Scientists are discovering the secrets behind whole-body DNA regeneration

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A team at Harvard has released a study on panther worms which revealed a regenerative master switch called early growth response, or EGR.

Scientists want to know why some fauna, like some species of the humble jellyfish, can regenerate their whole bodies following an injury. In a paper published last Friday, a team at Harvard have made some breakthroughs.

With three-banded panther worms as their test subjects, Harvard’s Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Mansi Srivastava and her team discovered a master control gene that’s activated by noncoding DNA, according to the Harvard Gazette.

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Harvard University uncovers DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration

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A piece of non-coding DNA may hold the key to how humans could regenerate body parts

Humans may one day have the ability to regrow limbs after scientists at Harvard University uncovered the DNA switch that controls genes for whole-body regeneration.

Some animals can achieve extraordinary feats of repair, such as salamanders which grow back legs, or geckos which can shed their tails to escape predators and then form new ones in just two months.

Planarian worms, jellyfish, and sea anemones go even further, actually regenerating their entire bodies after being cut in half.

Now scientists have discovered that that in worms, a section of non-coding or ‘junk’ DNA controls the activation of a ‘master control gene’ called early growth response (EGR) which acts like a power switch, turning regeneration on or off.

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Self-healing plastic grows back after damage

self-healing plastic

The newly-developed self-healing plastic can take rather extensive damage and heal it through a process of regeneration.

There are several self-healing substances in the world, ranging from the LG G Flex’s scratch-healing casing to Stanford’s synthetic self-healing skin.  A plastic developed by the University of Illinois is one of the latest plastics developed that regenerates when damaged.

 

 

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3D printing body parts will revolutionize medicine

Printing kidneys.

3-D printing has grown over the past two decades from a niche manufacturing process to a $2.7-billion industry, responsible for the fabrication of all sorts of things: toys, wristwatches, airplane parts, food. Now scientists are working to apply similar 3-D–printing technology to the field of medicine, accelerating an equally dramatic change. But it’s much different, and much easier, to print with plastic, metal, or chocolate than to print with living cells.

 

 

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