A View from Susan Young Rojahn
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.