Can you imagine if humans can regrow limbs or the head after being cut in half? Seems like it will only happen in Marvel movies, but just recently, researchers learned that people have the potential to unlock this superhero-skill of regenerating body parts!
led by experts at the University of Washington has been researching the possibility of humans for regeneration. By studying a worm species, which surprisingly has similar DNA to humans, they discovered that within several years, we could be re-growing our own body parts.
Acorn worm being cut (c) washington.edu
Our closest invertebrate relatives, the acorn worm, show the same genetic heritage. They live under the sands around coral reefs.
Acorn worms have the ability to regrow their body parts from literally nothing! Researchers had cut an acorn worm in half. Within 15 days, it grew its own head.
The other severed parts also grew its own head and tail, producing its own healthy worms once the regeneration of the parts is completed.
acorn worm hours after cutting (c) washington.edu
“Regeneration gives animals or populations immortality,” said senior author Billie Swalla, director of Friday Harbor Laboratories and a UW biology professor. “Not only are the tissues regrown, but they are regrown exactly the same way and with the same proportions so that at the end of the process, you can’t tell a regenerated animal from one that has never been cut.”
Acorm worm regrowing its head 5 days after being cut (c) washington.edu
Experts say, currently humans also have the capability to regenerate, but only to a cellular level. The reason why people can't regrow body organs and body parts is still uncertain. But experts believe that humans can do it just like acorn worms do.
“I really think we as humans have the potential to regenerate, but something isn’t allowing that to happen,” Swalla said. “I believe humans have these same genes, and if we can figure out how to turn on these genes, we can regenerate.”
Acorn worm's head fully regenerated after 15 days after (c) washington.edu
If ever I regrow my body parts in the future, I'd surely make my villain dreams come true.