Fish reveals ‘secret of regeneration’

By | November 5, 2009 to a tiny fish, scientists have moved a step closer to unlocking the secrets of body part regeneration, a power possessed by some animals and not humans.

For example, flatworm Planaria can be cut into as many as 32 pieces but each of which will grow into a whole new animal complete with eyes, mouth and organs. Researchers are aware regeneration involves mechanisms found in developing embryos, but are still not clear about what they are.

Now, an international team has carried out a study on zebrafish and identified a key cellular pathway which appears to trigger regeneration by switching on certain genes.

According to the scientists, the ability to grow back a perfectly formed duplicate organ or limb to replace one lost through injury or disease is the “Holy Grail” of regenerative medicine.

via Fish reveals ‘secret of regeneration’.

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