The potential to regenerate damaged limbs and hearts seems the subject of science fiction, but newts and zebrafish do it all the time. What can scientists learn from these simple creatures? Why have mammals not retained this remarkably useful property in the course of evolution? Can an evolutionary perspective on the mechanisms used by “lowly” organisms inform the approach to human tissue regeneration? Could this lead to the generation of abundant patient-specific differentiated cells for cell therapy, for elucidating disease mechanisms, for therapeutic drug screening? Recent studies suggest that this is possible.1- 3
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JAMA: 2011-01-05, Vol. 305, No. 1, Author Interview (Published online December 21, 2010)
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