Stem cell research uses silly putty

A key element of the popular children's toy Silly Putty could help scientists develop stem cell treatments for nerve and brain disorders such as motor neurone disease, a study suggests.

Researchers used the molecule that gives Silly Putty its unusual properties to grow working spinal cord cells on a soft, ultra-fine carpet.

They found that motor nerves grew faster and more often on the material than they did on a normal rigid surface.

The neurones also showed electrical activity comparable with that of motor nerves