The Good Scar

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Science  01 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6158, pp. 531
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6158.531-i

We tend to think of scars as bad and, in the central nervous system, as counterproductive to recovery. Studying mice, Sabelström et al. (p. 637) prevented resident stem cells from proliferating after spinal cord injury. Without the astrocytes generated by the neural stem cells, recovery from spinal cord lesions was poorer than normal. Thus, somewhat counterintuitively, glial scarring appears to limit spinal cord damage and support the remaining cells.

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