Monday, April 11, 2016

Genetic elements that drive regeneration uncovered Limb or organ regrowth may be hidden in our genes

Junsu Kang from Duke University a study was conducted to find the gene sequence in zebra fish that triggers regeneration potential. Tracing back the evolutionary tree there was a common ancestor we shared with other animals that had this ability but along the way we lost it through the millions of years of evolution. The important factor is not only the gene itself but the sequence that can regulate and activate the regrowth gene. The model research is called "tissue regeneration enhancer elements" or TREE for short. Over the past decade, researchers have identified dozens of regeneration genes in organisms like zebrafish, flies and mice. The work Kang and his collaborator Brian L. Black, PhD, of the University of California, are just at the beginning of their work to find the genes that turn on the grown factor and stop it. They are trying to understand these types of genes to hopefully have the potential to pinpoint the gene and enable to change the poor regenerative tissue to have near-surgical precision.

Science and the knowledge of our past is increasing drastically. With the potential of regeneration of lost body parts can change the world drastically. It not only can repair lost limbs or body parts, but nerves can be regenerated and stop many life long crippling diseases. This is just a start of what can potentially be a break through for modern medicine and with technology advancing on a daily basis, so much can be accomplished. The information for all we know is within our DNA, we just need to find a way to tap into it and figure out how everything works.

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