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First Mammals Observed Regenerating Tissue

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the tiny-healing-factor dept.

Biotech 89

ananyo writes "Two species of African spiny mouse have been caught at something no other mammal is known to do — completely regenerating damaged tissue. The work could help improve wound healing in humans. The species — Acomys kempi and Acomys percivali — have skin that is brittle and easily torn, which helps them to escape predators by jettisoning patches of their skin when caught or bitten. Researchers report that whereas normal laboratory mice (Mus musculus) grow scar tissue when their skin is removed, African spiny mice can regrow complete suites of hair follicles, skin, sweat glands, fur and even cartilage (abstract). Tissue regeneration has not been seen in mammals before, though it is common in crustaceans, insects, reptiles and amphibians."

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NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485419)

It's scientifically proven !!

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (5, Informative)

richardcavell (694686) | about 2 years ago | (#41485467)

I think you're underestimating the significance of this. A creature such as a lobster can regenerate an entire limb. If you cut a starfish in two, each half will regenerate the missing half so that it becomes two independent starfish. When human flesh heals, it tends to simply fill in the gap with scar tissue rather than replace the missing part. Especially for specialised tissue such as brain and heart tissue, once you've lost it, it's gone for good. If we can figure out how to make these parts regenerate, then it will revolutionize the treatment of all kinds of illness - stroke, heart attack, amputation, etc. Richard

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (4, Insightful)

Arrepiadd (688829) | about 2 years ago | (#41485843)

Especially for specialised tissue such as brain (...) once you've lost it, it's gone for good. If we can figure out how to make these parts regenerate, then it will revolutionize the treatment of all kinds of illness.

While in general I agree with your statement, I think the brain is where things will get muddy. A lung or heart or even a leg is "relatively" simple. Provided you grown the bones on the right place and the right kind of muscle in the right kind of configuration, it works fine. It may not be a lung working at 100% capacity, or a leg equal to the other one, but it works.
A brain on the other hand, it's not just a static collection of cells. We know that our brain reorganizes (e.g. during the learning process and as a consequence of it) and so, even regrowing the brain tissue would still leave you with a scar. Not necessarily a physical one, you could be capable of controlling all your bodily functions (maintaining a heartbeat, using your legs) without a problem, but a self scar. If the disease touches the parts that control who you are (i.e. personality related areas, and there's plenty of them), even getting them back would result in a different you. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing... but it still not really a cure for the "illness", it's a treatment (in the sense that you don't get your old self back, but you get to a different steady state.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (5, Interesting)

richardcavell (694686) | about 2 years ago | (#41486015)

It is true that the "higher" parts of the brain contain memories and personality, etc. But there are some parts of the brain that are much lower and still essential. Take Parkinson's disease. If we could regrow the neurons that degenerate in Parkinson's patients, they'd have a much better quality of life. Even if the new neurons don't work identically to the old ones, the patient is still better off and has not undergone a significant personality change.

Memories and pathways (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41489685)

I suppose that depends on the extent of the damage. For example, if part of your brain is scarred and it heals to the point where it is essentially "reset" as opposed to permanently scarred and damaged, then I'd imagine there would be potential to rebuild pathways and restore function.
Not so good for memory centers (although I believe these are sometimes redundant), but it might be good if you sustain a brain-injury that damages motor skills, the speech-centre etc as those are all those that could be relearned.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (2)

Belial6 (794905) | about 2 years ago | (#41489711)

I'm not disagreeing with you, but you also need to keep in mind that what you are talking about is not a black and white issue. Every experience you have in life, including reading this post makes you a different "you". Every time you forget something, which we all do all the time, you are a different "you". So, the "self scar" that you refer to is growing each and every day in each and every one of us. It would just be more shocking to see 5 years of "self scar" occur over night.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485945)

Also: Penis enlargement.

A whole industry is waiting on this.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41510013)

Asparagus for the new millennium?

