Don’t Worry, It’ll Grow Back

Imagine a world where you wouldn’t have to spend years waiting for a compatible donor if you needed a transplant. Imagine a world where you could just grow a new liver, or kidney, or heart.That’s the kind of world I’d like to live in, and it’s a world that might just be a little bit closer. Researchers at the Wister Institute in the US appear to have discovered a set of genes in mice that control their ability to regenerate limbs, organs, you name it. Everything except for brain tissue will reportedly just grow back if damaged or removed.

My mind just boggles at this. I always thought it was incredibly cool that salamanders and starfish and similar creatures could regrow amputated limbs. Back before I lost my childlike naivete, I wondered why we humans couldn’t do that. Organs transplants are pretty incredible all by themselves, but the ability to just regenerate your own tissue is an order of magnitude cooler.

I’m always jazzed when this kind of discovery is made. This kind of research could provide real benefits to people without the ethical burdens of organ transplantation or stem cells.

Link
to the story at The Australian.

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