How lizards regenerate their tails: Researchers discover genetic ‘recipe’August 2014,Source:Arizona State University College of Liberal Arts and SciencesSummary:By understanding the secret of how lizards regenerate their tails, researchers may be able to develop ways to stimulate the regeneration of limbs in humans. Now, a team of researchers is one step closer to solving that mystery. The scientists have discovered the genetic “recipe” for lizard tail regeneration, which may come down to using genetic ingredients in just the right mixture and amounts…..
Biological multicellular structures can not only self-generate from a single cell but also self-regenerate after damage. In this paper we investigate self-regeneration in a model of artificial development, Epigenetic Tracking. 3-dimensional cellular structures grown using our model reach a size and a levelof complexity unmatched by other models in the field, thanks to several features of Epigenetic Tracking. One of these features is that only a small fraction of cells in the body, called drivers, orchestrate development. In this paper we use the mechanim for the generation of drivers based on the diffusion of morphogens as a foundation of several new mechanisms in Epigenetic Tracking, and show that these mechanisms allow for self-regeneration after removal of arbitrarily large portions of the multicellular body….Below is the definition of Epigenetic Tracking from the same article
Epigenetic Tracking: a model of evolving,
self-generating multicellular structures In Epigenetic Tracking multicellular bodies consist of cube-shaped cells on a 3-dimensional grid. The growth starts from a single cell and continues through a pre-specified number of developmental stages. Cells belong to two categories:normal and drivers . Each driver has an associated array of digits, called mobile code . All the cells carry the same genome, an array of characters (from a 4-letter alphabet). The mobile code can be considered as an abstraction for the set of regulatory factors present in a cell: it allows drivers to behave differently despite sharing the same genome.
I know if you are not familiar with epigenetics this may seem complex – therefore, I would suggest looking at other blogs on this site to give you a wider perspective of how it applies to me and you in our every day lives and how it explains a great deal about evolution – not by common descent, but via a common mechanism that is ultimately driven by epigenetic processes.
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