Sunday, August 8, 2010


It always fascinates me when scientists try to play God, I always wonder if they can imagine all of the unintended consequences to their actions. Remember the scene in the movie Jurassic Park when the actor says something to the effect of - just because you can do it, it doesn't mean you should.

Two new studies published recently deal with regeneration, the ability to regrow body parts, an ability animals like newts and fish have but people don't.

Stanford has been able to turn off two genes that suppress tumors and they got mouse muscle cells to revert to a younger state to help repair tissue. Down the street at the University of California at San Francisco they're working with mice to reprogram the ordinary heart tissue cells into heart muscle cells, the type that are lost in a heart attack.

Many think humans gave up the evolutionary ability to regrow parts as a trade-off for fewer cancers. Tinkering with cells may have amazing healing properties, but it may also come with a trade-off.

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