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WJBD - Health & Fitness News - Not So Silly: Ingredient in Silly Putty Boosts Stem Cell Growth

Not So Silly: Ingredient in Silly Putty Boosts Stem Cell Growth

Eraxion/Thinkstock(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) -- Mostly everyone knows Silly Putty can stretch and bounce, and even lift up newsprint or comic pictures. But the stuff originally intended to be a wallpaper eraser has been found to do something else: explode the growth of stem cells.

According to a paper published by Dr. Jianping Fu, his team at the University of Michigan discovered that spinal cord cells grow 10 times larger and are four times purer if they're first laid on a soft carpet made from polydimethylsiloxane, a key ingredient in the stretchy material.

The discovery could lead to new therapies for people with Huntington's and Alzheimer's diseases, and the motor neuron disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to the findings published in the scientific magazine Nature Materials.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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