Spinal cord injury (SCI) is a two-step process. The primary injury is mechanical, resulting from impact, compression or some other insult to the spinal column. The secondary injury is biochemical, as cellular reactions cause tissue destruction. By interrupting this second process, it may be possible to speed healing and minimize permanent effects.
In a paper published in the current issue of Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, researchers from the Anadolu Cinar Hospital and the GATA Haydarpasa Research and Training Hospital, both in Istanbul, Turkey, found that erythropoietin improves neurological recovery, and may be more effective than the current standard treatment.
Methylprednisolone is the accepted therapeutic treatment for SCI, but it is marginally effective in most cases. Erythropoietin stimulates proliferation and growth of erythroid cells and is involved in neurodevelopment and neuroprotection. It has been studied in brain injuries, but not in SCI.
Astrid Engelen | alfa
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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
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