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  (Source: frogsite.org)

The frog tadpole on the left was implanted with stem cells to give it a new eye, seen on the right. The discovery could one day restore sight in humans.  (Source: Michael Zuber)
Scientist help disabled frogs live fuller lives -- and hopefully someday humans too

Technology promises to cure many ailments in the near future, from paralysis to blindness.  In the case of blindness, the only question is whether an electronic gadget or an organic stem-cell driven solution will be the first to hit the market and gain mainstream acceptance.

Supporters of the stem cell approach got a big boost from new research at the SUNY Upstate Medical University, in Syracuse, NY.  Researcher Michael Zuber and his colleagues report that by taking stem cells from frog eggs, they're able to prod the cells to grow into eyes when attached to tadpoles, baby frogs.

In order to get the cells to become eyes, the team genetically modified them, inserting transcription factors (proteins that trigger expression of other genes) which are known to regulate eye growth and development.

The scientists then implanted the cells into tadpoles missing an eye.  The cells properly developed and differentiated into all seven types of retinal cells and appeared to have the proper structure.  Additionally the new eye attached properly to the brain.  In swimming tests the eye was shown to be working as implanted tadpoles only swam to the white side of the tank (normal behavior), while blind ones would also swim to the black side of the tank.

Would the technique work on mammals?  The answer is maybe -- frogs naturally have a much easier type regrowing tissues than humans, in fact they can be triggered to regrow legs and many amphibians can regrow lost tails.  Triggering proper differentiation in mammals is much more complex.

Nonetheless, Professor Zuber hopes that chemicals will be found from the research that can activate transcription factors in humans.  Even if a full eye could not be grown, this could help people with retinal disorders regenerate ocular tissue.

In a separate, but perhaps equally intriguing study performed by Sujeong Jang of Chonnam National University, in South Korea, and his colleagues, the researchers were able to restore the hearing of deaf guinea pigs by implanting them with human neural stem cells obtained from human bone marrow.


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It never ends!
By amanojaku on 11/21/2008 10:35:09 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
In swimming tests the eye was shown to be working as implanted tadpoles only swam to the white side of the tank (normal behavior), while blind ones would also swam to the black side of the tank.

Damn prejudiced frogs!!!




RE: It never ends!
By bldckstark on 11/21/2008 12:52:37 PM , Rating: 6
Can't we all just swim along?


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 4:08:51 PM , Rating: 6
Oh God that was bad.... it croaked me up.


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 4:58:52 PM , Rating: 6
This thread is making me hopping mad...


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:04:11 PM , Rating: 6
hmmmmm.... I thought you might be more green with envy, however I don't want to jump to any conclusions.


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:05:29 PM , Rating: 2
I doubt you would land in the right pond if you did...


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmmm... That's something I'll have to ponder about...


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:12:18 PM , Rating: 5
I must say, this is a ribbeting conversation...


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:16:18 PM , Rating: 3
Yep, there is a lot that springs up and not to much to really bog you down....


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:19:36 PM , Rating: 2
They are a good recipe indeed, but I think its all in the legs...


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:26:47 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I know you can get good bounce out of something stretch out, but those legs are a little lean....


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:33:10 PM , Rating: 2
A little tongue-in-cheek to be honest, been hitting the fireflies again?


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
No, I don't have any fireflies until after the sun starts to set. Then I like to sit back and pop a few back real quick like.


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:39:19 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds like a nice way to cool off, dont want the ol' blood to boil...


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:42:31 PM , Rating: 2
Well you know it's the slowly heated pot that will kill you not the already boiling one.....


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 5:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
Its always the little things... But I have an eye for such situations


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 5:47:50 PM , Rating: 2
And now based on this article you can have a couple eyes to spare... In case you lose one, you can bounce right back with a new eye and never lose the spring in your step....


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 6:05:13 PM , Rating: 2
Not much into the google look myself, but this stuff really is going ahead in leaps and bounds!


RE: It never ends!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 6:10:00 PM , Rating: 2
yes, one can really jump deep into this subject.


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/21/2008 6:19:39 PM , Rating: 2
I prefer the shallows myself; if your not careful you might end up the creek without a paddle's chance.


RE: It never ends!
By DNAgent on 11/23/2008 5:37:54 PM , Rating: 2
This TOTALLY proves the superiority of the PS3 over the 360.


RE: It never ends!
By Myg on 11/24/2008 5:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
I toadally disagree...


RE: It never ends!
By MrPoletski on 11/23/2008 7:47:43 PM , Rating: 2
But can it run Crysis?


Talk about awesome!
By Gzus666 on 11/21/2008 10:24:23 AM , Rating: 1
Man, I could go for a few extra arms...




