and sticks were provided.

Let's just tell the animal rights protestors that anyway.

Re:For those (4, Funny)

MancunianMaskMan (701642) | about 8 years ago | (#15581412)

I am a rat, you insensitive clod (or so my friends say anyway).

Oh wait... I haven't got any.

I once saw... (1)

OctoberSky (888619) | about 8 years ago | (#15581718)

About 3 years ago I was driving and saw a woman in a wheelchair (electric) driving along the sidewalk. As I passed her I noticed a small dog in front of her with a wheelchair as its hind legs!
I have come to question how one aquires a paralyzed dog? Usually a household pet will be saved and given some sort of help, but the dogs you find at the pound would be put down if they were "broken" from the waist down (although I don't agree with it, it is true). I mean, you couldn't obtain a paralyzed dog from the vet/shelter/pound/breeder. So where did this woman find a paralyzed dog?
I like to believe that it was given to her by some society that helps out those wheelchair bound, but I think the sad truth is that A) That dog doesn't need a wheelchair, she likes it in there... or B) She broke that dogs legs.

Re:For those (4, Funny)

Idarubicin (579475) | about 8 years ago | (#15581772)

Let's just tell the animal rights protestors that anyway.
Please don't tell the animal rights people anything. Please! Tell them that we're working with nuclear weapons or lasers or something.

One of my coworkers worked in a Drosophilia (fruit fly) lab as a summer student some number of years ago. One Monday morning, he came in to the lab to wryly smiling colleagues. Apparently, animal rights activists had broken in to the lab over the weekend, and set all of the fruit flies 'free'. Unfortunately, this particular lab was working with curly-wing and wingless mutants, so the freed flies took a few tottering steps, then fell out of their open tubes and collected on the floor.

This is amazing (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581395)

We must immediately ensure that this life-changing new medical technology is placed under a raft of arbitrary and politically motivated legal restrictions.

We must do this as quickly as possible. For science!

Next up...adding stem cells to the skulls of... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581399)

the RECENTLY DECEASED. Shawn of the Dead, here we come! W00t!
Oh wait, do I need more than a single sentence to post here?
Well here's a bit more.
And more.
How lame.
Hey, you read it.

John Hopkins == NIHM!! (3, Funny)

bloodredsun (826017) | about 8 years ago | (#15581402)

Life imitates Art yet again.

Re:John Hopkins == NIHM!! (1)

kalirion (728907) | about 8 years ago | (#15581807)

Wouldn't that be NIMH [wikipedia.org] ? Unless of course you meant the New Iceland Heritage Museum?

...literally... (5, Funny)

OscarBlock (861399) | about 8 years ago | (#15581405)

From the article ""They did something that people have been trying to do for at least 30 years and literally hit a brick wall until now," said Dr. Naomi Keitman..."

Is this why they developed an interest in repairing spinal cord injuries? I think we should be told...

Re:...literally... (1)

Quinn (4474) | about 8 years ago | (#15581604)

Bravo.

Got ya (5, Funny)

overbaud (964858) | about 8 years ago | (#15581408)

"bridge a damaged spinal cord" so if anyone is thinking of sticking their head in a life sized rat trap... good news!

Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (5, Insightful)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | about 8 years ago | (#15581409)

a Surface mount chip.
Its always going to be messy and you will likely fuse the wrong things together.
But having some movement/sensation is good so Thumbs (and index finger) up to this research.

Re:Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (1)

Col. Bloodnok (825749) | about 8 years ago | (#15581459)

A beautiful analogy, having some experience of soldering surface mount stuff. No one has let me loose on wetware (yet).

Re:Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (5, Interesting)

bsartist (550317) | about 8 years ago | (#15581511)

But having some movement/sensation is good
I think you've underestimated the level of improvement. I saw a before/after video of this [msn.com] on last night's network news. Before the treatment, the rat's back half was totally paralyzed. After, it was completely mobile, although it did look like one leg was a little stiff. So we're not talking about just being able to wiggle a few toes here, we're talking about getting up and walking around, albeit with a bit of a limp.

