February 07, 2020
In 2018 the largest genome of any animal yet sequenced was revealed. This enormous genome, 10 times larger than that of a human, belongs to the axolotl. Within this huge code researcher have been searching for important genes, and some have now been identified.
Yale University researchers have discovered the genes they say are involved in the axolotl’s amazing ability to regenerate its limbs and organs. At this stage they have identified two genes in a group of cells capable of regrowth (called blastema) that they have linked to tail regeneration. These genes, fetuin-b and catalase are essential for regeneration, cells without these genes have a reduced ability to contribute to the regeneration of limbs.
While it is likely there are many more genes involved in the axolotl’s ability to regrow damaged tissue, discovering these two is the beginning of a promising journey to better understand how tissue can be regenerated. Perhaps one day this knowledge will develop to a point where other organisms may be able to benefit from the ability to regrow damaged tissue.
Source: Science Alert
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