The latest news and information about what's going on with SCI science and research.
A research study was published recently showing that neurotrophins, or growth-inducing molecules, enhance recovery after spinal cord injury. The new work comes from Vanessa Boyce, Ph.D., at the State University of New York at Stony Brook; she is an Associate in the Lorne Mendell lab, a member of the Reeve Research Consortium on Spinal Cord Injury; the Consortium lab of Fred Gage at the Salk Institute collaborated. Read More
There is a mouse, a strange, enchanting creature of genetic engineering, called the MRL/MpJ. These mutants look like classic white lab rats. But they do things no other mammals can do: If you punch a hole in the ear of a MRL/MpJ, it heals the skin and leaves no scar.
How that can happen? The whole story hasn’t been fully explained but scientists are looking at these mice for all sorts of tissue repair potential, including skin, heart and spinal cord injury. Read More
Two papers just came out on what’s called intermittent hypoxia (IH), both showing a strong link to nerve restoration. Hypoxia simply means the state of being deprived of adequate oxygen supply; when you arrive in Aspen from sea level you are hypoxic until your body adjusts. When you exercise vigorously, you are hypoxic and you adjust your rate of respiration accordingly. Read More
Until recently, the drug industry paid for the lion's share of research into brain and spinal cord disorders. That’s not the case anymore. Drug companies are leaving the neuroscience field altogether. We all know about Geron ditching its stem cell trial last fall to focus on cancer. Read More
Once our brain and spinal cord expand from a single band of cells into an incredibly intricate neural weave during embryonic development, we mammals are never again able to make new motor neurons -- the nerve cells that signal all muscles to move. That, however, is not the case with zebrafish. These little fresh water cyprinics, of which I have at least a dozen in my living room aquarium, are able to create new motor neurons their entire lives. In fact, a completely lesioned spinal cord or optic nerve of a zebra fish will, on its own, regain full function. Read More