Scientists can "teach" people to regrow fingers and limbs: first step taken

Dmitry IvancheskulLife
Stem cells from deer antlers could help people regrow fingers

Scientists intend to study the possibility of transferring cells from deer that are responsible for the annual renewal of antlers to humans. In this way, according to scientists, people will be able to grow cartilage, bones and even limbs.

This is stated in a study by scientists from Northwest Polytechnic University in Xi'an (China), published in the journal Science. Scientists have already managed to transplant deer cells into a mouse and provoke the appearance of antlers on its head.

It is known that deer grow antlers anew every spring. The process is quite fast, as antlers grow at an average rate of 2.5 cm per day. Antlers are the only known part of the mammalian body that regenerates annually and are also one of the fastest growing tissues in mammals.

A study by Chinese scientists found that the deer blastema (a part of the living tissue that forms on the remains of deer antlers and is capable of regeneration) contains stem cells (scientists called them ABPCs) responsible for antler regeneration. The same cells were also found in deer antlers a few weeks before they shed them.

The study suggests that different mammals contain the same type of self-renewing cells, but deer are the only ones that use them.

"Mammals have largely lost the ability to regenerate appendages or organs. The exception is the annual regeneration of deer antlers," the Daily Mail quoted the researchers as saying.

The transplantation of such cells, according to scientists, can give a person the ability to regenerate lost fingers or even limbs.

But, of course, before human trials can begin, it is necessary to conduct research that is not so risky. So Chinese scientists conducted an experiment with transplanting cells into a mouse and found that it works.

Only 45 days after the cell transplantation, horn-like growths began to appear on the foreheads of hairless mice.

Although the results are preliminary, the researchers believe they could have important implications for humans.

"Our results suggest that deer could be used in clinical bone repair. In addition, the induction of human cells into ABPC-like cells could be used in regenerative medicine to treat skeletal injuries or regenerate limbs," the scientists wrote.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL talked about the research of scientists who create intelligent implants and body parts that can expand our capabilities.

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