Then there are those that would like to try reversing circumcision.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 2 years ago | (#41485977)

that's great and all, but wake me up when the monkeys can sprout adamantium claws.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486021)

That's correct. There are creatures on this planet that can regenerate whole limbs. It's nothing new.

However, what part of 'First mammals' in the OP and article flew past you? We have the first -mammals- now that actually perfectly regenerate skin, flesh and cartilage.

This has big implications for the research into what makes this stuff tick, and how it could be reproduced in -other mammals-.

Like, say...humans. These strange, endlessly multiplying mammals

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41486679)

I think we should avoid over-hyping this. This is a mouse that can regenerate skin rather than scar tissue. I see nothing to suggest it grows new bones, muscles, major blood vessels, or nerves, so it's unlikely that this will move us much closer to regenerating lost limbs. Not to dismiss the findings. I'm a cell biologist, this is extremely interesting to me still, and regenerating skin rather than scar tissue is obviously important enough to merit a lot more study.

I'd hazard a guess that it's likely we'll be able to make as many skin cells as you'd need using induced pluripotent stem cell technology before too long. However, that wouldn't be -skin- that would be some flasks of cells. With the skin cell gun [wikipedia.org] , it's possible to treat and heal second degree burns, but wiki tells me it isn't yet been validated for third degree burns, and I'm guessing has little hope of replacing skin that is completely lost due to disease or other injury. So the ability to make new skin in humans will be an important breakthrough, and these mice may tell us how, that's very exciting. But I don't think it's likely to help all types of regenerative medicine.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487135)

From what I know of the tech, scrubbing the cells out of cadaver skin or 3d-printing an artificial cellular matrix, then implanting the blank with skin cells, shows great promise for treating 3rd-degree burns. It's not quite there yet, but soon.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

tbird81 (946205) | about 2 years ago | (#41487469)

I do think it's cool that we're still discovering things like this though.

An animal which has been known about for ages, that does such a remarkable thing.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 2 years ago | (#41493737)

Then you might be interested to know that turtles and some other reptiles can recover from spinal cord injuries, regrowing the neurons, and chickens can recover their hearing after hair cell loss, which we cannot do.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

kumanopuusan (698669) | about 2 years ago | (#41489527)

Doesn't skin normally contain muscle, blood vessels and nerves?

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

the biologist (1659443) | about 2 years ago | (#41493245)

It's also not exactly without precedent. Years ago a lab mouse was found with the same phenotype. The lab mouse is much more useful for studies as we know much more about it's genome than this interesting wild species.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/08/11/1111056108.full.pdf [pnas.org]

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

GLMDesigns (2044134) | about 2 years ago | (#41500929)

Overhyping is never good. What counts is finding new avenues of research - and this, if I'm not mistaken, is a new avenue of research. Tissue regeneration is a big f**king deal.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487257)

Richard? No need to use a euphemism, just say dick or penis, we'll understand :)

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41489335)

Super soldiers here we come... Now if only we could wrap a robot in this stuff. What could go wrong ;)

All seriousness aside, I think it would be a huge breakthrough if they can find a way to help regrow human tissue. People really do misunderstand the significance of it. Regenerating a failing kidney with just the good cells or even the heart (as mentioned). An a bigger scale, burn injuries would be the easiest case to test in the future.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41492371)

From a famous scientist: "Hearts and kidneys are tinker toys! I am talking about the central nervous system!"

DR. FREDERICK FRANKENSTEIN

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Foxhoundz (2015516) | about 2 years ago | (#41485575)

Healing !== Regeneration Those are two different biological processes. Ignorance won't get you nowhere in life.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485645)

Ignorance won't get you nowhere in life.

Unless it is in politics or entertainment.....

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

luvirini (753157) | about 2 years ago | (#41485739)

And unfortunately it seems that in politics at least ignorance is the key to success.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41490629)

Ignorance won't get you nowhere in life.

Unless it is in politics or entertainment.....

