What is it about?

Our body is made during embryonic development. Some species of animals have the ability to regenerate parts of their body after injury, during adult stages. In an article published in the journal PNAS, researchers show that the leg of a small crustacean regenerates using the same genes as in development, but not in the same order. These results suggest that regeneration is not a simple repetition of development and that the same part of the body can be formed in different ways.

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Why is it important?

Regeneration is a fascinating phenomenon, observed in many animals (salamanders, flatworms, crustaceans, fish) but to a large extent lacking in mammals like ourselves. We still do not fully understand how this capacity has evolved. Could animals re-use the gene networks guiding development to evolve the capacity to regenerate?

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This page is a summary of: Distinct gene expression dynamics in developing and regenerating crustacean limbs, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, July 2022, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2119297119.
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