11/29/2004

Unpossible!

People are rising from their wheelchairs. This was only supposed to happen if Kerry was elected!

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.

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.

The use of stem cells from cord blood could also point to a way to side-step the ethical dispute over the controversial use of embryos in embryonic stem-cell research.
It's important to be cautious when evaluating individual success stories, but the research into adult and cord-blood stem cells appears to be years (if not decades) ahead of that into embryonic stem cells. The former are producing results, while the latter is producing tumors.

The more that I read about the research, the less compelling I find the case for embryonic stem cell research to be.

Update: The most excellent MedPundit has a related piece today.