A better link for that video would be appreciated, btw - the above requires IE and MS Media Player.

Re:Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581717)

Bruce Lee did better, without stem cells.

Re:Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | about 8 years ago | (#15581681)

and you will likely fuse the wrong things together
I hope the nervous system constitutes a discovery protocol of some kind.

It'll be something like:
  • You try snapping your right hand fingers.
  • But your left foot stamps.
  • So you snap you right hand fingers to stamp with your left foot.

Re:Reconnecting Nerves is like hand soldering (2, Insightful)

fodder69 (701416) | about 8 years ago | (#15581887)


The difference being that the cpu (brain) can recognize those miswired connections and reroute them to work properly. Usually.

All those poor mice... (1)

x-vere (956928) | about 8 years ago | (#15581410)

Now, when a mouse is hit by a broom, there is a shred of hope that the little fella will walk again. *sniff* Walk, WALK! *sniff* *sniff*

Lol, I read that as... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581421)

"Stem cells cure, paralyzed rats" (i.e. the cure paralyzed the rats) and not as "Stem cells, cure paralyzed rats" :)

Re:Lol, I read that as... (0, Troll)

WillerZ (814133) | about 8 years ago | (#15581444)

You sir, are an idiot.

Question (5, Funny)

Francisco_G (676828) | about 8 years ago | (#15581423)

Who paralyzes the rats in the first place? Do the scientists step on 'em?

Re:Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581466)

I was wondering that as well. Is there someone that that is official rat back breaker? Some poor persons life is grabing mice and bending them in half until they hear a snap.

Re:Question (3, Funny)

ceeam (39911) | about 8 years ago | (#15581796)

You say "back breaker" and I imagine 300 pounds wrestler doing piledrivers and shit on poor mice.... Ooh.. Nice.

Re:Question (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581548)

Spinal injuries are pretty common sports injuries so the real question is did the scientist have to teach the rats to ski and play football first? I can't believe there are enough wheel accidents to provide a decent test group.

Spinal Injuries (0, Troll)

neuroPuff (923273) | about 8 years ago | (#15581425)

Thanks to years of scientific engineering, a nugget of effort made it all pay off; along with an ounce of Christopher Reeves' ball sweat. If only we knew that deceased spinal injury patients' nasty taint sweat was all the antidote we need, maybe the federal government wouldn't have insisted on stifling stem cell research progress.

Rather old news! (1, Informative)

masikh (643240) | about 8 years ago | (#15581429)

This article (well maybe not this article, but same research) was posted on slashdot about a year ago. Thus is this research a nice copycat or just a person who hasn't done it's homework? Still nice development.

According to NAFTA... (1)

Ardeocalidus (947463) | about 8 years ago | (#15581434)

"Pied Piper inc. is reportedly suing John Hopkins University under Chapter 11 of the NAFTA trade agreement, for fears that this will have an adverse effect on the rat-catching market as a whole. The Piper could not be reached for comment."

If this goes commercial... (2, Interesting)

dartarrow (930250) | about 8 years ago | (#15581438)

...would viagra go out of business...?

blind? (1)

NuShrike (561140) | about 8 years ago | (#15581439)

No longer will they be the 3 blind mice group, someday?

I have to say it... (1)

cloudkiller (877302) | about 8 years ago | (#15581443)

And if the mice step out of line... No Soup For You!

Re:I have to say it... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | about 8 years ago | (#15581728)

Come back, one year!

rats or mice (3, Interesting)

illtron (722358) | about 8 years ago | (#15581451)

So are they rats or mice? Headline says mice, summary says rats. They're not the same thing. Think before you write!

Re: Now it's fixed! (-1, Offtopic)

illtron (722358) | about 8 years ago | (#15581455)

Good to see I'm finally getting some results around here!

