This may sound like …
This may sound like a disclaimer from a movie, but it’s for real. “No babies were killed in the repairing of this spinal cord.”

A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.

Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.

Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of their stem-cell therapy.

They said it was the world’s first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.

There are already many success stories using adult stem cells and umbilical cord blood, but the big push you keep hearing about is how only destroying embryos are we going to make advances. Well that’s just plain wrong.

So-called “multipotent” stem cells — those found in cord blood — are capable of forming a limited number of specialised cell types, unlike the more versatile “undifferentiated” cells that are derived from embroyos.

However, these stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood have emerged as an ethical and safe alternative to embryonic stem cells.

Clinical trials with embryonic stem cells are believed to be years away because of the risks and ethical problems involved in the production of embryos — regarded as living humans by some people — for scientific use.

In contrast, there is no ethical dimension when stem cells from umbilical cord blood are obtained, according to researchers.

Additionally, umbilical cord blood stem cells trigger little immune response in the recipient as embryonic stem cells have a tendency to form tumors when injected into animals or human beings.

No ethical issue and safer; a win-win for everyone. Let’s keep this in mind.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!