Author: John Anderer
EAST LANSING, Mich — Could a freshwater fish hold the answer to limb regeneration in humans? Garfish are a bit scary looking at first glance, and often compared to dinosaurs, but it appears these fish have been hiding a major genetic secret in their fins for thousands of years. That’s because garfish, like many other reptiles and fish, have the ability to regenerate entire body parts.
Researchers at Michigan State University set out to study how exactly garfish regenerate entire fins, and discovered that humans posses the very same genes used by garfish to regenerate the endochondral bones within their fins. These fin bones are essentially the equivalent of human leg and arm bones.
“Gars are often considered ‘dinosaur fish’ because of their ancestor-resembling body type,” research leader Ingo Braasch explains in a release. “They’re becoming a popular, new research organism for biomedical research, largely in part because the gar genome is quite similar to the human genome.”
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