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Topic Title: Scientists uncover proteins that allow salamanders to grow new limbs
Created On: 12/15/2009 12:00 PM
 01/25/2012 11:58 AM

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I read an article about this the other day. Yes, on one hand it seems somewhat creepy, but on the other hand it is completely fascinating! [br][br]Anyway, just imagine if this technology can one day be applied to humans! It would open up a whole new world for individuals who have suffered the loss of a limb (or limbs). Perhaps this prospect is still years away, but what a medical advancement this would be. [br][br]I wonder if there might be any side effects? Would the new limb appeared scarred in some fashion?
 12/21/2009 12:56 PM

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[p]That's quite amazing.. I wonder though, does this mean we will be able to start re-generating limbs for humans soon? That sounds terrifying and yet intriguing at the same time..[/p][p]This post also reminds me of an early [url=]Heroes [/url](NBC show) episode where Claire Bennet (Hayden Panittiere) begins to test her powers of healing/regeneration when her high school science class has a lecture on salamanders. [/p]
 12/15/2009 12:00 PM

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[p][img=259x218][/img] Photo courtesy of: [url=][/url][/p][p]Scientists at Indiana and Purdue Universities have systematically uncovered the proteins which allow salamanders to grow new limbs. They systematically looked at the proteins present in the stub of an amputated limb and found the following: [/p][ol]
  • Undifferentiated cells accumulate under the wound epidermis (covering) at the wound site. Their sources are 2-fold: [ul]
  • differentiated (specialized cells such as epidermal cells) which are reprogrammed to become undifferentiated (able to form any type- bone cell, blood cell, muscle) [/li]
  • resident adult stem cells which likewise can turn into any cell[/li][/ul][/li]
  • Enzymes used for metabolism decrease (so the body is essentially focusing its energy stores on regeneration[/li]
  • Protective proteins that prevent cell death abound at the injury/regeneration site (these proteins may become essentially in preventing or minimizing scarring in humans)[/li]
  • A control protein called EVI5 that essentially holds cells back from dividing until the right balance of reprogrammed cells is present at the regeneration site. (almost like making sure all the crews are on site with all the parts before starting to build a house)[/li][/ol][p]A further summary can be found [url=]here[/url], [/p][p]The original abstract can be found here: [url=]"Proteomic analysis of blastema formation in regenerating axolotl limbs",[/url][url=] [/url][/p][p]A PDF of the full article can be found [url=]here[/url].[/p]

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