An article in the Harvard Gazette discusses the genetic aspects of regeneration in several different types of organisms. Several researches discovered the DNA switches that activated the regeneration, and found that the biggest factor in this was EGR, or early growth response. It sort of acted as a main control for regeneration, they found that while it wasn’t the only part of the DNA that impacted regeneration if it was not present then regeneration didn’t happen. Essentially EGR is in the non coding portion of the genome, and what it does is tell the coding section of the genome to turn on or off. This results in regeneration occuring in a specific section of the worm. Also in the process of doing this the researchers had also completely sequenced the genome of a three-banded panther worm, which is important as this worm is becoming the new model system for studying regeneration.
I think that this article is rather interesting because while several organisms go through regeneration we done actually know a whole lot about the specific process. Also the fact that there is one main genetic factor to regeneration is also rather fascinating, and that we have this same EGR but are unable to regenerate is also pretty interesting.
I am curious what the main goal of the study is as in what the potential use for this knowledge will aid to. I cant help but think about the term mad science when it comes to regenerative properties and a potential use for humans. That is more of the lines of if we can isolate the gene for regeneration and somehow implant it in our DNA. That kind of thought is mind blowing.ReplyDelete