It should be noted that this miracle of science ocurred using umbilical cord stem cells, and not the heavily politicized embryonic variety.
A South Korean woman paralyzed for 20 years is walking again after scientists say they repaired her damaged spine using stem cells derived from umbilical cord blood.
Hwang Mi-Soon, 37, had been bedridden since damaging her back in an accident two decades ago.
Last week her eyes glistened with tears as she walked again with the help of a walking frame at a press conference where South Korea researchers went public for the first time with the results of their stem-cell therapy.
They said it was the world's first published case in which a patient with spinal cord injuries had been successfully treated with stem cells from umbilical cord blood.
This is good news for everyone, should it turn out to be true, because we may have a new and ethically unambiguous way of changing peoples' lives. I'd say it's about time for a confusing metaphor.
The use of stem cells from cord blood could also point to a way to side-step the ethical dispute over the controversial use of embryos in embryonic stem-cell research.
"We have glimpsed at a silver lining over the horizon," said Song Chang-Hoon, a member of the research team and a professor at Chosun University's medical school in the southwestern city of Kwangju.
Here's a little more to read if you're interested
Clinical trials with embryonic stem cells are believed to be years away because of the risks and ethical problems involved in the production of embryos — regarded as living humans by some people — for scientific use.
In contrast, there is no ethical dimension when stem cells from umbilical cord blood are obtained, according to researchers.
Additionally, umbilical cord blood stem cells trigger little immune response in the recipient as embryonic stem cells have a tendency to form tumors when injected into animals or human beings.