Saturday, 12 May 2012

Regenerative Medicine: Could the Ways Animals Regenerate Hair and Feathers Help Restore Human Fingers and Toes?

ScienceDaily (May 10, 2012) — This summer's action film, "The Amazing Spider-Man™," is another match-up between the superhero and his nemesis the Lizard. Moviegoers and comic book fans alike will recall that the villain, AKA Dr. Curt Connors, was a surgeon who, after losing an arm, experimented with cell generation and reptilian DNA and was eventually able to grow back his missing limb.

The latest issue of the journal Physiology contains a review article that looks at possible routes that unlock cellular regeneration in general, and the principles by which hair and feathers regenerate themselves in particular.

The authors apply what is currently known about regenerative biology to the emerging field of regenerative medicine, which is being transformed from fantasy to reality.

Review Article
While the concept of regenerative medicine is relatively new, animals are well known to remake their hair and feathers regularly by normal regenerative physiological processes. In their review, the authors focus on (1) how extrafollicular environments can regulate hair and feather stem cell activities and (2) how different configurations of stem cells can shape organ forms in different body regions to fulfill changing physiological needs.

Read more:
  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120510113859.htm

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