Message info From:Jason Subject:[FairfieldLife] Regenerate lost limbs Date:Sun, 18 Mar 2012 09:42:09 -0700 (PDT)


Chemical mix may help regrow limbs in mammals

June 15, 2011
Courtesy of the American Chemical Society
and World Science staff

Move over, newts and salaman­ders. The mouse may join you as
the only animal that can re-grow their own severed limbs.
Biologists are reporting that a simple chemical cock­tail
can coax mouse muscle fibers to be­come the kinds of cells
found in the first stages of a re­generating limb. Their
study, billed as the first demonstration that mammal muscle
can be turned in­to the bi­o­log­i­cal raw ma­te­ri­al for a
new limb, appears in Chem­i­cal Biology, a journal of the
American Chemical Society.
The scientists, Darren R. Williams and Da-Woon Jung of the
Gwangju In­titute of Science and Technology in South Ko­rea,
are hoping their work will even­tu­ally be ap­pli­ca­ble to
humans. They say their methods for cre­at­ing the early
stages of limb re­generation in mouse cells are rel­a­tively
simple, gentle, and reversible.
The find­ings have im­plications for both re-generative
medicine and stem cell biology, they wrote. Stem cells are
im­mature cells that can grow in­to many cell types and help
grow new tis­sues.
In the future, the re­searchers suggest, the chemicals they
use, which include a small molecule called myo­sev­erin,
could speed wound healing by providing new cells at the
in­jured site be­fore the wound closes or be­comes
in­fected. Their methods might also shed light on new ways
to switch adult cells in­to the all-purpose, so-called
pluripotent, stem cells with the potential for grow­ing
in­to any type of tis­sue in the body.
In the re­port, the scientists described the chemical
cock­tail that they de­vel­oped and used to turn mouse
muscle fibers in­to muscle cells. Williams and Jung then
con­vert­ed the mus­cle cells turned in­to fat and bone
cells. Those trans­formations were re­markably similar to
the initial processes that occur in the tissue of newts and
salamanders that is start­ing to re­grow severed limbs, they

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