September 29, 2005

More Good News for Meeses
— Dr. Reo Symes

Crazy.

Genetically altered mice discovered accidentally at the Wistar Institute in Pennsylvania have the seemingly miraculous ability to regenerate like a salamander, and even regrow vital organs.

Researchers systematically amputated digits and damaged various organs of the mice, including the heart, liver and brain, most of which grew back.

The results stunned scientists because if such regeneration is possible in this mammal, it might also be possible in humans.

The researchers also made a remarkable second discovery: When cells from the regenerative mice were injected into normal mice, the normal mice adopted the ability to regenerate. And when the special mice bred with normal mice, their offspring inherited souped-up regeneration capabilities.

The article even has nice pictures of a mouse’s ear with a pretty good size hole (I dunno, maybe baseballish were the mouse man size) just healing itself up. No scars.

You know, I read stuff like this about every two weeks it seems. Not the same story, just researchers somewhere doing something so mindblowing, the only way to deal with it is to pretend it’s Sci-Fi or that i didn't read it. Stuff that calls into question too many assumptions hard wired into my brain.

We live in amazing times.

Posted by: Dr. Reo Symes at 06:59 PM | Comments (26)
Post contains 212 words, total size 1 kb.

1 How can a man have a baseball-sized hole in his ear?

Posted by: djs at September 29, 2005 08:00 PM (xTnlx)

2 The big questions are the age to which these mice are living, how this ability interhaces with cancerous growths, and whether or not this affects the telomere tails of genes, how this plays into aging and degenerative diseases.

Oh yeah, and I'm willing to bet there will be a fat, fat DARPA grant in these folks' future.

Posted by: Bravo Romeo Delta at September 29, 2005 08:25 PM (kiA+F)

3 Holy Man on an Implement of Vertical Oscillation!

Think of the implications this could have for anti-aging therapy!

Posted by: Desert Cat at September 29, 2005 08:30 PM (xdX36)

4 I guess regeneration is good news. However, if I were a mouse I would prefer that some asshole not chop off my limbs in the first place.

Posted by: at September 29, 2005 08:35 PM (52h84)

5 You thinking about having something cut off, Ace?

Posted by: at September 29, 2005 08:36 PM (52h84)

6 You know, I read stuff like this about every two weeks it seems. Not the same story, just researchers somewhere doing something so mindblowing, the only way to deal with it is to pretend it’s Sci-Fi or that i didn't read it.

It does seem like there's something like this every few weeks, probably because there is something like this every few weeks. I linked a very similar story on Sept. 2nd, but a totally different group of scientist.

Posted by: at September 29, 2005 08:46 PM (ipjUv)

7 You thinking about having something cut off, Ace?

Oops! You thinking about having something cut off, Doc?

Posted by: at September 29, 2005 09:25 PM (52h84)

8 Can they regrow Ted Kennedy a new brain? This one seems defective...

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 29, 2005 09:38 PM (X+OCl)

9 Uh... isn't anyone else worried that this won't lead to people being able to regenerate limbs and organs, but instead to us being overrun by a race of supermice?

Posted by: Ben Zeen (a pseudonym) at September 29, 2005 10:22 PM (ajOQw)

10 I think a traditional Victor Mk1 rev 0 mousetrap would be able to deal even with a "supermouse".

Heck I cought a rat in one of those traps a few years ago - he nibbled at just the right angle and it snapped his neck cleanly.

The original Victor trap is a truly amazing device. I have full confidence in its ability to deal with all current and future mice.

The trick is to forget about the old "mice like cheese thing" -- that's a crock of shit. Mice are hopeless genetic suckers for peanut butter. They simply can't resist it. Kinda like Ted Kennedy and Chivas or Crown Royal - one whiff and they're done.

Posted by: Purple Avenger at September 29, 2005 10:33 PM (X+OCl)

11 If I can grow a new liver, I'll continue to abuse the one I have.

Posted by: The Unabrewer at September 30, 2005 02:36 AM (AXzo0)

12 The only problem I see with such discoveries is that reporting them in the news like this does so much to get the hopes of people up. And yet 1) there is absolutely NO guarantee that this could transfer to humans (these are genetically altered mice . . . you think people will stand for genetically altering their children?); 2) even if this does work on humans, it could be decades before such a therapy went from mouse testing to human testing and passed FDA approval.

I mean, really, for every discovery like this that you actually hear about, there's probably 15 happening at Universities around the world that you don't hear about. It just takes so freaking long for stuff to leave a laboratory and actually make it to the market.