RE: Talk about awesome!
By arazok on 11/21/2008 10:48:31 AM , Rating: 3
I’ve got eyes on the back of my head…


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Gzus666 on 11/21/2008 10:49:49 AM , Rating: 4
Yea, but that would make haircuts a nerve racking experience. WATCH OUT FOR THE EYES!


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 11:15:35 AM , Rating: 2
This is great news for Hip (my pet frog). Just last week he poked his eye out by hopping into a low branch. He has not been able to hit a fly ever since that day.... Sad, however he will be happy to hear this news.


RE: Talk about awesome!
By hduser on 11/21/2008 1:42:50 PM , Rating: 2
Why couldn't they have tried it on a toad. That way we can get Hypnotoad like in Futurama.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_yoJI-Tl94g


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Gzus666 on 11/21/2008 2:35:04 PM , Rating: 2
We are years from perfecting hypnotoad eyes.


RE: Talk about awesome!
By William Gaatjes on 11/21/2008 2:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's sad, i hope Hip will be ok.


RE: Talk about awesome!
By napalmjack on 11/21/2008 11:21:22 AM , Rating: 2
Too bad Christopher Reeves is not around anymore...

HACKMAN!


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Gzus666 on 11/21/08, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about awesome!
By tastyratz on 11/21/2008 12:04:45 PM , Rating: 2
one step closer to...
TROOOOOOOGGDDDDOOOOOOOORRRR

Burninating the stem cells!


RE: Talk about awesome!
By ThePooBurner on 11/21/2008 12:13:22 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah... Arms. Right... ;)


RE: Talk about awesome!
By AnnihilatorX on 11/21/2008 1:49:28 PM , Rating: 2
I could go with an extra reproductive organ!


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Ammohunt on 11/21/2008 2:05:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah or a nice pair of breasts..of course i would never leave the house....


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Sahkuhnder on 11/21/2008 3:52:52 PM , Rating: 2
This could create an entirely new meaning to "Go f**k yourself"!


RE: Talk about awesome!
By Orbs on 11/24/2008 4:00:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Man, I could go for a few extra arms...


Goro wins.


Windpipe Transplant
By freshmint on 11/21/2008 11:10:41 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think this is that far off, stem cell research has certainly come a long way. Recently a windpipe was transplanted into a patient, a windpipe that was created by her own stem cells extracted from her bone marrow.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/7735696.stm




RE: Windpipe Transplant
By kontorotsui on 11/21/2008 12:36:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think this is that far off, stem cell research has certainly come a long way. Recently a windpipe was transplanted into a patient, a windpipe that was created by her own stem cells extracted from her bone marrow.


Sorry you are mistaken. The windpipe was not "created" by her stem cells but came from a donor. The stem cells were used to cover the windpipe, to implant in the patient without rejection as the body would recognize it as part of itself.


RE: Windpipe Transplant
By spread on 11/21/2008 2:00:51 PM , Rating: 2
Close, but not quite.

quote:
To make the new airway, the doctors took a donor windpipe, or trachea, from a patient who had recently died. CT of the patient's lungs before A pre-surgery CT - the arrow showing the windpipe narrowing Then they used strong chemicals and enzymes to wash away all of the cells from the donor trachea, leaving only a tissue scaffold made of the fibrous protein collagen. This gave them a structure to repopulate with cells from Ms Castillo herself, which could then be used in an operation to repair her damaged left bronchus - a branch of the windpipe.


RE: Windpipe Transplant
By kontorotsui on 11/22/2008 5:25:53 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't that exactly what I wrote?


Yeah
By isorfir on 11/21/2008 10:21:48 AM , Rating: 2
But what have frog eyes ever done for me?




RE: Yeah
By Gzus666 on 11/21/2008 10:25:46 AM , Rating: 5
They put a roof over your head and food on your plate, now GO TO YOUR ROOM!


RE: Yeah
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 11/21/2008 11:10:28 AM , Rating: 2
yum... good eats...


"would also swam"?
By ggordonliddy on 11/21/2008 2:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
> blind ones would also swam to the black side of the tank.

"would also swam"?




RE: "would also swam"?
By DigitalFreak on 11/23/2008 2:18:49 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently Jason needs new eyes as well.


At Last!
By mezman on 11/24/2008 3:10:19 PM , Rating: 3
No one will ever have to want for Frog Eye Salad again!




Cool research
By werepossum on 11/21/2008 2:41:59 PM , Rating: 2
This is really, really cool research.

Although it does threaten my own charity, Mike's Home For Blind Frogs. Now I have to worry about my federal funding!




Amazing !
By Landiepete on 11/24/2008 5:58:28 AM , Rating: 2
It seems the first step to cloning Marty Feldman is a success. Young Frankenstein II looms on the horizon !




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