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Genetically edited stem cells help geckos regenerate a more perfect tail

Regenerating body parts is never easy. For example, some lizards can have their tails restored, but these new appendages are a faint imitation of the original appendages. Currently, genetically modified stem cells help geckos grow better tails.

Fine-tune and transplant embryonic stem cells into the stump of the tail of a gecko in mourning ( Lepidodactylus lugubris ) Allowed the growth of reptiles A tail that looks more like the original than ever before , Researchers report October 14th Nature Communications .. These findings provide a foothold for developing regenerative therapies for humans that may one day treat wounds that are difficult to heal.

The gecko’s tail is an extension of the spine and has vertebrae to prove it. However, the regenerated tail is a simpler issue. “It’s just a bunch of concentric tubes of fat, muscle, and skin,” says Thomas Logito, a biologist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

This is an adult gecko stem cell Molecular signals that promote the formation of new tail cartilage , Not bone or nervous tissue ( SN: 8/17/18 ). Lozito et al. Used embryonic stem cells, which can develop into a wider range of tissues than adult stem cells, modified to ignore this signal, and then surgically resected the tail into Gecko’s tail stump. I transplanted it. The tail, which grew from these modified stem cells, had bone-like grooves in the cartilage and generated new nerve tissue in the upper part of the tail.

These modified tails still lack the spinal cord and are far from the original tail. “We’ve fixed one issue, but there are still many flaws,” says Lozito. “We are still looking for the perfect tail.” The original tail of the gecko (remaining on these micro-CT scans) boasts vertebrae, while the regrown tail (center) grows a hard block of cartilage. By modifying the stem cells, the tail formed a bone-like groove in the cartilage (right), approaching the original blueprint.Lozito Lab / USCThe original tail of the gecko (remaining on these micro-CT scans) boasts vertebrae, while the regrown tail (center) grows a hard block of cartilage. By modifying the stem cells, the tail formed a bone-like groove in the cartilage (right), approaching the original blueprint.Lozito Lab / USC https://www.sciencenews.org/article/gecko-tail-regrow-regeneration-gene-editing-stem-cells Genetically edited stem cells help geckos regenerate a more perfect tail

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