Re:rats or mice (1)

LMacG (118321) | about 8 years ago | (#15581666)

obHHGTTG: "Look, sorry --- are we talking about the little white furry
things with the cheese fixation and women standing on tables screaming in
early sixties sit coms?''

Unfortunately, the headline has magically changed, so nobody's going to understand all these mice/rat posts.

Re:rats or mice (2, Interesting)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 8 years ago | (#15581844)

So are they rats or mice? Headline says mice, summary says rats. They're not the same thing. Think before you write!
From the article:
First, Kerr mixed embryonic stem cells from mice with chemicals that caused them to turn into motor neurons. He transplanted them into the spinal cords of partially paralyzed rats.
Uhh, so both then? Or maybe the reporter is confused too?

This is what we're talking about (4, Insightful)

Cleon (471197) | about 8 years ago | (#15581454)

Really, this exemplifies the sort of research we've been talking about when it comes to stem cells. Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

Stem cells, biology (evolution!), global warming...The subjection of science to political considerations has to stop.

Re:This is what we're talking about (3, Insightful)

richpoore (925284) | about 8 years ago | (#15581500)

Did the article say if it was adult stemm cells or embryonic stem cells were used. It seems to me it doesn't need to be a political issue. Use adult stem cells. They've shown much promise in humans.

Re:This is what we're talking about (2, Insightful)

indifferent children (842621) | about 8 years ago | (#15581525)

These were probably rat stem cells, so who cares whether they were adult or embryonic?

Re:This is what we're talking about (1, Interesting)

Tekzel (593039) | about 8 years ago | (#15581719)

Oh it matters, because one day they will want to apply this to humans, and we certainly can't use rat embryonic stem cells. The application of stem cells to cure all sorts of ills will probably go down as one of histories most important medical science breakthroughs, but unfortunately it is hampered by religion. As an Atheist, I normally have no problem with anyone wanting to believe what they want, until it starts to intrude into my life, and this is a good example of that happening. Now, I do NOT want to see humans being harvested for their stem cells some day, but if it is the only way to get the stem cells that could allow me to walk again, or cure someone in a vegitative state, etc, so be it. We just have to decide where that line should be drawn. While abortion is legal (and thats a whole other ball of twine) it seems like such a waste to let those stem cells be thrown away when (someday) they can give a fully developed human a much better quality of life. Sometimes the selfishness of religious zealots just astounds me.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

shrubsky (661474) | about 8 years ago | (#15581636)

I saw a different report on the research that says they were embryonic cells, and that the embryos were destroyed in the process.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 8 years ago | (#15581857)

Did the article say if it was adult stemm cells or embryonic stem cells were used. It seems to me it doesn't need to be a political issue. Use adult stem cells. They've shown much promise in humans. They used embyronic. Why? Because they're much more usable than adult stem cells. Get over it.

Actually (5, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | about 8 years ago | (#15581503)

getting the government out of the way has opened more doors.

many don't realize the numbers of restrictions and amounts of red tape that come with government funding. So while the motive for limiting federal participation in stem cells may be political/religous/etc in basis it does also follow the theme of letting private industry take the risks and reap the rewards.

making people well is big business but along with that comes great cost and time. Innovations come from those who are not bound by restrictions and having the government looking over one's shoulder.

look at it this way, with private entities doing the work, competeing with each other, we will may end up with different cures for the same problems allowing a broader range of people to benefit. we also have multiple avenues to not being impacted in the future by the government agencies as the work was performed in the free market.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 8 years ago | (#15581607)

I think it's about time we subject political considerations to science.

Re:This is what we're talking about (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581630)

Interesting. Let's apply the scientific method. I will make the hypothesis that "Politicians are full of shit" and look for supporting and contradicting evidence to support this hypothesis. Let's see..*buffer overflow*

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

E++99 (880734) | about 8 years ago | (#15581839)

I think it's about time we subject political considerations to science.
If we did that, Al Gore would explode.

