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SEOUL : 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.
Though they cautioned that more research was needed and verification from international experts was required, the South Korean researchers said Hwang's case could signal a leap forward in the treatment of spinal cord injuries.
Originally posted by Tesla
I don't care what type of stem cell it is...... IT WORKED!!!!!!
God bless the Dr.'s who are doing this research.
Too bad our country has put the whole industry on the back burner.
Looks like S.Korea has beat us here..... go moonies! hahaha
[edit on 29-11-2004 by Tesla]
Originally posted by Seapeople
Even in the article it says to wait patiently for them to verify this story. Don't jump for joy just yet. If this story is verified, then jump for joy.
they cautioned that more research was needed and verification from international experts was required,
Originally posted by BlackJackal
This is fabulous news! One thing to note is that this breakthrough came from umbilical cord stem cells and not embryonic stem cells.
The promising stem cell therapy will enable paralyzed patients to walk again from 2006, according to Chosun University professor Song Chang-hun Friday.
In an interview with The Korea Times, the 48-year-old professor said that many spinal cord patients will have the chance to receive stem cell therapy by 2006. ``We will be able to develop technology enough to do so by then,¡¯¡¯ he added.
During last week¡¯s press conference, Song stole the limelight by announcing that a 37-year-old spinal cord patient was successfully treated with stem cells from the blood of umbilical cords.
Hwang Mi-soon, who was paralyzed 19 years ago as a result of a spinal injury, stood up from her wheelchair and walked back and forth a few steps with the help of a walker about 40 days after the operation.
Song¡¯s team harvested stem cells from the blood of umbilical cords and injected these into Hwang¡¯s damaged spine on Oct. 12, this year.
Some critics say the announcement is not scientific enough as it is just one case and needs to be confirmed and repeated by others.
Mindful of such criticisms, Song¡¯s team looks to prove the efficiency of the newfound therapy by conducting it on four more patients this year after getting the nod from authorities.
If the follow-on clinical tests pull off another success, Song expects the stem cell therapy using blood from umbilical cords will be applied soon because it does not involve the ethical problems posed by embryonic stem cell.
Song also projected his team¡¯s medical breakthrough could be extended to treatment of cerebral impairment or damage of visual or hearing ability.
``One of my friends, a university professor, plans to start clinical trials of reviving auditory nerves of a patient with the umbilical cord blood stem cells soon. Its potential is immense,¡¯¡¯ he said.
In a breakthrough development which hold immense hope for childless couples, researchers from the Wales College of Medicine at Cardiff University have succeeded in devising a way to make human eggs behave as if they have been fertilised without using sperm.
The team believes that this could provide a more ethically acceptable way of creating 'embryonic' stem cells and according to the findings published in the New Scientist, the researchers used an enzyme found in sperm to prompt the egg to divide and they are hopeful that the enzyme could also be used to help couples unable to have children because the man's sperm has too little of this key protein called PLC-zeta.
PLC-zeta, phospholipase C-zeta, is produced by sperm, and plays a key role in activating the egg, allowing it to be fertilised.
The Cardiff team, led by Professor Karl Swann, found that the embryos appeared to undergo the same changes as naturally fertilised eggs, suggesting they will also be able to produce stem cells.
"There are a number of potential benefits, including the possibility of generating embryonic stem cells without the need to use embryos that were originally created for a couple's IVF treatment," Nazar Amso, a senior lecturer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Wales College of Medicine, said.