Archive for Thursday, June 24, 2010

Stem cells reverse blindness from burns

June 24, 2010

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— Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells — a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.

The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.

“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study — the longest and largest of its kind.

Stem cell transplants offer hope to the thousands of people worldwide every year who suffer chemical burns on their corneas from heavy-duty cleansers or other substances at work or at home.

The approach would not help people with damage to the optic nerve or macular degeneration, which involves the retina. Nor would it work in people who are completely blind in both eyes, because doctors need at least some healthy tissue that they can transplant.

Comments

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years ago

One more victory for adult stem cell therapies and one more reason to discontinue the destruction of human embryos for research purposes.

Centerville 6 years ago

What? The stem cells weren't 'harvested' from embryos? Nothing to see here....move along.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

Save the zygotes? Of course! After all, each and every gamete has been blessed by a skygod. We should keep the embryos in freezers until the power fails someday, then flush them down the sink. Great strategy. We need to examine all the possible uses of stems cells, adult and otherwise.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years ago

You don't have to be religious to respect all human life, China. Disrespect for your religious bretheren on this planet, however, indicates your lack of tolerance for perspectives that don't mirror your own.

And you were once a zygote, so you're probably at least somewhat thankful that your parents chose not to donate your life away to science.

jmadison 6 years ago

California passed an initiative in 2004 to spend 3 billion dollars on embryonic stem cell research which has to date been fruitless in providing any practical treatments. This will be one of many burdens that the US taxpayer will have to assume when California is bailed out by the federal government.

ivalueamerica 6 years ago

Any reason you skip over some of the facts to try and make your point? Do you know know them or do you simply ignore them.

First of all, this is bond funded. Second, the law was not pasted until 2004, It took a couple years to set up the process and they started accepting applications in 2007 made awards in late 2008 and presented in 2009. It would then take any serious scientific instutite a year or two to go beyond theory to any testing meanign the fist testing will not begin until 2011.

To suggest, then, that California has not seen any results simply ignores the facts.

I suggest if you have to omit important data or twist the reality to make a point, you are a dishonest person.

SettingTheRecordStraight 6 years ago

There's nothing inaccurate about what jmadison said. There have not been any practical treatements derived from embryonic stem cell research in the state of California - or anywhere else for that matter.

Also, bond funding still represents an obligation of the state. No one is going to pay those bond holders except for the California state government. Thus, when California's government can't pay its bills due to reckless overspending, the federal government (you and I) will be the ones bailing out California.

Olympics 6 years ago

STRS, Keep your religion out of public policy and more importantly, scientific endeavors and you will continue to receive the tolerance/acceptance of your 2000 years old beliefs.

Paul R Getto 6 years ago

STRS: "Disrespect for your religious bretheren on this planet, however, indicates your lack of tolerance for perspectives that don't mirror your own." === Thanks for the insights. "Skygod" is not a term of derision; it is academic. E.O. James (The Ancient Gods) points this out as he explains where all the gods came from, including those who tended to 'evolve' into the skygods as the vegetation gods moved to the back row. My objections are not to those who believe, but to those who distort science, medicine and politics to achieve their own ends. Anyone who tries to live by the three jewels (compassion, humility and moderation) has earned my respect. If this country really respected each individual life, the politics and the tax structure would look much different. I am, incidentally, fascinated by the skygods' rise in the Middle East, where they were invented by wandering nomads trying to explain their origins. Peace Out!

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