Re:This is what we're talking about (5, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 8 years ago | (#15581633)

Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

One could just as easily say "Ach, mein Fuerher, too bad the actual scientific possibilities of eugenics were overshadowed by a bunch of moral concerns." Part of subscribing to a moral code is realizing that its requirements are overriding. If embryos are considered human beings, which at least according to statistics of religious affiliation (add up the number of Roman Catholics, Orthodox, and non-mainline Protestants) is a belief held by the vast majority of the Western world, then one simply cannot experiment on embryos no matter how much one desires to see the results.

It seems like a lot of Slashdot posters think that the best thing human beings could do is just junk whatever moral notions they have about the dignity of the human person, and just do a lot of crazy whizbang scientific experiments just because they are there.

Re:This is what we're talking about (5, Insightful)

Alinabi (464689) | about 8 years ago | (#15581662)

Part of subscribing to a moral code is realizing that its requirements are overriding.

Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

Re:This is what we're talking about (4, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 8 years ago | (#15581691)

Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

Many moral codes require that one do one's utmost to save innocent human life. One is not permitted to simply look over the taking of human life, as you suggest when you say that "they can just refuse treatment". Now, legislative power is a means to protect life in this case, therefore it is entirely sensible that it be used for such a purpose.

You obviously disagree with the viewpoint against the use of embryonic stem cells. Fine. But don't try to pretend that that viewpoint simply doesn't exist. It does exist, and those who hold it have certain responsibilities toward it. Surely in order to obtain a university degree you did the obligatory Ethics course.

Re:This is what we're talking about (4, Insightful)

hasbeard (982620) | about 8 years ago | (#15581757)

Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.
Do you really believe "The government has no business legislating [moral codes]"? Does that mean that you won't care if someone kidnaps your children, hacks into your back accounts and empties them out, steals your car, and backs a moving van up to your home and empties it? Some people believe that the government's job is to help protect its people--all its people, including the unborn. Abortion and creating embryos (human lives) for the purpose of using their parts are morally wrong and the government would be remiss in not prohibiting them.

Re:This is what we're talking about (0)

ArikTheRed (865776) | about 8 years ago | (#15581905)

"kidnaps your children, hacks into your back accounts and empties them out, steals your car, and backs a moving van up to your home and empties it?"
These are all questions of ownership, not morality. Arbitration of ownership disputes are something that the government very much does have a monopoly on.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1, Troll)

hasbeard (982620) | about 8 years ago | (#15581999)

These are all questions of ownership, not morality. Arbitration of ownership disputes are something that the government very much does have a monopoly on.

So you don't believe stealing is a matter of morality? Then why does the government regulate ownership? Because people have realized that stealing is morally wrong and unacceptable. People have a moral right to retain their property without interference.

But, for the sake of discussion, let's say it is a matter of ownership. The government regulates ownership, humans own their own lives, the unborn are human, therefore the government regulates, supports, and protects their right to life.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581769)

And if you have a problem with killing retired/disabled people, you're free to keep paying social security.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

E++99 (880734) | about 8 years ago | (#15581915)

The government has no business legislating [moral codes].
What do you imagine to be the purpose of government, if not to legislate and enforce moral codes?

Re:This is what we're talking about (1, Interesting)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 8 years ago | (#15581944)

Here is the thing about moral codes: individuals subscribe to them according to their own beliefs. The government has no business legislating them. If christians of various flavors have a problem with stem cell research, they are free to refuse treatments based on it.

Here is the thing about governments: it serves the people. More than that, it represents the people (ideally), and it makes laws in a way that reflect the constituency.

If the US was a representative democracy with a majority composition of pagan Inuit hunter/gatherers, there would probably be no laws on the books protecting the elderly and disabled, and government-sponsored science would be culling their organs because, let's face it, they've stopped contributing to society.

But, no, the US is a representative democracy with a majority composition of Judeao-Christian manufacturers and industrialists, so we not only have laws protecting the very old, but also the very young, as well.

