New Research Sheds Light on How We Might Be Able to Better Cell Regeneration
Regenerative medicine is still a ways away, but researchers at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) have made a breakthrough in refining cell regeneration. Researchers have known about cell reprogramming for years, ever since Shinya Yamanaka discovered the process. However, until recently, cell reprogramming was inefficient and had a risk of tumor development.
The CNIO team recently published the findings of its 2013 study in the journal Science. During the study, the team from the Tumour Suppression Group successfully reprogrammed the living cells in a live mouse. Their research found the Yamanaka method was missing a key component of inducing proper cell regeneration: cell damage.
Cell damage produces the proinflammatory molecule interleukin-6. If this molecule is not present during cell reprogramming, the genes that reprogram the cell are less efficient.
With the identification of the need for cell damage, the researchers are now working on ways to utilize these methods and information in pharmacological approaches. Eventually, they hope to enhance the reprogramming process further so humans can regenerate damaged tissues.
Once doctors perfect this method of cell regeneration, clinical use might allow treatment of natural degeneration due to aging, as well as rejuvenation of damaged tissues.
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