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Purdue and Indiana U cooperate on nerve regeneration study

The use of oscillating field stimulators (OFSs) that was found to help 85% of the dogs suffering paralysis from naturally occurring injuries at Purdue University Veterinary School has now been extended  to humans with a similar condition at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Our call to IUSM to learn if any human results were yet available was not returned.

The work began in the 1980's with cell research at Purdue's Center for Paralysis Research, directed by Richard Borgens, PhD.  Researchers there found that inhibiting the inflow of calcium to a damaged cell will cause nerve fibers to grow toward the negative pole of a very weak electrical field. The device is implanted on both sides of the injured area.  By reversing  the polarity every 15 minutes, nerve tissue can be induced  to grow in both directions.  The implantation must take place shortly after the injury occurred, within 18 days in the case of the human trial. 

The treatment has enabled some of the dogs to walk and regain bladder control.  Others still have to use a cart to support their hind quarters at least some of the time.  The research is led by Borgens and spinal cord surgeon Scott Shapiro, MD at Indiana University Medical School.

                                                        The Spectator Dec 10, 2000  and subsequent internet information

Return to CivAb index spring summer 2004

Another grotesque experiment

The Jichi Medical School in Togichi, Japan has reported the following bizarre experiment:

Researchers  there cut the heads off infant rats and grafted them to the thighs of adults.  They found that the heads could survive for "at  least three weeks" if kept cool.  The mouths moved as if they were suckling, and the brains continued to develop.

Dr Nobufumi Kawai explained that the heads could become models for studying  brain function in human infants. 

New Scientist Dec 2002

reported (and ridiculed) by Robert Cohen

Shades of American vivisector Robert White, MD

Bird flu resurgence in Asia

Avian influenza has resurfaced in Viet Nam since the epidemic was declared to be over in March.  Since December, 43.2 million fowl have died or been killed in Viet Nam and numerous humans made ill, sixteen of them fatally.

Eight people have also succumbed to the disease in Thailand.  The disease has  cropped up again there as well as in China and Indonesia.  In all, almost one billion domestic fowl have been slaughtered in an attempt to wipe out the disease.

The disease has also been detected in domestic cats , a white tiger and a clouded leopard.  The tiger died.  The leopard recovered. Epidemiologists are concerned because occurrence in more species affords the deadly H5N1 strain of the virus additional opportunities to mutate and become a serious human epidemic with human to human transmission.  So far all cases are thought to have resulted only from direct contact with sick and dead chickens. 

                                                                                         ProMED-Mail  , July 16 and 21, 2004

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The Civil Abolitionist

      Spring/Summer 2004  v.15  no. 1