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firefly5 October 31st, 2014 10:02pm

Science Friday (1/3): Lizards, salamanders, and some fish are able to regenerate their tails by activating the Wnt pathway. Sadly, as humans do not utilize the Wnt pathway, this gives us only a theoretical understanding of appendage regeneration.

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TomLaney1 Jesus is Lord
10/31/14 6:42 pm

0/3 so far. Tough one to guess correctly.

firefly5 the verse
11/01/14 7:44 am

this really is one of those "you know it or you don't" things. difficult to deduce.

susanr Colorado
10/31/14 6:11 pm

Um, no... There are several Wnt cell signaling pathways that are pretty crucial; we'd be kinda dead without them. In fact they're important not just in vertebrates but other animals including insects - I don't know about "lower" organisms.

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susanr Colorado
10/31/14 6:13 pm

The Wnt name is a combination of a couple of names, but the "W" stands for "Wingless," from a discovery of a mutated form in fruit flies.

firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 6:18 pm

I thought you'd jump on this one.

Zod Above Pugetropolis
10/31/14 4:37 pm

Aren't many of our tissues continually regenerating?

Zod Above Pugetropolis
10/31/14 5:25 pm

I bet we can figure out a way to trick them into regenerating too, hopefully without triggering uncontrolled cell growth.

firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 6:18 pm

that's the hope.

WildRice With a side of sass
10/31/14 4:22 pm

I remember reading a couple of journal articles on this that I had to present in embryology...

firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 5:12 pm

I should've had you come up with questions!

firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 3:11 pm

False.

The Wnt pathway plays a major part in embryonic development, and has been detected in both invertebrates and vertebrates (including, specifically, humans) alike.

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firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 3:14 pm

In an article published on August 20, a group from Arizona State University has presented the discovery of a portion (at least) of the mechanism for appendage regeneration in the Green Anole Lizard.

firefly5 the verse
10/31/14 3:16 pm

These lizards, it seems, activate more than 300 genes in a region on their tails, including all the genes in the Wnt pathway. Lizards are (genetically) the closest creatures to humans capable of appendage regeneration.

susanr Colorado
10/31/14 6:16 pm

Oh, cool. I think I saw that fly by me (the PLoS article, anyway) but I hadn't read about it. I know almost nothing about limb regeneration, so that's pretty neat. Thanks!