German scientists grow spinal cord in vitro by copying salamanders

The scientist community has long been aware that salamanders’ capacities for complete limb regeneration could be the key to very important development in human medicine. Now, a german team working within a EU financed Research & Innovation project baptised REGENERATEACROSS has reached a new threshold by growing in lab a mouse spinal cord.

This scientific achievement is a prime example of the direct benefits than can results from exploring and documenting diversity in nature. Indeed, even among salamanders, researchers have shown that there is more than one mechanism of muscle tissue regeneration. If the Mexican salamander, the axolotl, produces tissue from existing stem cells, the Newt salamander displays an entirely different type of regeneration mechanism previously unknown in which muscle cells “forget” what they were and become new stem cells that regenerate muscle tissue. It is this scientific observation of nature that will bring about new ideas and innovations in the medical field.



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