Scientists are studying Mexican Axolotl (salamander) to determine how it is able to regenerate their limbs, hoping to develop a process to replace human members.
Scientists hope to Learn from the Salamander Regeneration Process
A team of scientists has received $ 6.25 million from the Department of Defense of the United States to study the axolotl, a salamander Mexico known for its ability to regenerate limbs, hoping that this knowledge will help scientists to someday induce regeneration of a human limb. Humans have the ability to regenerate fingertips , reuters reports, but the lack of ability to regenerate complex body extremities like the axolotl, which can regenerate jaws, skin, organs and parts of brain and spine.
en Muneoka, professor of cell and molecular biology at Tulane University is the leader of the science team, and informed the New Orleans Times-Picayune that his team is trying to delineate the axolotl genome and compare it with the genes of a mouse, similar to that of humans to figure out what is missing and what is correlated with non-regenerative response. Essential healing process after losing a limb is similar in salamanders and in humans. Fibroblasts in wound scene produce an extracellular matrix, for both humans and other mammals, fibroblasts produce excessive matrix that forms scar tissue. Salamanders fibroblasts, however, stop their action once the normal architecture has been restored. Salamanders then form a blastema, a clump of cells similar to stem cells, that will become a new limb. The cells in the blastema are similar to those present in the salamander embryos, indicating that the regenerative process is essentially the summation of the formation of the limb that occurred during the original development of the animal. Therefore, the key to scientists is to determine how to prevent the human body forms scar tissue, resulting in the production of a blastema instead. The hope for human limb regeneration was proposed last year, when a 69 year old man regenerated half inch of his finger using a powder made ??extracellular matrix of cells from a pig bladder. He got this through its brother, Dr. Stephen Badylak, who studies regeneration at the University of Pittsburgh. Badylak explained to the BBC: “We have removed many of the stimuli for scar tissue formation and maintained those signs have always been there for constructive remodeling. ” Muneoka, Han and Gardiner have optimistic views about the prospect for human regeneration .
Background: Regeneration in Animals
A small group of animals, mostly invertebrates, has the ability to regenerate body extremities . Sponges, the hydra, planarian worms plans and starfish can regenerate their whole bodies from a small collection of cells. Earthworms can regenerate the rear sections of their bodies if the bodies were not injured front explains the Internet Encyclopedia of Science. Crabs, lobsters and crabs can regenerate limbs river, like some insects. limb regeneration in vertebrates is rather low. It is known that can regenerate their tails lizards hind limbs although new addition usually smaller than the original, according to the encyclopedia. Otters and salamanders can regenerate their hind legs, tails and even eyes. Humans and other mammals have shown no ability to regenerate limbs yet complete, although humans can regenerate the tips of the fingers and parts of the liver.Regeneration Laboratory, University of California Irving, led by Drs Gardiner and Susan V. Bryant explains that “mammals have some regenerative abilities, and should recognize that regeneration is a basic biological process present in all animals . It’s just that the salamanders are exceptionally good at it. “
The Mexican axolotl (pronounced axolotl ) is a salamander with the unusual feature of retaining its larval features into adulthood. This condition is known as neotenia means retaining its dorsal tadpole – it runs nearly its entire body, and external gills , which protrude from the rear of the broad head as feathers.
The axolotl is found only in the lake complex of Xochimilco (pronounced Sochimilco ) , near the city of Mexico , and differs from most other salamanders that live permanently in the water. In extremely rare cases , the mature axolotl out of the water , but in most cases prefer to remain at the bottom of the lakes and canals of Xochimilco.
The axolotl , a close relative of the tiger salamander , can be quite large , reaching lengths of up to 30 inches , but the average size is 15 cm . The axolotl is usually black or brown mottling , are relatively common although albino and white varieties , especially among captive bred . The axolotl is long-lived, reaching up to 15 years feeding on mollusks , worms , insect larvae , crustaceans, and some fish . This species , accustomed to the role of predator in its habitat , has begun to suffer the introduction of large fish in the lake habitat . Among natural hazards include birds of prey such as herons .
Its population is in decline, as demand from the nearby city of Mexico has led to drain and contaminate much of the waters of the lake complex of Xochimilco. It is also very common use in the aquarium trade , and roasted axolotl is considered a delicacy in Mexico , which has led to their number is reduced even more . It is considered highly threatened .
This animal guards so many interesting biological secrets. Things that would leave humans in a wheelchair or dead they can just repair in no time at all. The skin of the albino axolotl is transparent enough so that you can actually watch the organs and blood vessels as they pump and pulse under the surface. In juveniles,it is possible to distinguish between the left and right hemispheres of the brain when peering through the translucent skin.
The surprising conclusion is that we can be just one or two decades of the day we can regenerate human limbs. But if we can find out how they do it, then apply these proven biological strategies we may get insights that help people recover from surgeries, accidents or any sort of regenerative disease.