Skip to comments.Scientists Fully Regenerate Organ In Living Animal For The First Time
Posted on 04/08/2014 7:36:47 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
LONDON (Reuters) - British scientists have for the first time used regenerative medicine to fully restore an organ in a living animal, a discovery they say may pave the way for similar techniques to be used in humans in future. The University of Edinburgh team rebuilt the thymus - an organ central to the immune system and found in front of the heart - of very old mice by reactivating a natural mechanism that gets shut down with age.
The regenerated thymus was not only similar in structure and genetic detail to one in a young mouse, the scientists said, but was also able to function again, with the treated mice beginning to make more T-cells - a type of white blood cell key to fighting infections.
The regenerated thymus was also more than twice the size of the aged organs in the untreated mice.
"By targeting a single protein, we have been able to almost completely reverse age-related shrinking of the thymus," said Clare Blackburn from Edinburgh's Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Regenerative Medicine, who led the research.
"Our results suggest that targeting the same pathway in humans may improve thymus function and therefore boost immunity in elderly patients, or those with a suppressed immune system."
She added however, that while the treated mice were making T-cells, her research could not yet establish whether the immune systems of the older mice were strengthened.
And before the technique can be tested in humans, she said, researchers will need to conduct more animal experiments to make sure the regeneration process can be tightly controlled.
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I suggest they try and rebuild a pancreas for their next attempt. This type 1 diabetic would be very happy.
How about nuts for all those in Congress that have lost theirs.
They didn't lose them, they sold them.
Someday, we will be able to live forever, if you have enough money. Imagine a 200 year old Harry Reid in the senate.
I don't think living forever would be so great, think of the boredom that would eventually occur. I don't think it's in Gods plan.