It's religious, it's cultural, it's who we are. Most of us, anyway. When it ceases to be "most of us," or when the majority voice gets lazy (or the minority voice gets sufficiently energized and organized), things may change. Who knows, maybe in a few decades, when you're ready for your rocking chair, society will have hardened to the point where we once again cast the useless among us out onto the ice floes.

Dress warm, D00d.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

anti-pop-frustration (814358) | about 8 years ago | (#15581916)

First of all: moral != religion

It seems like a lot of Slashdot posters think that the best thing human beings could do is just junk whatever moral notions they have about the dignity of the human person, and just do a lot of crazy whizbang scientific experiments just because they are there.

Welcome to the a world ruled by religious beliefs were trying to cure people is described as "crazy whizbang scientific experiments"

Re:This is what we're talking about (3, Informative)

ElleyKitten (715519) | about 8 years ago | (#15581982)

There's a lot of Christians who don't believe that embryos are people. You can't just look religious affiliation stats and say that all of these people believe this, because they don't.

Also, we're not talking late-term fetuses that look like babies. We're not talking about fetuses like the ones you see on ultrasounds. We're talking about microscopic eggs that have been fertilized for a few days. If they were in a woman, she wouldn't know. If they failed to implant or miscarried, she'd never notice. However, they're not in a woman. Most embryos for stem cell research come from fertility clinics, extras created for backup and then unneeded, so they will never go in a woman and grow into a baby. If they weren't donated to science, they'd be thrown away. I for one, would rather they be used to help people, or even animals, rather than be thrown away.

Re:This is what we're talking about (2, Insightful)

CRCulver (715279) | about 8 years ago | (#15581997)

There's a lot of Christians who don't believe that embryos are people. You can't just look religious affiliation stats and say that all of these people believe this, because they don't.

If they profess membership in a church and don't actually agree with the church, then that makes them hypocrites. Seems like quite a problem, don't you think?

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

tcopeland (32225) | about 8 years ago | (#15582003)

Foarte buna, Christopher! Well said indeed. Multemesc.

Re:This is what we're talking about (1)

Tom (822) | about 8 years ago | (#15582007)

It seems like a lot of Slashdot posters think that the best thing human beings could do is just junk whatever moral notions they have about the dignity of the human person, and just do a lot of crazy whizbang scientific experiments just because they are there.

Without such an attitude, we'd still consider leeches as the pinnacle of modern medicine. The human body was once considered holy and untouchable, and cutting it open was not something a doctor could even consider without risking to be burned alive.

In a couple years, we'll have the same attitude towards embryos. After all, you can just make a new one, it isn't very complicated and it happens to be a lot of fun, too.

Too true (1)

Biotech9 (704202) | about 8 years ago | (#15581702)

It's not just medical research that's being handicapped by the politicisation of the stem cell issue in the US. Stem cell research has the potential to generate billions in revenue in the future. For example, in my University and some others in Sweden and Germany (Including the pre-eminent Karolinska institute), the EU has started and is funding a project to use embryonic stem cells to analyse drug toxicity and metabolism. The eventual goal is to replace animal testing with cell culture testing.

Results would be much more accurate, at the moment hundreds of animals are used to generate enough statistically safe data about drugs being tested, with embryonic stem cells many more tests could be run at a fraction of the cost, with much higher accuracy (as the cells would respond as a human cell would, and not as an animal cell would.) Drugs could be ready for the market place in a much shorter time, and pharmacy companies would save billions while also saving many hundreds of thousands of animals lives AND getting more accurate results to give consumers more safety.

  The US Government is shooting itself in the foot here. There are so many fantastic areas where stem cells can deliver so much, and it's a race that they have not yet started in, while the rest of the world is already competing.

Important political debates (1, Flamebait)

amightywind (691887) | about 8 years ago | (#15581712)

Really, this exemplifies the sort of research we've been talking about when it comes to stem cells. Unfortunately, the actual scientific possibilities were overshadowed by a bunch of political bullshit.