No, it's ONLY in politics or entertainment that ignorance will get you somewhere (won't get you nowhere) in life. Are you and the GP both from Arkansas or somewhere?

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485777)

!== wtf? Cereal boxes are no place to learn science!

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | about 2 years ago | (#41487871)

Please cut of a finger and tell us when your "flesh heals" and it grows back fully working.

Re:NEWS FLASH !! FLESH HEALS !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488927)

Take the Schlossen cutoff, get out of your car, cut off your schlossen, then see if it regenerates. If it doesn't, you fail. If it does, you must be smilin Bob.

I'll go tell the ex-wife (4, Funny)

trdtaylor (2664195) | about 2 years ago | (#41485423)

I can regenerate my balls now

Re:I'll go tell the ex-wife (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#41486613)

Ah, she'd just take them away from your again.

Re:I'll go tell the ex-wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487169)

Ah, she'd just take them away from your again.

And again, and again...

Re:I'll go tell the ex-wife (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41489765)

He's not going to re-marry her! At least, I hope not.

Vasectomies (1)

phorm (591458) | about 2 years ago | (#41489707)

I wonder how selective this surgery would be. Not so good if one's vasectomy (or other intentional surgeries which might be interpreted as "damage") suddenly repairs itself...

As a Unix admin (5, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#41485447)

I've spent the last 20 years perfecting my Unix skills. The main thing I've always felt was holding me back form perfect success is a lack of a neck beard and no where near enough sweat glands. This may finally get me to perfect my professional arts.

Re:As a Unix admin (0, Offtopic)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41485505)

I've spent the last 20 years perfecting my Unix skills. The main thing I've always felt was holding me back form perfect success is a lack of a neck beard and no where near enough sweat glands. This may finally get me to perfect my professional arts.

No disrespect, but...

Bad news: wrong choice as repository. If you haven't have them ever, you have nothing to regenerate - you'll need to grow them anew, which is in totally different another repo ( :-P hint - your parents, if still in business, may know something about it).
Good news - the UNIX world evolved: with a correct choice of repositories, good chances that you can "apt-get install neck-beard" or "yum install neck-beard" (that is: no longer need to manually download the patches to apply them).

Re:As a Unix admin (1)

hackula (2596247) | about 2 years ago | (#41486839)

npm install neck-beard -g

Now we ALL have neck beards. Mwahahaha!

Re:As a Unix admin (1)

sinij (911942) | about 2 years ago | (#41487117)

I'd consider it a birth-defect, and sadly your only choice is a prosthetic neck-beard.

Could this be the one slashdot post (5, Funny)

427_ci_505 (1009677) | about 2 years ago | (#41485459)

Where trolls are actually on-topic?

NIGGER NIGGER NIGGER (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485497)

OUT OUT OUT

nigger out nigger out nigger out nigger nigger nigger out out out

how's that for on-topic you cucumber in the queen of jordan's underpanties, you tony award winner of faggotry, you potpourri of je ne sais quoi

hahahaha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485541)

this shit is hilarious. the nigger stuff is stupid, but the last line is very absurdist. love it

Re:Could this be the one slashdot post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41493799)

beautiful

watch out for fire and acid though

Itchy & Scratchy (5, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about 2 years ago | (#41485493)

So when Tom smashes Jerry with a frying pan, and Jerry shakes it off and goes back to work, it's not so far fetched after all.

Re:Itchy & Scratchy (2)

EdIII (1114411) | about 2 years ago | (#41485651)

No doubt.

I'm waiting for the ground breaking research which supports the Road Runner's theories on gravity.

Re:Itchy & Scratchy (5, Funny)

ericloewe (2129490) | about 2 years ago | (#41485813)

I'm more interested in that ACME selective quantum-tunnelling paint that creates a railway tunnel on any flat surface.

Sounds like a logical first step towards a Portal Gun.

Re:Itchy & Scratchy (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486107)

I'm more interested in that ACME selective quantum-tunnelling paint that creates a railway tunnel on any flat surface.