Posted by: Hal at September 30, 2005 02:45 AM (E1PhK)

13 I wonder if ALF will be bombing this place?

Posted by: Mikey at September 30, 2005 02:48 AM (O9Cc8)

14 Oh yeah, and I'm willing to bet there will be a fat, fat DARPA grant in these folks' future.

DARPA is in fact working on a project to do exactly this, with the goal of regrowing limbs blown off in combat.

Posted by: Bill from INDC at September 30, 2005 02:54 AM (nWGiI)

15 Can you say, continual supply of kidneys to donate?

Posted by: Jordan at September 30, 2005 02:56 AM (S0KP/)

16 Wayne Bobbitt could have used this technology.

Posted by: Steve L. at September 30, 2005 03:51 AM (hpZf2)

17 Yeah - the key question here is, does the regrown "limb" turn out exactly the same as the old one, or could it be, you know, a different size, maybe, just for the sake of argument, bigger?

Posted by: John at September 30, 2005 03:57 AM (wg4FW)

18 What happens after you have surgery though. I mean, lets say you have your appendix removed. Does it grow back?

Posted by: lauraw at September 30, 2005 04:40 AM (0XkF8)

19 I remember reading back in high school that scientists had already figured out that salamanders and the like maintain a bioelectric field that includes even chopped off limbs. For example, if they snap off their tail to distract a predator (they do this often), you can still see a 'phantom' tail when you put the little fella on a photosensitive dish. They even had a picture of it in National Geographic, which means it's totally true.

But seriously, I always figured that to properly grow a limb back you'd have to have some kind of electrochemical 'blueprint' to teach the cells to grow in the proper direction, a kind of electrical lattice for them to follow.

So anyway, that is truly neat, but the tumor thing is something I'd be worried about too.

Posted by: Fox at September 30, 2005 04:44 AM (1ZP5A)

20 It's naht a tooomuh!

Posted by: Arnold Schwarzenegger at September 30, 2005 04:46 AM (pzen5)

21 Cool! Regeneration! Now I just need the big, retractable metal claws to go with it, and I'm THERE!

Posted by: SparcVark at September 30, 2005 04:47 AM (X7hb0)

22 I'm investing in that little medical shop around the corner that specializes in circumcisions.

Posted by: tom scott at September 30, 2005 05:33 AM (QfvmC)

23 What happens after you have surgery though. I mean, lets say you have your appendix removed. Does it grow back?

Well, the original mice have their DNA modified, permanent. The other mice have some of the DNA injected into their bodies, giving them regeneration effects. In certain gene therapy vector design, a variation of the second method would be a controlled, transient exposure to the effect of the gene therapy; it would wear off.

Posted by: Bill fom INDC at September 30, 2005 05:39 AM (yZMsp)

24 I guess regeneration is good news. However, if I were a mouse I would prefer that some asshole not chop off my limbs in the first place.

Hey, the Garden of Eden called, they want their apple back.

Yeah - the key question here is, does the regrown "limb" turn out exactly the same as the old one, or could it be, you know, a different size, maybe, just for the sake of argument, bigger?

Yeah, I want bigger AND prehensile! Just think of the "kitchee kitchee koo!" you could deliver at the right moment!

Posted by: The Claw at September 30, 2005 06:07 AM (74cXW)

25 Mice are already the most intelligent beings on the planet.

42!!! 42!!!

Posted by: Josh at September 30, 2005 07:57 AM (S6Wcf)

26 Fox - Actually, it's all signal gradients. The cells of a salamander's amputated limb dedifferentiate into a blastema (like a bastula - stem cells basically), brought on by a layer of epidermis that grows over the wound within 24 hours. But if you sew it up - it stops (and if you split the stump, you get two limbs). The blastema becomes the control center for regrowth.

Then all the signalling factors that were responsible for the embryonic blueprint (FGF's, Hox genes) are activated at once. Different amounts of the genes are activated according to whether they are on the right or left, or the base or tip of the limb. This makes a gradient of signals that controls the growth. The blueprint for the end of the limb (the hand or foot) is laid down first, then the middle part is filled in.

http://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~mrjc/regen.html

Posted by: Axolotl at September 30, 2005 03:37 PM (7NBwW)

Hide Comments | Add Comment

Comments are disabled. Post is locked.
82kb generated in CPU 0.08, elapsed 1.2793 seconds.
62 queries taking 1.2355 seconds, 262 records returned.
Powered by Minx 1.1.6c-pink.