Geckos Are Able To Heal & Regenerate Parts Of Their Brain, Which May Mean We Can Too - Top 10 Listverse Car Review UFO Alien
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Geckos Are Able To Heal & Regenerate Parts Of Their Brain, Which May Mean We Can Too

Lizards have a unique ability to regenerate their tails and spinal chords, and recently, researchers from the University of Guelph discovered that geckos can actually regenerate parts of their brain as well. Because of the connection between lizard brains and human brains (reptilian brain), this could be good news for us too. It could be the beginning of a new realm of research for treatment methods of injuries and degeneration from the human brain.

The study was published last month in the journal Scientific Reports. Because of the knowledge of the geckos’ ability to regenerate parts of their body, it led the researchers to see what was going on in gecko brains. They injected leopard geckos with a chemical label that allowed them to detect within the DNA any newly formed cells, which allowed them to examine new cells as they showed up in the geckos’ brains.

The Results?

The researchers found even more cells than what they had anticipated — including a type of stem cell that regularly turned into brain cells in the geckos’ medial cortex. This is the part of the brain that has the same function as the hippocampus in humans. This was the very first discovery for scientists finding out that stem cells were involved in the formation of new neurons in the leopard gecko’s brain.

“The brain is a complex organ and there are so few good treatments for brain injury, so this is a very exciting area of research,” said Prof. Matthew Vickaryous in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC).

“The findings indicate that gecko brains are constantly renewing brain cells, something that humans are notoriously bad at doing,” he said.

If you didn’t already know, lizards are more closely related to humans than amphibians or fish, which are typically studied in research involving regeneration. This groundbreaking study could actually change the way that the human brain is studied, more so that previous studies involving regeneration.

“Most regeneration research has looked at zebrafish or salamanders. Our work uses lizards, which are more closely related to mammals than either fish or amphibians,” said Rebecca McDonald, a master’s student who led the study.

“The findings indicate that gecko brains are constantly renewing brain cells, something that humans are notoriously bad at doing,” said Matthew Vickaryous, McDonald’s co-author on the study, in the news release. “The next step in this area of research is to determine why some species, like geckos, can replace brain cells while other species, like humans, cannot.”

Neuroplasticity

While human brains may not be the best at regenerating brain cells (although fasting has been shown to do this), there has been a great deal of research over the past decade or so into the study of neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s ability to form new neural connections throughout one’s life. Neuroplasticity allows the neurons (specifically, nerve cells) in the brain to compensate for injury and disease and adjust their activities in response to new situations or to changes in their environment.

This is the opposite of the saying, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. To just assume that the brain is how it is and can only learn new information up to a certain age is incorrect, and luckily we are seeing a lot of science that is proving this.

Perhaps combined with the research of gecko brains, scientists will be able to determine how to trigger this type of regeneration. It has the potential to help heal degenerative diseases and those who have suffered brain injuries or brain damage.



from Science & Tech – Collective Evolution https://ift.tt/2OprkVY
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About Mysterious Everythings

Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.