News / Science & Technology

Human Stem Cells Restore Memory, Learning in Mice

FILE - Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into brain-damaged mice and helped them recover their memory and learning skills.FILE - Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into brain-damaged mice and helped them recover their memory and learning skills.
x
FILE - Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into brain-damaged mice and helped them recover their memory and learning skills.
FILE - Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into brain-damaged mice and helped them recover their memory and learning skills.
VOA News
Scientists have successfully transplanted human stem cells into brain-damaged mice and helped them recover their memory and learning skills.

The study was carried out by Dr. Su-Chun Zhang, a professor of neuroscience and neurology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

According to the study, the implanted human stem cells transformed into two common types of neurons, GABA and cholinergic neurons.

"These two neuron types are involved in many kinds of human behavior, emotions, learning, memory, addiction and many other psychiatric issues," said Zhang in a statement.

For the experiment, Zhang treated the human stem cells with chemicals known to promote their development into nerve cells.

After receiving transplanted cells, the mice performed better in tests that measure learning and memory. One test in particular had the mice transverse a water maze, which challenged them to remember the location of a hidden platform in a pool.

Zhang said the damage to the mice brains was done in an area called the medial septum, which connects to the hippocampus by GABA and cholinergic neurons and is “fundamental to our ability to learn and remember.”

The transplanted cells were placed in the hippocampus.

Once implanted, the cells began to respond to chemical directions from the brain and began to specialize to connect to the appropriate cells in the hippocampus.

Zhang said the process is akin to removing a section of telephone cable. “If you can find the correct route, you could wire the replacement from either end,” he added.

While the study does provide some hope for future treatment to brain damaged humans, Zhang says the stem-cell therapy is unlikely to be the immediate benefit.

"For many psychiatric disorders, you don't know which part of the brain has gone wrong," he said.

The study was first published in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology.

You May Like

Video British Fighters on Frontline of Islamic State Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign jihadists More

Pakistan's Political Turmoil Again Shines Spotlight on Military

Thousands of protesters calling for PM Sharif to step down continue protests in front of parliament, as critics fear political impasse could spur another military coup More

Photogallery Ebola Quarantines Spark Anxiety in Liberian Capital

Food prices rise sharply as residents attempting purchases clash with security forces, leaving one person dead More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid