Experimental Limb Regeneration That WILL Turn You Into A Lizard

Posted by on August 9th, 2010


We told you last week about a possible new therapy hoping to regrow body parts. Unlike the ill-fated research of Dr. Curt Connors, it does not use the DNA of an animal that naturally regrows limbs so the likelihood of the recipient turning into a giant lizard and forcing Spider-man to do a backflip whilst saying something glib… is unlikely.

But that was that therapy. This therapy makes none of the same boring promises.

Scientists are regrowing mouse limbs with newt and salamander DNA and humans could be next.

“Newts regenerate tissues very effectively,” said Helen Blau, PhD, the Donald E. and Delia B. Baxter Professor and a member of Stanford’s Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. “In contrast, mammals are pathetic. We can regenerate our livers, and that’s about it. Until now it’s been a mystery as to how they do it.”

Not noted in the story is that lightning struck right after she called mammals pathetic.

The unsolved puzzle to limb regeneration is apparently the rampant cancer that unchecked cell replication can kick start. Mouse trials have utilized two tumor-suppressing proteins to keep that mess in check.

Peter Parker, it’s time you came face to face with… The Newt.

Thanks to Weird Things reader Dan Wheeler for passing this along.

[Science Daily]

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