The Cures Are Inside You

first_img(Visited 12 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Your body has the means to repair itself, if the right cells get into the right places.A nose for repair:  Medical Xpress reported that a man with a severed spinal cord—an injury thought to be irreparable—has recovered partial sensation and movement of his limbs again.  The secret: transplanted cells from his nose!  This is astonishing; it offers hope for quadriplegics some day.Treating patients with a complete spinal cord injury (SCI), the condition in which no motor or sensory function is preserved in the spinal segments below the level of the injury, has generally been unsuccessful. This is because no treatment methods have been able to regenerate the severed spinal nerves across the injured area. Now, doctors in Poland and scientists from England may have restored some function and sensory sensation to a 38 year-old man who had sustained a traumatic transection (severing) of the spinal cord in the upper vertabral level Th9. By removing one of his olfactory bulbs, where the sense of smell resides, and transplanting his own olfactory ensheathing cells (OECs) and olfactory nerve fibroblasts (ONFs) into the damaged area along with a nerve “bridge” constructed between the two stumps of the damage spinal column, they have seen some voluntary limb function and sensation recovery over a 19 month follow-up.The BBC News has a video of the patient, Darek Fidyka, walking slowly with the aid of a frame; he said it’s “like you were born again.”Update 10/23/14:  Medical Xpress update says the patient is not only walking, but can dress and undress himself and get into bed without help.  Darek, age 40, described his progress with tears in his eyes.  The doctors are now seeking new patients for the life-changing treatment.Diabetes cure?  A new stem cell recipe offers hope for diabetics, Science Magazine reported.  It appears that the stem cells could be embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells; either way, the stem cells appear able to create the pancreatic beta cells necessary to produce insulin.  Tests with mice have cured them of diabetes.  “The diabetes research community has been waiting for ages for this type of breakthrough,” one researcher said.  Human treatments are probably years away, though.The all-healing eye:  Could the cure for blindness be right in front of your eyeballs?  Medical Xpress says that stem cells found in the cornea show hope for restoring sight to the blind.  “Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered that a region on the front surface of the eye harbours special stem cells that could treat blinding eye conditions,” the article begins; these cells are found “in a narrow gap lying between the transparent cornea and white sclera.”  Macular degeneration is one of the diseases that may be treatable with these stem cells.Professor Andrew Lotery, of the University of Southampton and a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Southampton General Hospital led the study. He comments: “These cells are readily accessible, and they have surprising plasticity, which makes them an attractive cell resource for future therapies. This would help avoid complications with rejection or contamination because the cells taken from the eye would be returned to the same patient. More research is now needed to develop this approach before these cells are used in patients.”Another good thing: these cells are found in old people’s eyes, too, “and can be cultured even from the corneal limbus of 97 year olds.”  This offers hope of treatment for both old and young from their own eyeballs.Wait; there’s more:  These are just a few examples of a burgeoning movement to find healing cells within the body.  Stem cells have been found in the esophagus (Science Daily), possibly available to treat throat conditions and cancer.  Stem cells in the brain (Science Daily) appear to have an “unexpected role” in regenerating lost neurons, a repair long thought impossible.  And stem cells in placentas (Science Daily) might one day treat multiple sclerosis.  Clinical trials so far show this is safe.Update 10/23/14: Another story on Medical Xpress says that researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have reprogrammed mouse skin cells directly into brain cells, without having to go through the stem cell stage.  This could herald future treatments for Huntington’s Disease and other brain disorders.This is all wonderful news, but it raises a question: if these cells are there, why don’t they fix things without our help?  Did the Creator install repair tools in us that don’t work?  Here are some possible answers: (1) maybe they do more than we know, and we just aren’t aware of it.  More importantly, (2) there’s been a lot of degradation since the Fall.  A Biblical creation view would expect that the curse of sin that brought death broke a lot of things that were intended to promote immortality.  We see that salamanders can regrow lost limbs.  Maybe that’s a hint of what could have been, and will some day be, on a restored world for the righteous.  In the meantime, God has given us the ability to learn about how things work so that we can help one another.  The “good” stem cells (adult cells) show promise to bring back some of that lost repair capability, without having to kill an embryo to do it.  More power to these researchers!  Let the FDA not delay unnecessarily.  You and I know people who could really use these “miracle” treatments.last_img read more

