Paralysis to Mobility - An Experiment Yields Results

in STEMGeeks5 months ago (edited)

Communication is a key towards growing and maintaining a healthy society, family, and friendships. Similarly, the human body requires clear communication between each of its components to allow for expected patterns of movement, function, and sentience.

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Introduction

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Welcome, fellow Hivians, to our next discussion on STEM news. In this blog, we will be discussing recent findings discovered while researching ways to cure the immobile. The specific cause of immobility, or paraplegia, we'll be covering is spinal cord injuries.

Scientific Results

Ruhr University Bochum - Google Maps

Research performed by a team at the Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany, succeeded in restoring mobility to mice with induced cross-sectional spinal cord injuries. Researchers restored mobility by using a designer cytokine protein that induced the cut spinal cord's nerve growth. Induced nerve growth allowed the mice to regain their mobility.

Protein Hyper-Interleukin-6 (HIL-6)

HHS Author Public Access Manuscripts

Bochum researchers referred to the protein Hyper-Interleukin-6, otherwise known as HIL-6. They describe it as a "designer cytokine" whose structure does not exist in nature. Creating HIL-6 requires genetic engineering. Past research performed by the group demonstrated that the use of HIL-6 stimulated nerve growth. The challenge now was if it could stimulate growth following damage.

HIL-6 Delivery

Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Bochum researchers created HIL-6 indirectly by using an AAV1-Cre virus purchased through the AddGene company. Researchers performed additional modifications to the virus prior to injecting the solutions into predetermined locations within the motor-sensory cortex of the experimental mice.

Once they injected the compound into the mice, the brain then began producing the designer HIL-6. As the brain produced HIL-6, the compound spread to other areas of the brain.

The effects of the drug demonstrated, and validated, predictable nerve growth through the damaged spinal cord that was statistically significant.

All data, methodologies, and summaries are available for review in their article entitled, "Transneuronal delivery of hyper-interleukin-6 enables functional recovery after severe spinal cord injury in mice".

In Closing

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Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The study presented today shows a great opportunity to restore mobility after spinal cord injuries. There will be many other hurdles to overcome, however, before such treatments are available to humans. Delivery of the medicine, for example, would need to be addressed. It's too early to tell, but I imagine the scientific community would prefer a better option than brain surgery to help patients recover.

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I have had a lot of interest in these things as a solution:

Those are some amazing advances in technology. I can't imagine what the future holds.

I have been waiting for the future even since I was a kid. I feel like I was born to a stone age 😄

I think we all have, in a way. When we couldn't get what we wanted or there was something not available, our dreams would get us there. Technology, unfortunately, needs time to catch up. Or does it? I wonder if it isn't that technology just needs to catch up. I wonder if, instead, we need to be mature enough to have an open mind capable of achieving what we dream.

I think technology development must be freed from its shackles. NASA is barely receiving any funding. Even during Moon landing times, there was barely any money spent on the project:

Data is sourced from Wikipedia.

We need the lawmakers to stay away from their regulations. Much of the coolest innovations has naturally come out of unregulated spaces. During 60s, space exploration was taken seriously. In 90s internet was rapidly expanding. Cryptocurrency became the behemoth it is today in a wild west where builders kept building.

Thank you for your response. I look forward to the day when we can apply our collective knowledge towards discovery, knowledge, and peace as opposed to defense, espionage, and politics. The data you provide rings true of priorities we probably shouldn't be focusing our efforts on.

That’s a great study and very well written. Keep up the good work 👍🏻

Thank you for reading it and your response. I’ll try to keep it up!