Stories tagged Lou Gehrig's disease

Aug
02
2008

Stephan Hawking has ALS
Stephan Hawking has ALSCourtesy NASA

New hope for understanding Lou Gehrig's disease

Stephen Hawking has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease that destroys motor neurons. So far, progress in understanding this disease has been relatively slow, mainly because it has been difficult to obtain a decent supply of living motor neurons affected by the condition. New research done by John Dimos and Kit Rodolfa from the Harvard Stem Cell Institute has created in the laboratory a plentiful supply of cells that have the same genetic makeup as a patient with a particular disease.

Another stem cell breakthrough

A paper published online in the journal,Science, describes how they created the first stem cell lines from the skin of an elderly sick person, then coaxed these cells to become nerve cells genetically matched to those that had gone bad in a patient's spinal cord. By comparing diseased cells to normal cells in a Petri dish, scientists hope to better understand what causes disease and test new drugs.

This research builds upon the research we posted Jan. 18 titled Human embryo cloned from skin.

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