Stem Cells Help Paralyzed Mice Walk
From VOA Learning English, this is the Health & Lifestyle report.
A group of scientists in Israel are researching how to help paralyzed people walk again. They are using human stem cells to repair the spinal cords of mice.
The results sound like a miracle.
The researchers put human stem cells in mice with severed spinal cords. About six weeks after the surgery, some of the mice were able to walk.
Shulamit Levenberg is a researcher at the Israel Institute of Technology. She explains how she and other researchers were able to create spinal cord recovery.
"In this project we managed to induce spinal cord regeneration following complete injury to the spinal cord, and this was to the extent where the animal that was totally paralyzed started to walk again and also regained sensory perception. And this was really amazing – to see the animals walk after two, three weeks."
The work involved more than simply inserting stem cells in the spinal cord. The research team also built a structure that provided an environment in which the stem cells could attach and grow into support cells.
The spinal cord cannot repair itself. So, this engineered tissue supported neurons in the spinal cords of the mice.
Daniel Offen is a professor at Tel Aviv University. He explains more fully.
"We know that spinal cord cannot recover by itself. So what we tried to do is to take stem cells -- actually we took it from human -- and transplant it inside the spinal cord."
Every year, between 250,000 and 500,000 people around the world suffer a spinal cord injury. Those numbers come from a 2013 report by the World Health Organization.
People who suffer spinal cord injuries often receive therapy and different kinds of treatments. However, recovery is difficult and extremely rare.
But Levenberg says she is hopeful that their research will one day be able to help humans. But, she adds, these are "very early studies."
"The hope is that we will be able to get similar results in humans, meaning that there will be ... we will be able to see regeneration and we will be able to see some behavioral improvement, but of course these are very early studies and we still do not know how it will work in humans."
Only about 40 percent of the mice that received the stem cell transplants were able to support weight on their back legs and walk.
The researchers say their hope is that these kinds of stem cell transplants will one day be a part of every hospital's procedures.
And that's the Health & Lifestyle report.
I'm Anna Matteo.
1.A group of 一组；一群
Suddenly the door opened and a group of children burst in.
2.back leg 后腿
Our cat has broken one of her back legs.
3.stem cell 干细胞
Hematopoietic stem cell research is a new subject.
4.spinal cord 脊髓
Meningitis is an infection of the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.
5.The research team also built a structure that provided an environment in which the stem cells could attach and grow into support cells.
grow into 变成；发育成
This political row threatens to grow into a full blown crisis.
Uncontrollable children grow into young criminals.
6.Only about 40 percent of the mice that received the stem cell transplants were able to support weight on their back legs and walk.
be able to 能够
By converting the loft, they were able to have two extra bedrooms.
We were able to stick to the main issue without incidental grievances being dragged in.
舒拉米特（Shulamit Levenberg）是以色列理工学院的研究员。她解释了与其他研究人员一起创建脊髓恢复的过程 。
丹尼尔·奥芬（Daniel Offen）是特拉维夫大学的教授。他的解释更加充分 。