Sounds like a logical first step towards a Portal Gun.

It has nothing to do with quantum-tunnelling. The paint contains an element that creates a reality distortion field. The RDF can also be used to create doorways that leads to a hidden room only when the right person opens them and it can also wrap time so that it appears as if you invented the wheel first even if everyone else have already used it. If used correctly a reality distortion field can also make bugs look like well designed features and lack of functions as user friendly.

Re:Itchy & Scratchy (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486235)

It has nothing to do with quantum-tunnelling. The paint contains an element that creates a reality distortion field. The RDF can also be used to create doorways that leads to a hidden room only when the right person opens them and it can also wrap time so that it appears as if you invented the wheel first even if everyone else have already used it. If used correctly a reality distortion field can also make bugs look like well designed features and lack of functions as user friendly.

So that means Apple will be suing Amce? Don't they have a patent on the reality distortion field?

Re:Itchy & Scratchy (1)

Cryacin (657549) | about 2 years ago | (#41486629)

Don't they have a patent on the reality distortion field?

Man, if there's ONE thing that Steve Jobs really did invent, it's a reality distortion field.

This has been documented in humans (2)

aklinux (1318095) | about 2 years ago | (#41485511)

I believe we are considered mammals...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regeneration_%28biology%29#Humans

Re:This has been documented in humans (5, Informative)

ldobehardcore (1738858) | about 2 years ago | (#41485633)

Yeah, but if you read the article you'd know humans suck at regeneration. It's not impressive that we can regenerate (very, very slowly) the extreme tip of a finger or toe (as long as all the knuckles are left intact), or the kidney *MIGHT* regenerate somewhat, but doesn't happen often enough to be in the literature or commonly suspected. And we can regrow a rib or two over the course of *YEARS* as long as the sac surrounding the rib remains intact.

About the only thing we humans are good at regrowing is liver, and that's only with healthy liver, and doesn't work rupture or puncture that isn't cauterized/sutured. We'll completely regrow a new liver if as much of 3/4ths are removed. Which is actually pretty impressive. But not very cool as a superpower....

The point of the discovery is that there's interesting mechanisms at work allowing these mice to heal in an absolutely complete way, never before documented in mammals. And with further study we might be able to apply their biochemistry to the human healing process. There's a lot of potential, and it looks like an interesting, if not promising, avenue for research.

Quit bitching, cuz I'll bet 10:1 if you lose the tip of your finger, you'll likely not regrow it, and if you do, there will be a lot of scar tissue. If you lose a square inch of skin all at once, there WILL be extensive scarring.

These mice don't scar. How is that not awesome.

Re:This has been documented in humans (4, Interesting)

david.given (6740) | about 2 years ago | (#41486051)

Hell, yes. Even if whatever technique the mice use is only applicable to skin, this is still awesome: skin replacement is a serious problem on humans. Just ask any burn victim. But skin's a pretty complex organ --- it is, basically, an insulated sac containing the universe --- and if that can be successfully regenerated then there's a good chance the technique might work on other soft tissue.

What would be really awesome is if the regenerated skin hooks up to the nervous system. If so, that means it's regenerating nerves too.

Re:This has been documented in humans (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41486257)

But not very cool as a superpower....

I can think of a few people who seemed to gain superhuman powers when they were plastered; maybe you're onto something here...

Re:This has been documented in humans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486823)

Although capable of regrowing tissues, the downside to the mouse is literally weaker skin. That might be a key to why the mouse can regrow it in the first place.

These mice aren't exclusively the only mammals that can regenerate. Mice are good test animals, but bears can also regenerate somewhat while hibernating. Another interesting thing about bear hibernation is their lowered body temperature seems to help them heal. A low body temperature in a human instead impairs healing and can even lead to a wound worsening rather than getting better.

And healthy people have been shown to regenerate liver tissue when it's injured.

