Friday, July 3, 2009

Salamander to Man

Posted By on Fri, Jul 3, 2009 at 6:47 PM

click to enlarge salamander.jpg

There's some really cool research going on in the New Orleans medical community. Here's an example from Tulane University.

Inspired by a Mexican salamander’s ability to regenerate severed limbs, Tulane researchers will try to adapt that physiology to help injured humans. Tulane professor Ken Muneoka, the John L. and Mary Wright Ebaugh chair in science and engineering, won a $6.25 million, five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. He will lead researchers from the University of California-Irvine and the University of Kentucky, who will seek to identify the genes that trigger regeneration in the salamander and see if they can duplicate the response in mice. They then plan to develop therapies using regeneration-promoting cells or growth factors to elicit a similar response in humans.

Muneoka says the team will establish a database of genes involved in the salamander’s regenerative abilities and use them as a blueprint for coordinating the genetic events required for limb regeneration in humans.

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