Comment »Posted on Friday 7 August 2009 at 4:13 pm by Emma Stokes
In Biology, Health & Medicine

Glaucoma reversed in rats and humans

Researchers have reversed the symptoms of glaucoma in rats using medicated eye drops. Further tests on a small number of human patients also showed promising results. Glaucoma is caused by increased intraocular pressure (pressure inside the eye). This gradually causes damage to the optic nerve, which eventually leads to blindness. Researchers used rats suffering from glaucoma to test eye drops containing nerve growth factor (NGF).

To read the rest of this story please visit the Understanding Animal Research website.

Rodent teeth grown from stem cells

mice toothMice have grown new teeth from stem cells implanted into the jawbone. Stem cell technology has been used before to produce tissues, but in a limited way. This is the first time a study has shown that a few cells can go on to produce a fully functioning organ. The team began by removing the upper molars from five-week-old mice. They developed a seed-like bioengineered tooth tissue containing stem cells and the genetic instructions necessary to form a tooth, and transplanted the tissue into the jawbones of mice. The implanted cells developed into fully formed teeth with an identical structure to normal teeth.

To read the rest of this story please visit the Understanding Animal Research website.

Heart stimulated to heal itself

Scientists have shown for the first time that it is possible to stimulate the heart to heal itself without the use of stem cell technology. Heart muscle cells are undifferentiated in a fetus, so are able to multiply and grow to create new heart muscle tissue. However, as the fetus develops, these cells become differentiated and, it was previously thought, no longer produce new tissue. This has consequences in adults when damage occurs to the muscle, for example in heart attacks and in congenital heart defects.

To read the rest of this story please visit the Understanding Animal Research website.


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