The source of stem cells is a profoundly important debate. Do we really want to breed and sacrifice a race of sound humans to fix broken bodies already deselected by nature?

Stem cells, biology (evolution!), global warming...The subjection of science to political considerations has to stop.

The debate over evolution will end once the science starts getting a better defense. Global warming is political by nature. It is a scientific growth industry which obtains venture capital by spreading fear. Its track record of prediction is among the worst in all of science. It is also the primary tactic of a "green movement" whose real motive is to foist a weird, agrarian, impoverished ideal on prosperous industrial society.

Stem cells + gamer wrists = An RSI-free future? (1)

Bruce McBruce (791094) | about 8 years ago | (#15581461)

I really do hope that in however many years when use of stem cells grows to a point where they're used in common surgery, they'll be able to cure or at least help with RSI. What I wouldn't give for my wrists will once more be able to handle an hour of Xbox useage again.

Try it on my cat, please! (0, Offtopic)

ManoSinistra (983539) | about 8 years ago | (#15581463)

Now try this science out on my cat please!

Embryonic? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581472)

Umm article says stem cells, halfway down they are talking about embroynic stemcells.

which ones did they use to help the rats walk.

stem cells are legal to use.

embroynic stem cells can be used but require private funding.

article doesn't distinguish wich ones are used on the rodents :(

Re:Embryonic? (2, Informative)

aardwolf64 (160070) | about 8 years ago | (#15581480)

There is nothing illegal about using embryonic RAT stem cells...

Re:Embryonic? (1)

davygrvy (868500) | about 8 years ago | (#15581858)

What a great fuss this discovery makes :)

There is nothing illegal about using embryonic RAT stem cells...

So how will the progression of this "Stem cells repair spinal cord injuries" discovery work in real human trials? That's the next step, right?

How will George Bush defend his stance on human embrionic stem cell research with this news?

Miracle (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581482)

Don't be silly. Jesus cured those rats, and He would have cured even more of them if those godless scientists hadn't been mucking about with evil stem cells...

soup of nerve-friendly chemicals (5, Funny)

losec (642631) | about 8 years ago | (#15581484)

thats what i'm going to call long island ice tea from now on.

Tests on people (1)

LoonyMike (917095) | about 8 years ago | (#15581497)

The guys at Valve totally rock with their Stem technology.
They are already moving to the next step, testing it on humans [valvesoftware.com] .

Gee ... too bad (-1, Flamebait)

NoSalt (801989) | about 8 years ago | (#15581517)

Gee ... too bad we'll NEVER get to use this technology on humans here in the United States thanks to all of the right-wing, conservative, narrow-minded, whiney religious zealots.

Maybe if enough of them , or their families, get paralyzed then this will change but I don't see it happening in the near future.

Sorry Chris Reeves ... we hardley knew ye ...

Re:Gee ... too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581560)

grow up

I for one (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581528)

Welcome our recently unparalyzed rat overlords.

How long till they get cancer? (0, Flamebait)

RecycledElectrons (695206) | about 8 years ago | (#15581558)

Every human ever treated with embryonic stem cells developed terminal cancer in a few months. We'll see how long until these rodents die of cancer.

Andy Out!

Sources? (1)

lbbros (900904) | about 8 years ago | (#15581647)

Can you quote the sources?

Re:How long till they get cancer? (1)

sirinek (41507) | about 8 years ago | (#15581959)

Hey, this is SLASHDOT. If you're going to troll, at least do a decent job. I mean that was simply amateur!

Huh? (1)

linuxinit (902010) | about 8 years ago | (#15581601)

Why haven't you all see that episode of Southpark where superman sucks the juice out of fetuses? *shudders

Geeze (5, Funny)

TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) | about 8 years ago | (#15581610)

I wish I could be a rat, they can cure paralysis, aids, being overweight, being underweight, many types of cancer, mood disorders, aggression, lots of diseases and I even think baldness.

