Scientists recently discovered a protein in newts that allows them to regrow their severed limb. Salamandridae newts are found in North America, Europe, and Asia and belong to the Salamandridae tribe. They will regenerate limbs, eyes, spinal cords, lungs, intestines, and upper and lower jaws, among other things. For a long time, the process of regeneration in these tiny creatures has been a mystery. However, much of the recent research has paid off, as the protein discovered, known as nAG, was discovered to originate in nerve and skin cells. click to read QC Kinetix (Greenville) – Greenville Regenerative Medicine
This protein is responsible for the formation of blastema, a mass of undifferentiated cells capable of growth and regeneration. The blastema are the cells that enable these animals to regrow their severed body parts. Blastemata is typically present in the early stages of an organism’s development, such as embryonic stages. As a result, it makes sense that creatures like salamanders, as opposed to humans or even frogs, will still have these cells, as salamanders are still considered much more ‘primitive’ creatures than more evolved animals.
So, if these cells are only present in ‘primitive’ animals, what does this mean for us? This is a topic that researchers are only now posing to one another. Is it likely that humans would be able to use these cells to regrow a heart or a broken fingertip? All of this connects to the topic of regenerative medicine and stem cell science, where there have recently been several heated debates about such regeneration processes.
Can the application of such results to humans impose a burden on certain people’s morals and beliefs? Or can these new discoveries contribute to a more optimistic human existence? These issues will eventually arise as scientists work around the clock to obtain a better understanding of molecular signalling mechanisms and more in order to figure out what exactly is causing the regeneration so that they can potentially replicate these systems.