$145,000 grant helps researchers investigate how newts regrow limbs and organs

July 27, 2016

Dr. Catherine Tsilfidis received a $145K grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to study the cellular process that lets newts regrow limbs and organs, and examine how it differs from mammalian cells. When a newt is injured, its cells revert back to an embryonic-like state in a process called dedifferentiation. These cells then make all the tissues needed to build a new organ. Dr. Tsilfidis’ team found that extract from a regenerating newt limb can bring about this process in a mouse muscle cell line. This suggests that mammalian cells may have similar powers of regeneration, but lack the appropriate triggers to start the response. A better understanding of the differences between newt and mammalian cells may help scientists improve the regenerative ability of humans

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