Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Talkin’ bout Regeneration: Why can’t humans regrow limbs?

The life of a seastar (read: starfish) is a pretty enviable thing. Aside from the artistically inspired body plan, seastars get to spend their days relaxing in the ocean, enjoying the ebb and flow of the tides. They watch all manner of interesting marine life pass by overhead without ever having to worry about jobs, bills, or crooked mechanics. However, if I had to pick one thing from a seastar’s life to really get jealous about it would have to be the ability to regrow limbs.

If, during their care-free oceanic existence, something comes along that wants to make a meal out of them seastars don’t have a lot of options. They are hardly built for speed and camouflage isn’t exactly in their wheelhouse. However, if something does get a hold of them, they have the ability to detach one of their limbs and hopefully escape with the other four. Over a period of a few months or up to a year or so they can regenerate the lost limb. Not only that, the limb they left behind (if it somehow managed to escape becoming octopus food) can regrow the rest of it’s body and form a second, genetically identical seastar.

Seastars are hardly alone in this ability. Earthworms, salamanders, snail firs, some fish, and even the occasional mouse have been known to regrow complete or partial limbs. Seastars often go one step further, though by voluntarily detaching their own limbs to reproduce asexually when lady seastars are not being especially receptive to their advances.

So what’s the deal? Why do all these other animals have this clearly convenient ability while us humans are left twiddling our phantom thumbs? Well, first off, we aren’t totally outside the club of regenerative species. Many children have lost the tips of fingers or toes only to turn up at the doctor’s office a few months later with everything back in place (minus fingerprints). The interesting thing in each case where this happens is that when the fingertip was cut off some of the nail bed was left intact; and it is this fact that gives some insight into how regeneration works.

It seems that to regrow body parts, the bits that are left behind in the wake of a serious injury need to know how to communicate. If you’ve ever tried to explain to someone how to build something specific out of Lego without actually doing the work yourself, you can begin to understand how challenging communication can get in the world of construction. At the cellular level, communication falls on the shoulders of stem cells left at the site of an injury. Scientists have discovered two kinds of stem cells that do this work: somatic stem cells and pluripotent stem cells. Unfortunately, in the world of limb regeneration, not all stem cells are created equal.

Somatic stem cells can close a wound, regrow some skin, and fill in the gaps with scar tissue but not a whole lot else. Pluripotent stem cells are the real professionals. They send signals known as Wnt communications throughout the body, getting bones and even nerves involved in the healing process. These are the cells that allow structures to reform. The bad news for humans and most other mammals is that, outside of the time we spend in our mothers’ wombs, we don’t get too many pluripotent stem cells. In fact, most of the ones we are left with by the time we are born are in our hair follicles and our fingernails... It’s all starting to come together now.

Scientists aren’t exactly sure why mammals seem so deficient in what are obviously handy (no pun intended) bodily resources. Some believe that our fast metabolisms that require constant food preclude us from hiding in a dark cave for a year while our limbs regrow. Instead we have to stop the bleeding and get back to hunting as soon as possible. Others believe that the complex body plans of mammals are too complicated to be regenerated in the same way that seastars' body parts can be.

A few optimistic souls say this might just be a temporary state of affairs. Sometime in the next few decades we may unlock the chemical communication secrets of pluripotent stem cells and set to work regrowing our own body parts. However, until that day comes, I wouldn’t get too close to any wood-chippers.


Justin L. Brown said...

Your frustratingly straight and fine hair can be changed into your most prominent characteristic overnight. Style is about benefitting as much as possible from what you have. Of course, you can utilize systems, supplements, and eating regimen tips to help the general wellbeing of your hair, however don't attempt to make something that essentially isn't you.

raybanoutlet001 said...

longchamp handbags
supreme clothing
true religion outlet
coach outlet online
oakley glasses
true religion outlet store
nike huarache
adidas nmd
ray ban sunglasses
hugo boss sale

sheela rajesh said...

Thanks for the great post on your blog, it really gives me an insight on this topic.I must thank you for this informative ideas. I hope you will post again soon.
Software testing training in chennai
Salesforce Training in Chennai
Big Data Training in Chennai
Hadoop Training in Chennai
Android Training in Chennai
Selenium Training in Chennai
Digital Marketing Training in Chennai
JAVA Training in Chennai
German Classes in Chennai
LoadRunner Training in Chennai
performance testing training
Loadrunner Training in OMR

priyanka usha said...

Really an awesome post for every one.
German Classes in Chennai
German Language Classes in Chennai
IELTS Coaching centre in Chennai
TOEFL Coaching in Chennai
French Classes in Chennai
pearson vue
IELTS Coaching in anna nagar
ielts coaching in chennai anna nagar

amit tavva said...

keep up the good work. this is an Assam post. this to helpful, i have reading here all post. i am impressed. thank you. this is our digital marketing training center. This is an online certificate course
digital marketing training in bangalore |

shemadevan said...

