Could humans regenerate their limbs?

Could humans regenerate their limbs?

There are many living beings capable of regenerate some parts of your body.

From the lizard, which released its tail in our hands when we tried to hunt it when we were little; to the salamander, to which we recently dedicated an article on the occasion of its great power to regeneration, passing through the starfish, there are many animals with this superpower, which causes the envy of human beings.

However, if we go back to the earliest stages of our ancestors, when they still had gills and were more like fish than ourselves, we will see that they do have the power of regeneration. What happened to him? Why did we lose it? Scientists may not be able to answer these questions, but they have something much better, since they have found that the genes necessary for this process are still found. latent in our genomeYou just have to find a way to wake them up.

Will humans have the ability to regenerate limbs?

Perhaps making this statement is aiming too high, but if the results of this study, recently published in Nature, come to fruition, it could be a springboard for very effective therapies in the field of regenerative medicine.

These scientists, coming from the Duke university, reached this conclusion when, after making a list of the genes that lead to animals like the salamander or the zebrafish to regenerate their tissues, they found surprised that humans also have some of them.

Therefore, it was necessary to find a way to regulate their activation in order to take advantage of its regenerative capacity.

How did they carry out the study?

After entering the study of zebrafish genome, found that it contained a series of regulatory sequences that potentiated the action of genes responsible for tissue regeneration. This was very interesting; since, although it is true that tissue regeneration has already been achieved in the laboratory in cases such as proliferation of heart cells wave regeneration of a cut finWhat has not yet been achieved is to use these regulatory factors as switch, so that the regeneration process remains activated and turns off once the injured tissue has healed.

But will these mechanisms work in mammals? To verify this, they used a group of transgenic mice, in whose genome the genes of interest obtained from the zebrafish were introduced. In addition, the genetic construct introduced to it also contained the gene. lacZ, used in research for its ability to produce color blue in the place where it is activated.

In this way, they were able to verify that, indeed, once the mouse genome had been modified, the genes associated with regeneration took place in the heart and the legs injured.

Although they still have a lot to study, these results are great news for regenerative medicine, as they reveal the ability of these activating genes to enhance tissue regeneration in mammals And why not ?, perhaps also in humans.

At the moment they are looking for more of these genes to see if they act specifically in a specific tissue and learn how to use them efficiently.

Therefore, regenerating lost limbs in humans is a science fiction movie thing, but hey, laboratory science is making great strides in that regard; so, never better said, everything will work.

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