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Paralyzed dogs get new leash on life thanks to nose cells [video]

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We’ve all heard about the great possibilities offered by stem cells as well as the controversy surrounding them, but scientists at Cambridge University decided to sniff around other places in the body to see what promise different cells held and believe they may have discovered a winner staring us in the face.

Olfactory ensheathing cells were removed from dogs who had been paralyzed, grown in a lab, then injected at the point of their injuries, and now those dogs are jumping for joy.

The researchers say the therapy worked by forging new connections among nerve fibers in the damaged regions of the dogs’ spinal cords. This enabled the dogs’ motor cortices to communicate with the nerves in their legs, allowing them to move their hind limbs again. Some of the dogs in the study have been using wheelchairs or other mechanisms to move around, but were able to re-learn how to coordinate their front and back legs.

If you need a lift this morning, take a look at Jasper the dachshund, who now happily runs with the pack thanks to the experiment.

Christoper Reeve may not have lived to see this day, but you know he’s out there somewhere with that unforgettable Superman smile on his face.

Full story at PopSci.

A step forward in science.

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