Daily Archives: January 27, 2012
Anyone who has seen the 2005 documentary Murderball knows that the sport of quad rugby is intense. It is a 4-on-4 full-contact sport played by athletes who navigate the court in specialized wheelchairs. The rules are similar to those of traditional rugby, but instead of running around an open, grassy field, the players fly around a basketball court in technically advanced wheelchairs, attempting to carry the ball across the opponent’s goal line.
The violent, and entertaining, aspect of traditional rugby is maintained. Players are constantly colliding with each other, often with such tremendous force it can lift competitors’ wheelchairs completely off the ground.
RESEARCH: STEM CELLS: two small words that can invoke enormous hype, hope and sometimes confusion.
In theory harnessing them could open up new therapies for a range of medical conditions. In practice it’s a complex field, strewn with technical and, in some cases, ethical difficulties, but progress is being made, a small number of clinical applications have already been proved and more clinical trials are under way.
But first, in any discussion of stem cells there’s an important set of distinctions to make. Not all stem cells are the same – and how they are classified depends on where they came from.