Re:This has been documented in humans (1)

holmstar (1388267) | about 2 years ago | (#41488845)

Humans don't hibernate though. (although there are suggestions that it might be possible to trigger a hibernating state in humans/other non-hibernating mammals) It could be other factors related to hibernation that allow bears to heal regeneratively, not just a lowered body temperature.

Re:This has been documented in humans (1)

gr8_phk (621180) | about 2 years ago | (#41487401)

Quit bitching, cuz I'll bet 10:1 if you lose the tip of your finger, you'll likely not regrow it, and if you do, there will be a lot of scar tissue. If you lose a square inch of skin all at once, there WILL be extensive scarring.

Have you heard about "pig powder"? I'm still trying to figure out if it's for real, and how good it actually is. Also, from what I've been reading, it looks like scarring is a short-term patch that actually needs to be suppressed (or removed) as a prerequisite for regeneration.

Re:This has been documented in humans (2)

holmstar (1388267) | about 2 years ago | (#41488923)

IIRC, the "pig powder" you're referring to is just powdered cellular matrix (basically pig tissue with the cells themselves removed). I remember reading that there was a study showing that this powdered cellular matrix aided regenerative healing if placed on a fresh wound. It wouldn't replace scar tissue with normal tissue, but would instead prevent the scar tissue from being produced in the first place.

Re:This has been documented in humans (1)

Zordak (123132) | about 2 years ago | (#41490593)

And in Time Lords. [wikipedia.org]

Yes!! (1)

grouchomarxist (127479) | about 2 years ago | (#41485587)

Just in time for the next SpiderMan movie.

you forget... (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485589)

... this has been also seen in Timelords, don't forget :-)

And by "first" you mean, "not first" (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485609)

MRL mice have been observed doing this for over a DECADE now. Hell, we've narrowed down the gene responsible, even.

Here's an article from /. in 2002 on the subject: http://science.slashdot.org/story/02/09/26/1211256/human-limb-regeneration-a-possibility?sdsrc=next
Here's an article from /. in 2010 on the subject: http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/03/17/1425241/scientists-demonstrate-mammalian-tissue-regeneration

Here's a video on the subject: http://vimeo.com/19096437

And here's my faith in /.'s editorial staff:

Re:And by "first" you mean, "not first" (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486147)

What they mean by "first" is "first naturally observed", as the MRL is a human-bred strain of rodent. I don't know enough to tell you exactly what the MRL is, but I'm guessing someone out there is enough of an expert to reference: http://jaxmice.jax.org/strain/000486.html and fill us in. From what I see it's not the same species as the article's subject.

The article is referring to two different wild mouse species, so it is a first in that we haven't seen it in nature before this.

Re:And by "first" you mean, "not first" (5, Informative)

ananyo (2519492) | about 2 years ago | (#41486161)

That's an interesting story (covered quite well on the BBC unusually http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4888080.stm [bbc.co.uk] ) but my faith in /.'s editorial staff is intact. The article you link to are about mice with various genes missing - it's an engineered lab mouse mdoel. The mice in the story here regenerate naturally. MRL mice are a disease model - and carry a lupus like disease - ie autoimmune disease-bad news (I'm not sure whether that's because of the missing p21 gene but it's quite possible. Disentangling that from the regenerative abilities is going to be tough - and they haven't managed it yet by the looks of things).
The fact these mice do this naturally, with no other ill-effects, is much more important in terms of making an impact on human health.

Re:And by "first" you mean, "not first" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488073)

Arguably, deer are a better example, though 'antler only' regeneration is obviously more limited than growing everything.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1571559/
http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/burn/Short.pdf

MOUSE SMASH! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485663)

Do the mice get green and bulky when angered?

