Stem Cells as Potential Nerve Therapy

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Science  30 Jul 1999:
Vol. 285, Issue 5428, pp. 650-651
DOI: 10.1126/science.285.5428.650b

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On page 754, researchers report taking embryonic stem cells from mice and coaxing them to form glial cells, which produce myelin, an insulating sheath for neurons. When the researchers injected the glial cells into the spinal cords of rats with a genetic defect that leaves them unable to make myelin, the glia soon got to work coating the rats' neurons with myelin. The technique might one day be used therapeutically, if current legal barriers to doing this type of research in human embryos are lifted.