Kenyans tops in London Marathon

first_imgRay Maota Emmanuel Mutai won the men’s race in two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds – the fifth fastest time in the marathon’s 30-year history. (Image: WTOP) Mary Keitany, who shaved 10 minutes off her personal best time for a marathon of this nature, recorded the fourth fastest time in the women’s division since the race’s inception. (Image: Athletics Africa) MEDIA CONTACTS • Virgin London Marathon  +44 020 7902 0200 RELATED ARTICLES • New drive to spark local sports frenzy • Legacy of 2010 shines in Kenya • Quality inputs for Kenya’s farmers • South Africa’s toughest endurance challengesKenyans dominated the 2011 Virgin London Marathon on 17 April, winning both the men’s and women’s races.Emmanuel Mutai won the men’s race in two hours, four minutes and 40 seconds – the fifth fastest time in the marathon’s 30-year history.The women’s division was won by Mary Keitany, who broke a record that had been in place since 2005 with a time of two hours, 19 minutes and 19 seconds.‘My dreams have come true’The marathon – which is run past many of the city’s landmarks including the London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Tower of London, and ends in front of Buckingham Palace – boasted a field of nearly 35 000 runners in 2011.The event is known for attracting an array of participants in elaborate costumes – many of whom dress up and run for charity. This year was no different and one running couple even donned masks resembling the soon-to-be-wed Prince William and Kate Middleton.The 2011 marathon saw 33 new Guinness World Records being set, including the fastest jester to complete a marathon, the fastest male and female marathoners in superhero costumes and the fastest Roman legionary.Mutai would have shattered the world record set by Ethiopian marathon legend Haile Gebrselassie had he come in 41 seconds earlier. Although Mutai didn’t manage this, his winning margin of a minute and five seconds was the largest recorded since 1986.Mutai, who was delighted to win his first major race, said: “My dreams have come true because I had it in my mind that one day I would win one of the five major marathons.“I was second here and in New York last year, but today has finally come for me. My aim was just to win. I was not focusing on the time, but I tried my best to push it when I saw we were inside world-record pace at one stage.”Keitany, who shaved 10 minutes off her personal best time for a marathon of this nature, recorded the fourth fastest time in the women’s division since the race’s inception.“I think I surprised myself because I was running with the champion from last year and I was a bit scared, but then I started to believe in myself that I could do it and I feel very happy,” she said.Running around LondonThe first London Marathon was run on 29 March 1981 after John Disley and Chris Brasher secured sponsorship of US$122,000 (R830 000) a year for three years from the man’s grooming conglomerate, Gillette.Between 1981 and 2009, 746 635 runners had completed the London Marathon.In 1993 the Golden Bond scheme was introduced to enable charities to buy guaranteed entries to the race for $488 (R3 324) each, which they give to runners unable to secure their own places. These runners then pledge a four-figure sum to the charities in return.In 2007 $75-million (R511-million) was raised for good causes by runners. That year saw the London Marathon become a Guinness World Record breaker as the largest single annual fundraising event in the world. That record was broken again in 2008 when $76-million (R518-million) was raised.An estimated $813-million (R5.5-billion) has been raised through the race since 1981 for charitable causes.Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group was signed up as the race sponsor in 2010 and the term will end in 2014.last_img read more

South Africa continues to create jobs

first_img13 March 2012 After rising by 5.0 percent in January, employment in South Africa registered an annualised growth rate of 1.5 percent in February, according to the latest Adcorp Employment Index, released on Monday. The index is regarded as the most representative barometer of employment trends in South Africa. During the month, the economy created 24 000 jobs, slowing from the 80 000 jobs created in January. Most of the jobs were created in the informal sector, about 22 000 or 91.7 percent of the total, Adcorp reported. In the formal sector, employment growth was strongest in the manufacturing sector, with 5.3 percent, the construction sector, with 4.7 percent, and the wholesale and retail trade, with 3.5 percent. This was the first time in more than 12 months that job growth in the production-oriented sectors exceeded job growth in the consumption-oriented sectors. Mining employment, however, continued to shrink, with a loss of 3 000 jobs in February. High-skilled employment – that of senior managers and professions – reported the strongest growth in terms of occupational categories.It grew 5.3 percent, whereas low-skilled employment, trades and elementary workers, reported the steepest decline. It registered -1.3 percent. About 68 percent of all South African workers were employed by small businesses employing fewer than 50 people. Against this backdrop, 440 000 small business closures were observed over the past five years, according to Adcorp, while the number of new business start-ups had fallen to an all-time low. Adcorp noted that the small business sector was the most important originator of jobs in SA.Sapalast_img read more