Keys to human regeneration in worms and bioelectricity?

A planarian, a tubeworm of the Turbellaria class, with two heads.

[W]ith the advent of gene editing, the ability for humans to make replacement organs will only become more secure in the years to come.

[S]cientists at Tufts University have been conducting tests again and again on…[p]lanarians, [which] have the remarkable capability to regrow their bodies even when cut in half. This alone makes them useful test subjects for [regeneration] research.

The researchers had…been investigating the effects of bioelectricity. In the new and recent study, [they wanted] to directly find out how bioelectricity played a role in [having planarians regrow two heads instead of one]. By interfering with the body’s electrical signals, the scientists disrupted the planarians’ signals on how to regrow their missing body sections. What this resulted in was a fourth of them growing two heads and the rest growing back one head like normal.

This added understanding of how bioelectric networks work side by side with genetics and other systems opens up a new avenue of research for regenerative medicine. A combined method using genetic alteration and bioelectric pattern manipulation may finally hold the key to regrowing human limbs and other body parts.

[Read the original source here]

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Bioelectricity In Regrown Worm Heads Teaches Body Part Regeneration

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