Give a group of researchers, engineers and doctors some time and money, and some of the things that they can come up with are simply amazing. From coming up with pills, liquids, and other forms of medication that almost instantaneously heal certain ailments, they have now done something with stem cells that could be an amazingly far step forward for the human race in the future.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have been manipulating stem cells, and seeing what they are capable of. Stem cells essentially have the ability to morph into any other types of cells in the body. These remarkable people have now developed stem cells that can turn into cells which support the restorative process of the eyes and nerves. They then tested these cells on blind mice, and believe it or not, these mice were partially able to see again. They claim that these cells would have problems in a human body, but this is definitely a step in the right direction for the future.
When I read about this, I think about all the blind people or those with horrendous eyesight who are helpless without their glasses and how much something like this could do for them when it finally becomes safe for humans to use. These people would finally be able to see their families for the first time ever, and those who are attached to their glasses by force would be free to go wherever they like without their glasses on. Another group of people I thought about when I read this story were those who may have gotten into an accident of some kind and were rendered blind for the rest of their lives. Stem cells would eliminate this as well.
My eyes widened even further when I read that there was also talk of regeneration and healing of nerve cells. Having experienced a pinched nerve in my lower back almost a year ago, I know exactly how painful those can be, no matter where they occur in the body. Lucky for me, mine only lasted a mere three weeks. However, if it happens enough times, like it does to people working manual labour who may strain their backs repeatedly during work, the nerve damage can be chronic, and let’s put it this way. I would not wish that kind of pain for life upon my worst enemy. Everyday tasks such as putting on pants, socks, walking around, and bending over to pick things become almost impossible if your pain tolerance is low, or if you do not have a really creative way of doing it yourself. Pinched nerves, depending on their severity and area of the body they occur in, can make a 25 year old make them feel like they have just turned seventy!
Even though it was clearly stated that stem cells used for these purposes were not ready to be tested on humans, I am very optimistic. It is only a matter of time with how quickly we are advancing in this world. Doctors even suspect that one day, these stem cells will be able to restore vital organs. Imagine what kind of impact such a discovery would make in the medical field, where people need transplants of these vital organs everyday, and how many people go under the knife not knowing if they will come out feeling the same!