Skip to comments.Newt sequencing may set back efforts to regrow human limbs
Posted on 02/27/2013 2:15:32 AM PST by neverdem
Amphibian's unique proteins cast doubt on existence of latent potential for regeneration.
The ability of some animals to regenerate tissue is generally considered to be an ancient quality of all multicellular animals. A genetic analysis of newts, however, now suggests that it evolved much more recently.
Tiny and delicate it may be, but the red spotted newt (Notophthalmus viridescens) has tissue-engineering skills that far surpass the most advanced biotechnology labs. The newt can regenerate lost tissue, including heart muscle, components of its central nervous system and even the lens of its eye.
Doctors hope that this skill relies on a basic genetic program that is common albeit often in latent form to all animals, including mammals, so that they can harness it in regenerative medicine. Mice, for instance, are able to generate new heart cells after myocardial injury1.
The newt study, by Thomas Braun at the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany, and his colleagues, suggest that it might not be so simple.
Attempts to analyse the genetics of newts in the same way as for humans, mice and flies have so far been hampered by the enormous size of the newt genome, which is ten times larger than our own. Braun and his colleagues therefore looked at the RNA produced when genes are expressed known as the transcriptome and used three analytical techniques to compile their data.
The team compiled the first catalogue of all the RNA transcripts expressed in N. viridescens, looking at both primary and regenerated tissue in the heart, limbs and eyes of both embryos and larvae.
The researchers found more than 120,000 RNA transcripts, of which they estimate 15,000 code for proteins. Of those, 826 were unique to the newt...
(Excerpt) Read more at nature.com ...
It got better...
I don’t want to see a Newt growing a new Mitt.
lol the jokes just write themselves folks!
Oh, this isn’t about Gingrich? How disappointing.
No more Newts! No more Bushes! No more Clintons!
I think I read that headline three times to make sense of it before I realized it was talking about a little amphibian.