Paralyzed Dogs Walk Again After Nose Cell Transplant

Paralyzed Dogs Walk Again After Nose Cell TransplantScientists have reversed paralysis in dogs after injecting them with cells grown from the lining of their nose. The pets had all suffered spinal injuries which prevented them from using their back legs. The Cambridge University team is cautiously optimistic the technique could eventually have a role in the treatment of human patients.

‘Considerable improvement’

In the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and published in the neurology journal Brain, the dogs had olfactory ensheathing cells from the lining of their nose removed. These were grown and expanded for several weeks in the laboratory. Of 34 pet dogs on the proof of concept trial, 23 had the cells transplanted into the injury site – the rest were injected with a neutral fluid. Many of the dogs that received the transplant showed considerable improvement and were able to walk on a treadmill with the support of a harness. None of the control group regained use of its back legs.


‘Human patients’

The research was a collaboration between the MRC’s Regenerative Medicine Centre and Cambridge University’s Veterinary School. Professor Robin Franklin, a regeneration biologist at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Stem Cell Institute and report co-author, said:

“We’re confident that the technique might be able to restore at least a small amount of movement in human patients with spinal cord injuries but that’s a long way from saying they might be able to regain all lost function. ‘

The researchers say the transplanted cells regenerated nerve fibres across the damaged region of the spinal cord. This enabled the dogs to regain the use of their back legs and coordinate movement with their front limbs. The new nerve connections did not occur over the long distances required to connect the brain to the spinal cord. The MRC scientists say in humans this would be vital for spinal injury patients who had lost sexual function and bowel and bladder control.

Do you find this study promising for spinal injury patients? Tell us what you think of the results of this research!

Source: BBC News

Image: Popsci

Study Finds Babies In Dog-Owning Homes Are Healthier

Dogs are no longer just man’s best friend: The furry family members may also protect infants against breathing problems and infections, a new study suggests.

Researchers found that Finnish babies who lived with a dog or – to a lesser extent – a cat spent fewer weeks with ear infections, coughs or running noses. They were also less likely to need antibiotics than infants in pet-free homes. Dr. Eija Bergroth from Kuopio University Hospital in Finland and colleagues said one possible explanation for that finding is that dirt and allergens brought in by animals are good for babies’ immune systems.


The researchers found that contact with dogs, more than cats, was tied to fewer weeks of sickness for babies. For example, infants with no dog contact at home were healthy for 65 percent of parents’ weekly diary reports. That compared to between 72 and 76 percent for those who had a dog at home. Babies in dog-owning families were also 44 percent less likely to get inner ear infections and 29 percent less likely to need antibiotics.

The researchers said infants who spent more than zero but less than six hours per day at home with a dog were the least likely to get sick. “A possible explanation for this interesting finding might be that the amount of dirt brought inside the home by dogs could be higher in these families because (the dog) spent more time outdoors,” the researchers wrote Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Do you have dogs at home? Do you agree with the result of this study that babies who live with dog-owning are healthier than those who don’t? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: She Knows