Stem Cell Scammers

News story iconStem cell therapies have been in the news recently. Whether it’s documentaries like Stem Cell Highway or the sad news of Australian “stem cell tourists” dying overseas, stem cell therapies are gaining a higher profile.

The ABC News website has a story (originally aired on The 7.30 Report) covering not only the Brisbane mother who recently died undergoing treatment in Russia, but highlighting just how prevalent “stem cell scammers” really are.

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Iron Man paraplegics?

News story iconThe Brisbane Times had an article last week about the development of hi-tech suits known as “exoskeletons”. These suits enable the wearers to carry heavy loads and/or travel further than they would otherwise be able to.

The article notes that the development of these suits is rapidly moving out of the research lab and into the world. While the biggest interest is from high-tech industrial manufacturing and the deep-pocketed military sectors, it also has interesting health applications. The most recent example was the Brazil 2014 World Cup, where a paraplegic man used such a suit to kick-off the tournament.

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Stem cell therapy patient dies in Russia

News story iconA few weeks ago we noted stem cell highway, a documentary about the growing trend of international stem-cell tourism, and this week it seems we have a tragic real-world example of it. According to the Brisbane Times,┬áKellie van Meurs, a woman with “Stiff Person Syndrome” (or SPS) undergoing an experimental stem-cell treatment has died in Russia. Stiff Person Syndrome (according to wikipedia, so “your mileage may vary”) “is a rare neurological disorder of unclear etiology characterized by progressive rigidity and stiffness” and is quite rare, affecting only one in a million people.

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App accessibility bites Apple?

Apple Core


Once upon a time Apple was considered a pioneer in accessibility issues. More recently however, they’ve had a checkered record with accessibility, lurching alternatively from innovation to neglect.

Apple (and to a lesser extent Google) is under fire from disability groups for lax accessibility standards on its App store. While Apple itself has made significant strides to make both its desktop and mobile software more accessible, third party software on the app store is much more messy.

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Stem Cell Highway

News story clip-art iconTomorrow night on ABC1 at 8.30pm returns the second series of the TV documentary Head First. The first of the five-episode series, Stem Cell Highway, covers the growing international trend of stem-cell tourism, people traveling overseas for controversial, expensive and sometimes unproven or untested treatments. The desire to try absolutely everything to recover from a catastrophic accident is understandable, but do these procedures work, are they safe, or are they just a con?

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