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Stem Cells Help Night-Blind, Bald, Heartbroken Mice

Three dramatic results from tests of stem cell therapies could one day be repeated in humans.

Nature News reports today on three different studies that successfully used stem cell therapies to sprout new hair on bald mice, restore some vision to night-blind mice, and improve the heart function of mice with a cardiac injury. All three methods could eventually be adapted for use in humans.

Robert Lanza, Chief Scientific Officer at Advanced Cell Technologies, a regenerative medicine biotechnology company, told Nature:

“By the time we grow old, doctors are going to look back and say, ‘Can you believe people used to go bald, go blind or even have their leg cut off from vascular disease?’ —then [they] will treat the problem with an injection of [stem] cells.”

In January Lanza’s company reported that embryonic stem cells could be safely injected into the eyes of human patients suffering deteriorating vision, although the efficacy of the treatment is unknown.

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Five poems about the mind

DREAM VENDING MACHINE I feed it coins and watch the spring coil back,the clunk of a vacuum-packed, foil-wrappeddream dropping into the tray. It dispenses all kinds of dreams—bad dreams, good dreams,short nightmares to stave off worse ones, recurring dreams with a teacake marshmallow center.Hardboiled caramel dreams to tuck in your cheek,a bag of orange dreams…

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Be a good example

"It was in the newspaper, but the towers fell the next day, and what I’d done was quickly lost."

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