Miracle Healing Mice!

If you haven’t already seen an article about the Miracle Mice, it’s high time you did. Long story short, there’s a mutant strain of mice that, instead of scarring from injury, regenerates like amphibians– including growing new joints when the toe is surgically removed! Even crazier, injecting other mice with cells from these mice allows them to regenerate as well.
That’s pretty crazy stuff, especially since they were discovered by accident, and the full extant of what changes are needed to accommodate this remarkable ability (and any side effects) are still being investigated. If you want to see some of the actual primary literature, this Google Scholar link should direct you wisely.

Imagine the implications if this can be extended to other vertebrate systems. A man loses an arm in a industrial accident, doctors inject a solution of donated/grown liver cells, the man grows a new hand. That’s science fiction for now… but honestly, I never thought we’d see hope of it becoming a reality this soon. I applaud the research (and Ellen Heber-Katz for noticing the mice’s healing ears).

2 Responses to “Miracle Healing Mice!”

Got any pictures…? I want to see some mice feet growing back!

Teisha - September 12th, 2005 at 7:37 pm

That is really friggin cool. I’ll have to check out some of the primary literature once I can get into a the lab tommorrow. It’ll be interesting to follow this and see which genes are involved. I’m thinking to get that diverse of growth it is going to be some of the master developmental regulatory stuff. I’d also be curious if these mice show any signs of abnormal cancers. That would seem like it would be a major concern for any situation where parts are growing when they don’t normally.

mcmillan - September 12th, 2005 at 7:46 pm

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