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Electricity Can Spark Regeneration

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posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 10:45 PM
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Electricity Can Spark Regeneration


Source Link: www.the-scientist.com

Electricity can provide the initial spark for the regeneration of damaged animal tissues, according to research reported today (February 28) in the journal Development. Harvard University biologists have succeeded in manipulating the electrical fields present in tissues to regenerate the amputated tails of frog tadpoles at a stage of development where such regeneration does not occur naturally.

"This gives us a whole new set of control knobs on cells," said Michael Levin, who led the research. Electrical fields help "control cell identity, cell number, position and movement, which is relevant to everything from embryonic development to regeneration to cancer and almost any biomedical phenomenon you could imagine."

Electrical currents applied to wounds have long been known to enhance regeneration of lost limbs and severed spinal cords in a variety of species from fish to mammals. As part of the current study, Levin's team screened Xenopus laevis tadpoles with various ion-transporter blockers to identify transporters important for tail regeneration. The experiment pinpointed the V-ATPase H+ pump.
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posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 11:30 PM
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Cool. I wonder what else it can be used to regenerate... Will we be able to regenerate teeth and other extremeties in the near future with this technique?

Very interesting indeed,

TheBorg



posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 11:37 PM
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Other interesting implications too. Like - what about electrical pollution? If the right amount and polarity of electricity applied to the right cells at the right time can spark regeneration - then what happens if the reverse occurs?




posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 11:56 PM
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So the idea Frankenstein being created out of some yukky substance when electricity is applied isn't that far fetched.

Some insects like ants, are known to be attracted to power circuits. Had a laptop that was invaded by them ...and eventually damaged beyond repair.



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