Nice Article, valuable content...thanks for sharing...
LoadRunner Training in Chennai
performance testing training in chennai
performance testing training
Loadrunner Training in OMR
Loadrunner Training in Porur
QTP Training in Chennai
core java training in chennai
C C++ Training in Chennai
Mobile Testing Training in Chennai
Manual Testing Training in Chennai

nakshatra said...

They're produced by the very best degree developers who will be distinguished for your polo dress creating. You'll find polo Ron Lauren inside exclusive array which include particular classes for men, women.
For more information:

deiva said...

Impressive! I finally found great post here. Nice article on data science . It's really a nice experience to read your post. Thanks for sharing your innovative ideas to our vision.
Digital Marketing Training Course in Chennai | Digital Marketing Training Course in Anna Nagar | Digital Marketing Training Course in OMR | Digital Marketing Training Course in Porur | Digital Marketing Training Course in Tambaram | Digital Marketing Training Course in Velachery

Data Science Institute In Banglore said...

I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.
Data Science Institute in Bangalore

DataScience Datascience said...

Two full thumbs up for this magneficent article of yours. I've really enjoyed reading this article today and I think this might be one of the best article that I've read yet. Please, keep this work going on in the same quality.
Data Science Course in Bangalore

DataScience Datascience said...

You re in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading speed is amazing. It kind of feels that you're doing any distinctive trick. Moreover, The contents are masterpiece. you have done a fantastic activity on this subject!
Data Science Training in Bangalore

Data Science Institute In Banglore said...

This is a wonderful article, Given so much info in it, These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website, and keep on sharing more ... good luck.
Data Science Certification in Bangalore

yanmaneee said...

cheap jordans
yeezy boost
hermes handbags
curry 5 shoes
birkin bag
golden goose
golden goose sneakers
kobe shoes
kyrie 6 shoes
off white nike

Damien Grant said...

Damien Grant said...

tejaswini said...

I have express a couple of the articles on your site now, and I truly like your style of blogging. I added it to my preferred's blog webpage list and will return soon…360DigiTMG data science malaysia

Maneesha said...

In actuality I read it yesterday yet I had a couple of contemplations about it and today I expected to scrutinize it again considering the way that it is richly formed.
360DigiTMG data science institute in hyderabad

IoT Course in Raipur - 360DigiTMG said...

Super blog found to be very impressive while going through this post. Thanks for sharing and keep posting such an informative content.

360DigiTMG IoT Course

Machine Learning Course in Raipur - 360DigiTMG said...

Fabulous blog found to be Very impressive and interesting to come across such an awesome blog. I would really thank the blogger to come up with the content which motivates the readers to be up to date with the fast growing technology in the current era. Once again nice blog keep it up and keep sharing the content as always.

360DigiTMG Tableau Course

Data Science training - 360DigiTMG said...

Mindblowing blog appreciating your endless efforts in developing a truly transparent content. Which probably the best one to come across disclosing the content which people might not aware of it. Thanks for bringing out the amazing content and keep sharing more further.

360DigiTMG PMP Certification Course

Sages Marketing said...

Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement

Sages Marketing said...

Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement
Fake Bank Statement

360DigiTMGNoida said...

I think this is an extraordinary article. You make this information interesting and secures. You give perusers a lot to consider and I esteem such a forming.
data science course noida

CloudLearn ERP said...

This article is well formulated. I particularly like the way how you have delivered all the major points about the topic of the content in petite and crisp points.
Data Science training in Mumbai
Data Science course in Mumbai
SAP training in Mumbai

Sages Marketing said...

Very interesting blog. Many blogs I see these days do not really provide anything that attracts others, but believe me the way you interact is literally awesome.You can also check my articles as well.

Security Guard License
Ontario Security License
Security License Ontario
Security License

Thank you..

EXCELR said...

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your postdata science training in Hyderabad

Suryaprakash said...

I got more useful information from this thanks for sharing this article.
types of link building
which foreign language should i learn

Kaylee Brown said...

Chemistry is one of the most complicated subjects and completing assignments in chemistry takes a lot of time. Students have to spend a lot of time doing their research and gathering information and molding the information into presentable form takes too much time.
Availing Chemistry Assignment Help helps students to skip all the hard work and they can rely on the expert to do the required research and write answers. These experts are experts in the subject and they have all the required knowledge so they can complete the assignment faster and present the best answers.

Excelr Tuhin said...

I've read this post and if I could I desire to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article. I want to read more things about it!
data science courses

360digiTMG Training said...

You have done a great job. I will definitely dig it and personally recommend to my friends. I am confident they will be benefited from this site.
Best Institute for Data Science in Hyderabad