Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beguiling Baghdad: War, Carnage, and... Stem Cell Therapy?

Well, here's a reason to go to Baghdad, even if you aren't employed by Halliburton or the United States military. If you could manage to avoid the sectarian violence, suicide bombers, and improvised explosive devices, you might just be able to get stem cell therapy for your Multiple Sclerosis...

According to this article in "Stars and Stripes", a doctor in Baghdad is performing stem cell therapy on Multiple Sclerosis patients, with some success. He's using patients' own stem cells, derived from their bone marrow, and injected back into their spinal columns. It sounds like the procedure being used is fairly crude, but if even this primitive procedure is resulting in some benefit to the patients receiving it (and that's far from proven), then more sophisticated procedures would certainly seem to hold great promise.

I feel like I should be able to come up with some kind of war-torn witticism here, or it least a good falafel quip, but nothing seems to be coming. I invite witty readers to submit something in the comments section...

Stem cells in Baghdad? What's next, therapeutic cloning in Kabul?


  1. Marc,
    If you go. please be careful. You don't want to run over a mine with your wheelchair.

  2. It is ironic that many innovations came from war like antibiotics, speedy amputations, long underwear and the hideous human experiments, documented torture, many ways to commit suicide, get drunk and maim one another. It also frees the formerly supressed but innovative thinkers to perform new and dangerous procedures on people desparate for answers and cures. (Baghdad in July-what an exacerbation that must be!)
    Bully for the brave survivors of oppression succeeded by freedom with bursts of violence. I was impressed by Israel's first drug Copaxone which is truly a miraculous little benign seeming shot. They too deal with threats of violence while still contibuting to altering the course of disease.Will stay tuned.

  3. Didn't Jeeps and SNAFU come out of war too?

  4. First it's a holiday in Cambodia.

    Now it's stem cell's in Baghdad.

    What's next? A pastrami sandwich in Mongolia?