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Is lactic acid really the source of pain for olympians?

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We’ve always believed that muscle fatigue in sport is related to this athletic foe named lactic acid.  Even cramp, of which we are still not certain of the biological basis for, has been attributed by some to lactic acid.  However, a new study suggests that at the top end of athletic performance, this molecule is no longer foe, but friend….

Stem cell advances march on.

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We all take our sight for granted.  But for some their perfect vision can slowly start to ebb away.  Macular degeneration is one illness where this occurs with central vision being impaired as can be seen in the picture: 







However, it seems that for two californian women they have had this cured, on the first round of stem cell treatment.

The use of embryonic stem cells has given many hope in this awfully debilitating condition.  What will stem cells be used for next?


The first chimeric monkeys born

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A chimera is an organism that is made up of a mixture of genetically different cells that have come from different zygotes.  This can be from the merger of two non-identical twins zygotes, for example.  Scientists have moved on from mice and rats to see how stem cells behave when they are within a primate:

This study is useful to see how stem cells inserted in live animals behave, rather than just viewing their growth in the lab.  This has implications for future stem cell work in humans as the monkeys are more closely related to humans than other animals.  But animal rights groups donot like this approach as they believe it raises ethical questions about the welfare of the animals involved.  What do you think?

thomas davisthomas davis