Oct 8, 2020

Some Fish Can Regenerate Their Eyes. Turns Out, Mammals Have Those Genes Too

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, life extension

Perhaps in the future, gene editing may allow retinal regeneration in humans to reverse age-related vision deterioration.

Damage to the retina is the leading cause of blindness in humans, affecting millions of people around the world. Unfortunately, the retina is one of the few tissues we humans can’t grow back.

Unlike us, other animals such as zebrafish are able to regenerate this tissue that’s so crucial to our power of sight. We share 70 percent of our genes with these tiny little zebrafish, and scientists have just discovered some of the shared genes include the ones that grant zebrafish the ability to grow back their retinas.

“Regeneration seems to be the default status, and the loss of that ability happened at multiple points on the evolutionary tree,” said Johns Hopkins University neuroscientist Seth Blackshaw.

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