Talk about change!
At a conference in New York this week, researchers released details of experiments in which they “bypassed” spinal cord injuries in rats by grafting a nerve over it.
As the BBC reports:
It takes one of the nerves that naturally leaves the spinal column, disconnects it from its destination, then plugs it back into the spinal cord using a protein “glue”.
In the case of the rats, this was a nerve heading for the abdominal muscles, which was taken just above a break in the spinal cord, and reattached below.
There has been some movement reported in the injured rats, although clearly it’s a long way from being a solution to human paralysis.
Curiously, the research is big news among the media in the UK, but there’s virtually nothing about it being reported in the American press, which is consumed with politics at the moment.