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Old 03-30-2010, 01:17 AM
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Default New Study Could Bring Scientists One Step Closer To Biological Immortality!

A Dose of Embryonic Cells Could Induce Infant-Like 'Plasticity' in Brain, Allowing it to Rewire Itself Like New:

"The brain is the body's most complicated biological machine, and as such it can be very difficult to service when something goes wrong; after our neural wiring is put in place, at a very young age, altering or rebuilding it becomes extremely challenging. But researchers at UC San Francisco have figured out a way to induce a new period of "plasticity" -- a state in which neural circuitry is receptive to change -- in the visual cortices of mice, a breakthrough that could lead to treatments for brain circuits damaged by developmental problems or traumas.
All regions of the brain go through periods of high plasticity at various times in the development process during early life. During this time, neurons are highly responsive to signals -- in the case of the visual cortex, visual signals -- that shape the way they will function going forward. Through a process known as synaptic transmission, the cells rapidly relay signals from one appropriate cell to the next, creating the neural circuitry that enables functions like vision.
In the visual cortex, this state of plasticity is brought on by neurons that release the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA. That got the UCSF researchers wondering: if embryonic neurons that mature into GABA-producing cells were inserted into a damaged visual cortex, could plasticity -- and hence circuitry repair -- be induced?
The answer, it seems, is yes. The team first took a group of mice during their normal period of visual cortex plasticity (at about four weeks of age) and deprived one eye of each mouse of visual signals, allowing one eye to develop fully while the other eye did not. They then transplanted some immature embryonic neurons into the animals' visual cortexes. As the embryonic cells matured over time, they dispersed throughout the cortex, grew into GABA-producing inhibitory neurons and began to make synaptic connections, catalyzing a second period of plasticity that allowed the deprived eye to recalibrate it's circuitry properly.
The study suggest that it may be possible in the future to transplant immature neurons into the visual cortex and other parts of the brain damaged by stroke, trauma, developmental disorders, psychiatric illness, or aging, allowing the brain a second chance to wire itself like new."


My comment on the page was this (I am Soroshi there):

This is amazing news!! This has SO many implications! This could cure things like alzheimer's, brain damage from trauma, and so much more! This even has implications with regard to biological immortality! Neurons are one of the few cells that don't replicate, so even if you found a way to keep your body young, your brain would deteriorate, with this treatment this would no longer be a problem!

What do you think?
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Old 04-08-2010, 10:06 PM
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Me want.
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Old 04-09-2010, 03:57 PM
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I have seen other studies that show that embryonic stem cells are less stable. Adult stem cells are the ones that have been helpful in the cases of alzheimers, etc. The use of embryonic stem cells brings with it some very crucial ethical issues. I think it is safer to use the adult stem cells instead.
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Old 04-09-2010, 11:32 PM
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I have seen other studies that show that embryonic stem cells are less stable. Adult stem cells are the ones that have been helpful in the cases of alzheimers, etc. The use of embryonic stem cells brings with it some very crucial ethical issues. I think it is safer to use the adult stem cells instead.
I agree, but if embryonic stem cells work better(they probably do in some cases), then what is the problem with taking one embryonic stem cell from a fetus, ONE cell, and then replacing the DNA in that cell with the DNA of the patient, and then growing those cells in the lab to the desired quantities?
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Old 04-12-2010, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Afkeu View Post
I agree, but if embryonic stem cells work better(they probably do in some cases), then what is the problem with taking one embryonic stem cell from a fetus, ONE cell, and then replacing the DNA in that cell with the DNA of the patient, and then growing those cells in the lab to the desired quantities?
Well, the problem is, is that they are taking these cells from embryos that could grow up to be living, breathing human beings like you and I. Taking the cells from them at that stage leads to killing them. The whole issue with embryonic stem cells leads to another issue that might be best done in the debate section. I feel its safer to use the adult stem cells. This is an issue that my dad has studied more than I but from what he says, there has been several remarkable breakthroughs with them or with cord blood cells than with the embryonic ones.
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Old 04-18-2010, 03:43 AM
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Old 04-18-2010, 10:05 AM
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Ok, we already know what corrupt pope benedict will say to this. But I really like this idea, evolution imprints every species with the survival instinct, so this is obviously the penultimate result of survival. As a training biologist, it seems that the science behind the idea is concrete, to get this into practicality we would need to overcome the absolute IMMENSE ethical and religious opposition, I would be happy to debate this in favour of the idea.

I always knew that humanity could be immortal, I constantly brainstormed theories on the one big problem, how do we keep the brain from dieing? That is the one big hurdle. You can replace every part of your body with robotic limbs, organs, you name it. But the brain will die. This research offers a way around that. The next step should be to see if they can get an animal to live way over its maximum age.
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