Friday, March 31, 2017

'Skin-and-bones' mechanism underlying zebrafish fin regeneration discovered by researchers

Zebrafish have the ability to regenerate their complex skeleton fin in just two weeks after being amputated.  This is possible due to clusters of specialized cells called rays.  Rays migrate over reforming bones and escort bones into the right position to form a branched skeleton.  Sonic hedgehog is a protein that interacts with osteoblasts to promote bone pattering during bone regeneration.  In this experiment genetically modified zebrafish were used.  These zebrafish produce a fluorescent protein to help identify skin and bone cells that respond to hedgehog signals.

The research team said that the findings won't lead to regeneration of limbs in humans but could lead to better therapeutic treatments for broken bones.  This article is very interesting because understanding this mechanism could eventually lead to regrowing limbs in humans.  I'm sure that's 
something everybody is excited about.  

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