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Newts continue interesting...

And in other news involving salamanders...

Newts' Ability to Regenerate Tissue Replicated in Mouse Cells
ScienceDaily (Aug. 6, 2010) — Tissue regeneration a la salamanders and newts seems like it should be the stuff of science fiction. But it happens routinely. Why can't we mammals just re-grow a limb or churn out a few new heart muscle cells as needed? New research suggests there might be a very good reason: Restricting our cells' ability to pop in and out of the cell cycle at will -- a prerequisite for the cell division necessary to make new tissue -- reduces the chances that they'll run amok and form potentially deadly cancers.

Now scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a big step toward being able to confer this regenerative capacity on mammalian muscle cells; they accomplished this feat in experiments with laboratory mice in which they blocked the expression of just two tumor-suppressing proteins. The finding may move us closer to future regenerative therapies in humans -- surprisingly, by sending us shimmying back down the evolutionary tree.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 14th, 2010 08:34 am (UTC)
She turned me into a newt!

Actually, this reminds me of L'Engle's _Arm of the Starfish _.
Aug. 14th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
It'll be a fantastic break-through if they can make it work well and predictably in mammals.
Aug. 14th, 2010 11:38 pm (UTC)
I'm reminded of a short story I read many years ago (sorry, forget title and author), where someone on a visit to a doctor in the future is having a limb regrown, and the doctor is reminiscing about the discovery and development of the therapy. It ended with something like "In the old days they called it 'cancer'."
Aug. 15th, 2010 05:59 am (UTC)
That sounds familiar, but I can't place it, either. It reminds me a little of Heinlein.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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