In fact, a few weeks after his testimony, a study funded by his own Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation was published in The Journal of Neuroscience Research, beginning with the sentence: “Pluripotent stem cells have been detected in multiple tissues in the adult, participating in normal replacement and repair while undergoing self-renewal.” The authors cited eleven other studies showing the same thing. They proceeded to show why adult bone-marrow stem cells “may constitute an abundant and accessible cellular reservoir for the treatment of a variety of neurologic diseases.”
. . . By 2002 the capacity to remyelinate spinal cords had been discovered in bone-marrow cells, olfactory-ensheathing cells from the nasal cavity, adult neural progenitor cells, oligodendroglial progenitors from the adult brain, and adult Schwann cells. Each of these could be obtained from the patient’s own body. As one of the studies indicated, “such transplantation would therefore be autologous and obviate the need for immunosuppression.”
And as Scottish cloning expert Ian Wilmut noted this February in The British Medical Journal, it now seems cloning is unnecessary for treating spinal injury, because the central nervous system is “immune privileged” — it does not reject genetically dissimilar cells the way most body systems do.
. . . Many Americans with spinal-cord injury now know that one of the most promising new techniques for restoring sensation and movement is being conducted in Portugal by Dr. Carlos Lima. The centerpiece of his protocol is a surgical technique using stem cells and other tissue from patients’ own nasal mucosa.”
Kelly points out, “Embryonic stem cells have produced nothing like this — in fact, their tendency toward uncontrollable growth and tumor formation has so far made them unfit for any trials in humans. Even in animal trials they have not been able to treat long-lasting or chronic injury.” There are studies in which embryonic stem cells have caused cancer. No researcher is anywhere close to significant progress in developing practical embryonic stem cell therapies.