Regeneration: The axolotl story
Scientists have managed to unravel the secrets of regenerating the genome of the axolotl. For more than 150 years, they have been trying to understand the amazing power of generation of this pink-headed animal with feather-like gills. The axolotl, or Ambystoma mexicanum, is incredible, it is able to quickly push back, if necessary, its bones, muscles, nerves, tail, spinal cord, and even its eyes, leaving no scars.
This genome is, with its 32 billion base pairs 10 times more than in humans, the largest ever listed. If scientists are so interested in this animal, it is because they quickly understood the potential it represents for the medical community. Through these studies, scientists seek to treat spinal cord and brain injuries, and contribute to new treatments for heart and liver diseases. In Vienna, Austria, at the Molecular Pathology Research Institute, Elly Tanaka and her team are studying the biology of regeneration of the limbs and spine, by analyzing the genome of the axolotl, and they managed to break through his secret.
“We now have a map to understand how complex structures such as legs can be regenerated”, “This is an important turning point for the research community studying the axolotl, a milestone in a scientific adventure started there. is more than 150 years old, “said Sergej Nowoshilow, researcher in molecular pathology, co-author of the study. A good hope for medicine, even if it’s not for tomorrow!