Chick Embryo Regrows Wing With Wnt Signaling
According to a study published in Genes and Development yesterday, a research team at the Salk Institute for Biological studies has been able to regenerate a wing in a chick embryo. This new study adds to the evidence that mammals can also regrow limbs (see Lab Mice Unexpectedly Regenerate Limbs, Organs), an ability once thought to be restricted to certain amphibians and lizards.
The new study demonstrates that even mammalian vertibrate regeneration is under control of the Wnt signaling system.
"In this simple experiment, we removed part of the chick embryo's wing, activated Wnt signaling, and got the whole limb back - a beautiful and perfect wing," said the lead author, Juan Carlos Izpis˙a Belmonte, Ph.D., a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory. "By changing the expression of a few genes, you can change the ability of a vertebrate to regenerate their limbs, rebuilding blood vessels, bone, muscles, and skin - everything that is needed."
This new discovery "opens up an entirely new area of research," Belmonte says. "Even though certain animals have lost their ability to regenerate limbs during evolution, conserved genetic machinery may still be present, and can be put to work again."
(From Wnt reactivates dormant limb regeneration program press release)
The Wnt signaling pathway is a complex network of proteins most well known for their roles in embryogenesis and cancer, but also involved in normal physiological processes in adult animals. The name Wnt was coined as a combination of 'Wg' (wingless) and 'Int.' The wingless gene had originally been identified as a segment polarity gene in Drosophila melanogaster that functions during embryogenesis. and also during adult limb formation during metamorphosisz. The Int genes were originally identified as vertebrate genes near several integration sites of mouse mammary tumor virus (MMTV).
To manipulate animals' regeneration ability, the Salk researchers used inhibitory and excitatory factors for Wnt signaling, which they delivered directly to the remaining bulge after they cut a limb from the experimental embryos. "The [exitatory Wnt] signal restarted the process, and genes that were involved in the initial development of the limb were turned back on," Belmonte says. "It is simply amazing."
Researchers noted that the procedure must be done in an extremely controlled way; uncontrolled cell proliferation can lead to cancer.
The first time I ever read about the idea that it might be possible to regrow limbs was in science fiction writer Frank Herbert's 1972 uneven but highly readable novel The Godmakers, in which a badly injured agent is able to regrow what was lost:
Orne began to show small but steady signs of recovery... they placed him on an atlotl/gibiril regimen, forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers and eye, restore his scalp line and erase the other internal-external damage.
Read more about Wnt reactivates dormant limb regeneration program and this article on the Wnt signaling pathway.
(Read more about Frank Herbert's Atlotl/Gibiril Regimen)
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/18/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 3 )
Related News Stories -
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.' - Philip K Dick, 1954.
Mechanical Milking Of Microalgae For Fuel Production
'They call 'em culture tanks. They have bugs -- germs -- growing in them.' - Hal Clement, 1950.
Fetal Lamb Rests In Artificial Womb
'... stewing warm on their cushion of peritoneum and gorged with blood-surrogate and hormones, the foetuses grew and grew...' - Aldous Huxley, 1932.
Bring Back Extinct Animals! Sort of.
'The worldwide network of genetic arks had a surfeit of pachyderms...' - David Brin, 1990
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
OK, NASA 3D Printer Of Food Not Yet Star Trek Food Synthesizer
Maybe not, but we're seeing definite progress.
Kelly Clarkson Show Like Black Mirror '15 Million Merits'
'These people are pieces of software called avatars.'
Salto Jumping Robot Now Sticks Landing!
'Lucky touched the leap knob and the hopper's leg retracted.'
Gyroscopic Median-Straddling Mass Transit Vehicles
'It was among these leviathans that the little gyrocar was daring to thrust its puny self...'
Bigrating Laser Beam-Riding Light Sail Is Self-Correcting
'That sail will be twenty thousand miles at the wide part.'
ISS Astronauts Test Estee Lauder 'Advanced Night Repair' Skin Serum
'Out in the New Moon, just ask for what you want...'
LG Wing Twisting Smartphone Might Be Fun
'A polycarbon screen unfurled...'
Mushroom Coffin Returns You To Nature, Naturally
'She touched the leaf. She was wanted.'
Will ATT Offer Ad-Subsidized Cellphone Service
'For long-distance calls the ratio of commercial to conversation was as high as 10 to 1...'
Gyro-X Self-Balancing Two-Wheeler Car
'Indeed, the gyrocar was a sight to make a man look twice.'
Beat Covid-19 With AIR By MicroClimate - At Last I Get My PAPR
More than just a bubble.
Mi TV LUX Transparent Edition OLED TV
The Look of Things To Come.
Metalenses Now Reconfigurable With Liquid Crystal
'Hufhuf oil held in static tension...'
'Alexa For Residential' A Landlord's Dream (Tenant's Nightmare?)
'...unseen mechanical entities... that are in our very midst. One of them following each of us.'
Gather Ye Moonrocks While Ye May
'The law of filing on newly discovered asteroids was definite.'
InMotion V11 Electric Unicycle Gets Air (Video)
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity...'
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories