Researchers Discover How Lizards Regrow Their Tails
We all know that lizards have the amazing ability to regenerate their tails. As children, we learned this at school or perhaps the zoo; but we never knew how a lizard could do this. Now the scientists at Arizona State University have brought us one step closer. A group of researches have discovered what they believe to be a genetic ‘recipe’ that allows lizards to regrow appendages. The research was conducted on green anole lizards in which they found at least 326 genes that are turned on during the process of regeneration.
Study co-author Dr. Kenro Kusumi says “the cells are dividing in distinct pockets including muscle, cartilage, spinal cord, and skin all throughout the tail.” From there the cells would grow in to tissue and eventually form a new tail (over the course of 60 days or more).
This research could eventually be used in treating birth defects, spinal cord injuries and even the regrowth of human limbs. Kenro Kusumi, professor at ASU, goes on to say “Lizards basically share the same toolbox of genes as humans.” And that they’re the most closely-related animals to humans that have the ability to regenerate appendages.