Some years ago on SA (2)

Mizranumides (1416921) | about 2 years ago | (#41485737)

I remember an article on Scientific American about limb regeneration. Salamanders are the gold standard for regenerating limbs but the article stated that rat/mice are capable of fully regenerate fingers (don't remember if talking of common rat or MRL mice) and with treatment a human could regrow part of fingers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regeneration_(biology)#Mammals [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy_Roths_Large [wikipedia.org] http://www.sciencentral.com/articles/view.php3?article_id=218392774&cat=1_2 [sciencentral.com] http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=regrowing-human-limbs [scientificamerican.com]

hmm (4, Interesting)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#41485839)

What something means to regenerate is debatable. Are damaged neurons being replaced a part of normal cell division or regeneration? Is it regeneration because it is a response to damage or loss of function? Personally I see regeneration as the ability to replace something completely destroyed or damaged. (I.E. a part isn't merely healed) This is still not black or white. When you have regained full speaking ability after a stroke has your brain healed a certain area or regenerated it? I would see this as healing as the brain rarely if ever regains full ability after a complete loss of a function.

What about fingers [wikipedia.org] ?

In May 1932, L.H. McKim published a report inThe Canadian Medical Association Journal, that described the regeneration of an adult digit-tip following amputation. A house surgeon in the Montreal General Hospital underwent amputation of thedistal phalanxto stop the spread of an infection. In less than one month following surgery, x-ray analysis showed the regrowth of bone while macroscopic observation showed the regrowth of nail and skin.

Re:hmm (5, Informative)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41486143)

Healing is sealing the wound with fibrous tissue (scar), whereas regeneration is where, instead of a permanent scar forming, the original tissue is rebuilt and full function is restored. It really is black and white; They have distinct definitions.

Per your example, I don't believe the brain "heals" as such; I'm no human biologist, but basic science states that after a certain age your brain is pretty much as is, and any damage is permanent. Your brain may re-train itself to process speech in a different way after a stroke, but I wouldn't call it healing. The area which was damaged is still damaged. It's certainly not regenerated, as that would require complete repair of any damage, which would make degenerative diseases like Alzheimers and Parkinsons a thing of the past.

Someone else may know more, but this is how I understand it.

Re:hmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41487029)

Per your example, I don't believe the brain "heals" as such; I'm no human biologist, but basic science states that after a certain age your brain is pretty much as is, and any damage is permanent.

There are some conflicting [dana.org] results on the subject. It seems neurogenesis occurs, but not uniformly throughout the brain (certain types of damage are more permanent). And the ability to the brain to repair itself declines with age. There's also a heading that literally says, "Neurogenesis is a coping technique after a stroke.".

Re:hmm (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 2 years ago | (#41487353)

More information is always welcome. Thanks for replying :)

Re:hmm (2)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | about 2 years ago | (#41488763)

I'm recovering from a head injury right now. The doctors told me that my brain would slowly heal itself over 2-3 years. I didn't ask questions that weren't about me, so I can't say if it's the type of injury I sustained or something else specific to my case. I did verify that my brain would actually be healing and they said that it would, and I wouldn't just be learning to live with it.

Hearing restoration (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41485881)

TFA says that the ability extends even into the mice's ear holes, so does that mean they can regenerate damaged hearing? As I understand it, noise-based hearing damage is due to damage to the tiny follicles of hair in the inner ear. These mice regenerate hair as well as skin.. time for some Mötley Crüe based experimentation?

Re:Hearing restoration (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about 2 years ago | (#41486493)

time for some MÃtley Crüe based experimentation?

No thank you. I'm still getting flashbacks from all the Pink Floyd-based experimentation I did back in the '70s.

hmmmph (2)

WGFCrafty (1062506) | about 2 years ago | (#41485933)

You know, when thinking about which animals defensive ability to choose, it always used to be sea cucumber, hands down.

Now I'll be thinking about whether being able to regurgitate my own stomach really is better than being able to remove my own skin with impunity!



One of my favorite regeneration stories is about the crown of thorns starfish [wikipedia.org] . To battle population booms (before this species was well understood) the sent divers out with machetes to kick ass. After a run they did a census, the creatures had become smaller but their population more than doubled!

