Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Limb Regeneration…In Humans?

This is a 2007 article from Nature. I'll see if I can find updates - because it is really fascinating. Just imagine.

Tadpoles can achieve something that humans may only dream of: pull off a tadpole's thick tail or a tiny developing leg, and it'll grow right back — spinal cord, muscles, blood vessels and all. Now researchers have discovered the key regulator of the electrical signal that convinces Xenopus pollywogs to regenerate amputated tails. The results, reported this week in Development, give some researchers hope for new approaches to stimulating tissue regeneration in humans.


But the complex networks needed to construct a complicated organ or appendage are already genetically encoded in all of our cells — we needed them to develop those organs in the first place. "The question is: how do you turn them back on?" Levin says. "When you know the language that these cells use to tell each other what to do, you're a short step away from getting them to do that after an injury."


  1. Hold on Mr. Bobett, help is on the way!

  2. Thom, My dad was a biologist who was very interested in this type of work. The animal he spent his career studying was the fresh water hydra which gets its name because you can but one into 100 pieces, even down to single cells, and each one will regenerate into a whole hydra, like the beast that Hercules fought. This kind of stuff:

  3. CHESS: Hilarious.

    Gene: Too cool. I'll be reading...