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article imageVideo: Nose-cell transplant enables paralyzed dogs to walk again

By Can Tran     Nov 19, 2012 in Science
Researchers at the University of Cambridge in England have achieved success in restoring hind leg mobility in dogs through the use of nerve cells located in the nose.
Stem cell research is one of the biggest topics that crosses over science in religion. Science and religion have often clashed against each other over a variety of topics. Such topics include cloning, the origin of the earth, humanity, and so forth. Stem cell research is one of the most heated topics that pits scientific and religious pundits against each other. On the religious side, the issue is compounded with the issue of abortion due to one method of getting embryonic stem cells. In an article on Science Daily, there is a new type of cell that's like a stem cell in development by a research team at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.
When these cells are grown, they do not produce tumors unlike other stem cells. There is talk about using these cells for regenerative medicines. This is different from the pluripotent stem cells which can cause teratomas if they get out of control in the human body. Stanford University is currently working on ways to avert that side-effect by the reliance on the body's internal signals to keep these stem cells from going out of control.
In the case of England's Cambridge University, they are doing something similar yet completely different. Researchers at Cambridge University conducted a randomized double-blind study involving thirty-four dogs. According to the reports, the results have been published in the publication called “Brain.” What researchers and doctors have done were to take nose cells called “olfactory ensheathing cells.” Then, these cells would be cultured for about a month or two before being injected into the dogs' spines.
Researchers say that these cells tend to regenerate unlike the other central nervous cells. In this respect, this is an achievement in spinal cell restoration.
Reports followed one of the dogs, Jasper, who received this experimental treatment. From the videos, he was walking while being assisted by a harness. Now, he can walk without a harness. According to Jasper's owner, May Hay, his high legs were paralyzed after getting hit by a car. In Jasper's case, many other dogs still need a treadmill and hardness. Luckily, none of the dogs that went through the experiment have suffered any negative effects to their health.
In the video, researchers explain that this doesn't necessarily mean it can be applied for humans suffering spinal cord injuries. But, being able to help restore spinal function in dogs and other animals is a positive step forward.
In the case of Bantam, MediVet America has utilized a regenerative stem cell therapy that uses adipose cells. This dog named Rhiannon, who is the first dog to receive this therapy from MediVet America. She was found hanging by the neck from a tree. The owner admitted to not properly feeding Rhiannon or providing her with water. Since Rhiannon didn't die from either hunger or thirst, the owner decided to end her life by hanging. But, Rhiannon was discovered and saved by Edward Milne.
More about Stem cells, Stem cell, Stem cell research, animal paralysis, Paralysis
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