Jan 18, 2018

Humans Share a Relevant Gene With This Fish That Can Repair Its Spinal Cord

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The lamprey looks about as different from a human as you can imagine. This fish has an eel-like, finless body, bulging eyes, and a circle of frankly horrifying teeth in place of a jaw, which some species use to latch onto other animals and suck their blood.

Yet these alien-looking creatures share something fairly extraordinary with humans: we both contain genes that, in the lamprey, allows it to repair broken spinal cords.

The discovery shows promise for medicine: if we could one day activate the same gene in humans, we could reverse spinal cord damage — even paralysis.

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