Scientists have identified a way of prompting nerve system repair in multiple sclerosis (MS).
Studies on rats by Cambridge and Edinburgh University researchers identified how to help stem cells in the brain regenerate myelin sheath, needed to protect nerve fibres.
MS charities said the “exciting” Nature Neuroscience work offered hope of restoring physical functions.
But they cautioned it would be some years before treatments were developed.
MS is caused by a defect in the body’s immune system, which turns in on itself, and attacks the fatty myelin sheath.
It is thought to affect around 100,000 people in the UK.
Around 85% have the relapsing/remitting form
Scientists have found the first “conclusive evidence” of the existence of cancer stem cells in humans, in a discovery which could put an end to years of scientific controversy and pave the way for more effective cancer treatments which could attack the disease “at the root” (…)
The existence of cancer stem cells – mutated stem cells responsible for the development and growth of cancers – has been hypothesised for decades, and their existence in mice was established two years ago. Whether or not they are also responsible for the growth of cancers in humans has remained controversial (…)
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Scientists have discovered a new way to generate human motor nerve cells in a development that will help research into motor neurone disease.
A team from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Cardiff has created a range of motor neurons – nerves cells that send messages from the brain and spine to other parts of the body – from human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory.
It is the first time that researchers have been able to generate a variety of human motor neurons, which differ in their make-up and display properties depending on where they are located