The Regenerating Mouse
I know I've been doing a lot of science posts, but I had to post about this one. It's just creepy. But I guess Ronnie Lott could have used it.
It's a miracle: mice regrow hearts
SCIENTISTS have created "miracle mice" that can regenerate amputated limbs or damaged vital organs, making them able to recover from injuries that would kill or permanently disable normal animals.
The experimental animals are unique among mammals in their ability to regrow their heart, toes, joints and tail.
And when cells from the test mouse are injected into ordinary mice, they too acquire the ability to regenerate, the US-based researchers say.
Their discoveries raise the prospect that humans could one day be given the ability to regenerate lost or damaged organs, opening up a new era in medicine.
The research leader, Ellen Heber-Katz, professor of immunology at the Wistar Institute, a US biomedical research centre, said the ability of the mice at her laboratory to regenerate organs appeared to be controlled by about a dozen genes.
Professor Heber-Katz says she is still researching the genes' exact functions, but it seems almost certain humans have comparable genes.