Groups like Peta think that rats are abused in laboratories, but they don't realize how easy a life they have it. Scientists are curing all sorts of problems in rats, making it easier for rats to survive. Billions of dollars are spent every year to cure rat problems.

I just wish that scientists would start curing stuff in humans, it would be nice if one of these days they started applying these discoveries on humans and maybe helping the human race out. If they could just take some of those billions spent on rat research and put it towards humans, what a wonderful world it would be.

So, hurray, scientists cure something else in some lab rat! Let me know when they start working on humans.

Re:Geeze (1)

lbbros (900904) | about 8 years ago | (#15581634)

I wish you'd understand that working on animals is the first step towards making things work on humans. I don't like the sensationalism of certain discoveries (that are indeed important), however this enables to perform experiments in a controlled environment without risks on humans. Unless, of course, that you want this to be done directly on humans without any prior animal testing...
And last but not least, research takes time. More than you can think, sometimes. After the discovery, there are loads of new questions that pop up, consequences, etc.

Re:Geeze (1)

Threni (635302) | about 8 years ago | (#15581683)

> Groups like Peta think that rats are abused in laboratories

Groups like PETA *demonstrate* that rats (amongst other animals) are abused in laboratories. The argument is usually around the question of whether this abuse is worth it. Some people are comfortable experimenting on humans, but most appear not to be, so the real question which is rarely tackled would actually appear to be 'why are humans somehow exempt from experimentation?'.

Whatever, it's pretty unusual to hear people suggesting that what animals undergo in laboratory experiments isn't abuse (using any sensible definition of the term) once they've looked into the nature of experiments commonly carried out there.

Stem Cells Cure Paralyzed Rats (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581664)

When I first read the topic I thought a "Stem Cell Cure" did paralize the rats.
Please editors - English is NOT a case insensitive language.

Re:Stem Cells Cure Paralyzed Rats (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | about 8 years ago | (#15581846)

> Please editors - English is NOT a case insensitive language.

i ThInk MAybE iT Is. hoWEver, CAPItalizINg tHe FIrSt leTTer oF eaCH WOrd in A HEADline iS coMmoN PRactiCE. (ALsO trUe foR CamelCase).

This could be crucial to the stem cell debate (5, Insightful)

99luftballon (838486) | about 8 years ago | (#15581687)

If they can get a similar process in place for humans it'll cut the legs out from under the luddites opposing stem cell research (no pun intended). It's amazing how many people will decide the ethics of stem cell research aren't that much of a problem when they have the chance to see loved ones walk again, or recover from illnesses like Alzheimer's or Parkinson's.

Re:This could be crucial to the stem cell debate (2, Insightful)

bizzynut (887594) | about 8 years ago | (#15581786)

"If they can get a similar process in place for humans it'll cut the legs out from under the luddites opposing stem cell research"

We are talking about embryonic stem cell research,and it wouldn't change my viewpoint to have a cure for myself or a loved one dangled in front of me. Some of those "luddites" are not expressing an irrational fear of technology, but a set of deep-seated values.

Re:This could be crucial to the stem cell debate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 years ago | (#15581868)

And those deep-seated values continue up until the moment a loved one comes down with Alzheimer's or something like it.

"Kill those fetuses - just cure my wife"

In an interesting twist of irony (0, Flamebait)

gelfling (6534) | about 8 years ago | (#15581884)

The very Christian fundamentalists who violently oppose biomedical research are ensuring the Darwinian survival of the fittest they themselves deny exists.

Stem-Cell Pact (1)

LunarStudio (836038) | about 8 years ago | (#15581902)

I say we make everyone who's against stem-cell research sign a pact that they will never use nor benefit in any form or fashion from the results of this research.

Re:Stem-Cell Pact (1)

xmorg (718633) | about 8 years ago | (#15581939)

I say we make everyone who's against animal research sign a pact that they will never use nor benefit in any form or fashion from the results of this research. :p
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