Pic courtesy of Regenexx.
Science Daily reports that researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Montreal have discovered a new class of spinal cord stem cells that behave like neural stem cells. This discovery could pave the way for a new line of research that might eventually result in new and improved treatments for spinal cord injury and disease. SD reports:
The nervous system has historically been thought to be incapable of repairing itself, as the cells used to create it are exhausted during development. With the identification of these new stem cell-like radial glial cells, it may be possible to activate a certain set of genes in order to encourage those cells to reconstruct a damaged network in the adult spinal cord.
We can’t know now where this research will lead, but the possibilities opened by research like this are as intriguing as they are important. Congrats to all the scientists involved! We wish you the best as you explore the possibilities of these new cells.