ThePoliticalCat

A Blog devoted to progressive politics, environmental issues, LGBT issues, social justice, workers' rights, womens' rights, and, most importantly, Cats.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Science: Stem Cells and Stuff!


How cool is this? Science Daily is reporting that researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have figured out a way to treat victims of corneal disease — by culturing stem cells on a therapeutic contact lens that is placed in the sufferer's eye. Dr. Stephanie Watson, who performed the surgical procedure, described it as "simple, inexpensive," and requiring a minimal hospital stay and inexpensive lab equipment. A great breakthrough for Third World countries which cannot afford expensive techniques. Hell, it's a great breakthrough for everybody!

The procedure involves harvesting cells from the patient's cornea, culturing them in the lab, then placing them on a therapeutic contact lens. The lens is placed in the patient's eye and left in for ten days, during which time the stem cells recolonize the damaged cornea. No animal products, no invasive techniques. Shout it for SCIENCE! Yay!

Also from Science Daily, an interesting report about new drugs made from the mineral selenium, easily available at health food stores. Remember this blog's report on clostridium? Clostridium is one of the bacteria that could be thwarted by development of antibiotics that interfere with the selenoprotein process in both human and bacterial cells. Another likely candidate is Treponema denticola, which causes us to fund our dentists' annual holidays in the Caribbean. Could this be the end of tooth decay AND the superbugs? Keep your fingers crossed.

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