Moving from rats to patients: swift progress for electrical simulation in treating paralysis

Sometimes the pace of medical progress takes even us by surprise. Last month a paper was published in the Lancet by a team of clinicians and scientists at the University of Louisville that we certainly were not expecting to see so soon, reporting that electrical stimulation of the lower spinal cord had restored voluntary movement … Continue reading Moving from rats to patients: swift progress for electrical simulation in treating paralysis

Paralysed dogs walk again thanks to nasal cell transplants…and Professor Raisman’s rats.

This morning the BBC News carried a report on a medical breakthrough – and it is not a term  I use lightly – that has enormous implications for people who have been paralysed following spinal cord injuries.  A team at the University of Cambridge led by Professor Robin Franklin  Department of Veterinary Medicine, along with colleagues … Continue reading Paralysed dogs walk again thanks to nasal cell transplants…and Professor Raisman’s rats.

ERV blogs on GMO Herpes vs severe cancer pain

As gene therapy emerges as one of the hottest areas of medical research, one thing that is striking is how it employs viruses - sometimes very nasty viruses - to deliver the gene to where it is needed in the human body. Yesterday virologist Abbie Smith discussed another excellent example of this on the ERV blog … Continue reading ERV blogs on GMO Herpes vs severe cancer pain

Understanding Cyborg Jellyfish

While I was on vacation I missed a fascinating story about how scientists at Harvard University and Caltech have created an artificial jellyfish - termed a medusoid - using rat heart cells on a silicone matrix in order to demonstrate that it is possible to reverse-engineer a muscular pump, as described in this informative report on CBC News. This … Continue reading Understanding Cyborg Jellyfish

Swiss scientists restore voluntary locomotion in paralysed rats.

A study published yesterday in the journal Science, in which a team of scientists led by Professor Gregoire Courtine at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology used a combination of electrical stimulation, drug treatment and a training regime that encouraged active participation to restore voluntary control of movement in paralysed rats, has received widespread media … Continue reading Swiss scientists restore voluntary locomotion in paralysed rats.

Dogs in Medical Research

A video clip from Understanding Animal Research, a UK organisation which tries to tackle some of the misunderstandings about animal research. This kind of open advocacy which allows people to see the conditions of animals in labs is an important step in winning and keeping public support for lifesaving medical research. Notice the use of … Continue reading Dogs in Medical Research