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Mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.
Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.
The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans.
The researchers also made a remarkable second discovery: When cells from the regenerative mice were injected into normal mice, the normal mice adopted the ability to regenerate. And when the special mice bred with normal mice, their offspring inherited souped-up regeneration capabilities.
She and her colleagues wanted to find out what other parts of this strain of mice would grow back, so they snipped off the tip of a tail, severed a spinal cord, injured the optic nerve and damaged various internal organs.
The incredible wound-healing they observed abruptly shifted the focus of Heber-Katz's lab's research from autoimmune disease to regenerative medicine. The researchers began hunting for the specific genes that gave the mice their special powers. They are focusing on three specific genes at the moment, but she suspects that many more likely contribute to the regenerative abilities.
While some amphibians can regrow body parts, mammals for the most part do not have that ability, making this a very special mouse indeed. If the results can be translated to humans, it would be a dream come true for people who want to live forever.
"When those genes (responsible for the mice regeneration) are found, we can start to think about manipulating them in humans with drugs or (later) gene therapy, thereby enhancing our own regeneration," said Aubrey de Grey, a longevity expert and editor of the scientific journal Rejuvenation Research.
Originally posted by jimmy1200
good times, but what a waste. not like the general population would be given super gene juice to allow you to live forever or regenerate any body part damaged. do we forget that we live in a facist world and there is money to be made, but interesting nonetheless. well you could make money, but imagine the uproar from common folks who cant afford the million dollar superman "treatment".