Stem Cells Being Used In Trials To Cure Human Paralysis.

Stem Cells. Super buzz word time! We’ve heard the words. We’ve heard the debate ad nauseam. Now we can hear this: stem cells are being used in trials to cure paralysis. In humans. Welcome to the fucking future.


Although not all spinal injuries cause complete loss of function, they still often require a huge adjustment in a person’s life. Finding some way of curing, or at least partially ameliorating the effects of severe spinal cord injury has been a dream of many. When stem cell therapies began to be a possiblity, those dreams got a lot more tangible. Early testing showed that some mammals, at least, could recover from paralyzing injuries with the use of stem cell therapies.

Of course, what news would it be, if it wasn’t the most controversial kind of stem cell.

The study is being conducted with the most controversial cells in modern science, human embryonic stem cells. The ones used in the study were taken from embryos which were harvested for in vitro procedures and given to science by the biological donors. They were undifferentiated, until treated with biological agents that created a group of cells containing oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, or OPCs. The name used for the stem cell formulation, GRNOPC1, denotes that the OPCs are made and mixed by Geron(GRN). Oligodendrocytes both manufacture proteins that heal and enhance nerve cells, but they also produce myelin. Myelin wraps around nerve cells and allows them to send signals efficiently and quickly.

Paint this all with a hefty amount of skepticism. It’s the appropriate reason. Thankfully I’m a guy who likes talking about his dick and fluids, and I’m not appropriate at all. I’m going to fist-pump and be extremely excited about all this. Welcome to the future.