Is it possible that humans can regenerate their limbs with the help of the zebrafish? This is something scientists are currently investigating as they research the regrowth capabilities of tail fins and other organs of the zebrafish.
In this article, we discuss the zebrafish regeneration abilities and contributions to limb regeneration.
The Zebrafish is part of the minnow family and are native in the rivers of the southern Himalayan region. They are quite small and perhaps no bigger than 2 inches but they have changed the dynamics of research for complex diseases and injuries.
Such as treatments for injuries of the spinal cord and understanding better prognosis for cancer.
Along with human limb regeneration research.
This article is a follow up to a previous posting I wrote about if human limbs can grow back with the aid of vitamins. Where Vitamin A played an important role in activating genes to stimulate tissue regeneration with the production of retinoic acid.
Limb Regeneration Research
However, in this study discussed here, the investigation into heart regeneration has given new measures and preventative analysis in tissue degradation in the heart of a human patient.
The director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences at NIH is Dr. Jon Lorsch. He pointed out that the focus of research into the zebrafish is contributing to the science of the future for regenerative medicine.
He also pointed out that scientists are now seriously questioning the potentials of human limb regeneration through the study of the zebrafish.
The question is to work out what regenerative pathways are needed to be turned on to allow regeneration to occur in a human, and if these will allow the regrowth of the lost limb.
That is the holy grail that scientists are aiming towards.
Based on data from the NIH back in 2016, research applications for grants to fund studies into the zebrafish has been increasing when compared to other funding requests to different types of model organisms.
Another scientist, Dr. Eric Glasgow who is the director of Georgetown University’s Zebrafish Shared Resource. This is a database of all the findings that are related to the research of the zebrafish with human diseases.
Dr. Glasgow has specialized in the study of the zebrafish for over twenty years. His opinion was that human limb regeneration was a far off and remote possibility.
However, his analysis of this has now changed to a much more compelling outlook for regrowing lost limbs in humans.
He points out that the similarities of our own cell types and that of the zebrafish has greatly helped scientists in conducting medical tests for the treatments of different diseases and focusing on human tissue regeneration.
It has been shown that when you give the zebrafish a drug it will react to the treatment in a similar way that humans do and the same effect when you manipulate a gene.
Also, they have very similar personality traits to people where they can become emotionally upset with states of depression.
The Zebrafish are remarkably similar to humans in so many ways and are even coined practicably people according to this documentary on the Zebrafish.
Their immune system is also very similar to our own.
They have most of the same organs, cells, and tissues as people. They share 70% of our genes, and 84% of genes associated with human disease have a Zebrafish counterpart.
These small fish possess large quantities of reliable, and fast data for drug screening and disease modeling.
In fact, they are transforming how scientists study disease and regeneration.
A lot of research has been focusing on the salamander species, in particular, with axolotl limb regeneration research.
However, the Zebrafish has been overlooked when you consider its closeness it has with humans.
You don’t even need to be a scientist specializing in stem cell research and regenerative medicine that the Zebrafish plays an important role in understanding limb regeneration research.
It is also more humane and cheaper to use Zebrafish, plus more efficient with the collection of the data during experiments for their studies which is some of the things that the above presentation highlights.
When you consider that they are able to regenerate their fins, tail, organs and even their spinal cord and heart, along with their closeness to humans, they become a perfect candidate for research into human regeneration.
The zebrafish could indeed cause a major breakthrough with limb regeneration and a revolution in regenerative medicine and new innovative treatments for injuries and diseases.
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