Just like the dancing brooms in Fantasia, only without an occult Mickey Mouse.

BWAHAHA. (1)

eexaa (1252378) | about 2 years ago | (#41486027)

At last! Reptilians, your days are numbered!

What I find more impressive is... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486041)

It seems there is actually a lifeform that evolved to have loose body matter for the sake of survival, that could easily be regenerated.

I always wondered if there was such a creature that evolved to deal directly with the fact that another animal wanted to eat it by providing it something to eat.
Are any other creatures out there that show this ability?
And I don't mean generic lizards repairing lost limbs, these creatures skins are very specifically weak for survival reasons. (at least, it seems that way, it most likely is)

Re:What I find more impressive is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486611)

Fruit and nut producing plants, maybe? Any flowering plant (bees and insects).

We might also say mammals which produce milk for their young.

All reproductive aspects rather than fight or flight (or feed).

Re:What I find more impressive is... (1)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#41491073)

I always wondered if there was such a creature that evolved to deal directly with the fact that another animal wanted to eat it by providing it something to eat.
Are any other creatures out there that show this ability?

It's called autotomy. Mostly it's lizards, salamanders, skinks and that sort of thing that do it. Geckos, for example, can pop off their tails to distract predators. The tail writhes around and the predator eats it instead of the whole gecko.

ha (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 2 years ago | (#41486249)

grow complete suites of hair follicles

Eyes fuzzy from sleep, I could've sworn that read "complete suites of hairy testicles..."

Test (1)

nischal360 (2713011) | about 2 years ago | (#41486581)

Test

Re:Test (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41490469)

Knock it off, dimwit. I just checked your user page, a dozen comments all saying "test". GTFO, would you? Comments are for commenting. If you want to test, do it in your journal so we don't have to see your juvenile trolls.

Mods, I'm offtopic so if the "no bonus" checkboxes didn't work, please mod me down.

2005 slashdot post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41486709)

http://science.slashdot.org/story/05/09/01/0035245/australian-science-makes-the-regenerating-mouse

FruFox writes "Australian scientists have created mice which can regenerate absolutely any tissue except for the tissues of the brain. Heart, lungs, entire limbs, you name it. This is the first time this has been seen in mammals. The potential implications are positively mammoth. I thought this warranted attention. :)"

These amazing articles get recycled from time to time.

I can *not* believe no-one else got here first (1)

Dogtanian (588974) | about 2 years ago | (#41486783)

This phenomenon has already been observed and even filmed [youtube.com] for one creature, to the extent that the whole *body* was "regenerated".

I'm not sure whether or not this one is a "mammal" as we know it, though?

I get to be Splinter! (1)

Dareth (47614) | about 2 years ago | (#41487837)

Being a lizard man didn't appeal to me very much. But getting to be Splinter will totally ROCK!

Wrong Title (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488213)

The title should be, "Scientists find Cure for Baldness". Haven't you been reading those supermarket tabloid headings?

Godamnit you're pathetic. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41488303)

I used to come here to /. because the comments were useful to read regarding critical things to the species. It is no longer so, adieu.

  Adieu - How to say goodbye in french

Adieu (pronounced ah dyuh) literally translates to "See you with God" (as in "See you in heaven") and fits true goodbyes in the sense of you are either unsure whether or not you will see the person again, or, if you do see him again, it will be a very long time.

I wonder how fast it works... (1)

ctrlshift (2616337) | about 2 years ago | (#41489155)

...because its only a matter of time before they try to replace this little guy's skeleton with adamantium.

X-M...ouse! (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | about 2 years ago | (#41490543)

I want to get one as a pet and name it Wolverine!

Humans can regenerate tooth enamel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41493435)

It's rare, but some people have the ability to self-repair very small cavities or pre-cavity soft spots, with the emphasis on very small. I am one of them.

Finally (1)

ZeroMS (2725031) | about 2 years ago | (#41502179)

My dream of becoming wolverine is one step closer
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