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

Hypothermia in stroke: EuroHYP moves from rats to man

Earlier today the BBC reported that European Stroke Research Network for Hypothermia (EuroHYP) has announced the launch of a major clinical trial – involving 1,500 patients in 15 centers across Europe – to evaluate whether cooling the body by 2 degrees can reduce the risk of death and disability in ischaemic stroke. The trial, known … Continue reading Hypothermia in stroke: EuroHYP moves from rats to man

Animal research unleashes the power of human embryonic stem cells

For more than a decade now embryonic stem cell research has been one of the most high profile – and indeed controversial - areas of medical science, and it is an emerging field that owes a lot to animal studies performed by pioneers like Gail Martin of UCSF. Recently the field has begun to live … Continue reading Animal research unleashes the power of human embryonic stem cells