Wasting Disease May Hold Key to REGROWTH of Organs
(Daily360.com) – Leprosy is a highly contagious and devastating disease, which affects the skin but can also result in nerve damage, crippling, blindness, and paralysis. The ailment is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium leprae, and scientists may have just discovered it has a remarkable ability.
On November 16, the BBC reported that researchers from the University of Edinburgh found leprosy bacteria can enable growth of healthy livers in armadillos. The organism does this so it has more to infect, but scientists believe they might be able to use this ability to repair livers and other aging organs in people — making them young again.
In vivo partial reprogramming by bacteria promotes adult liver organ growth without fibrosis and tumorigenesis
— 🥼Agingdoc1⭐MD, PhD 🔔 (@agingdoc1) November 15, 2022
The scientists say M. leprae can change “one type of bodily tissue into another,” which is something they refer to as biological alchemy. To study its process, the researchers gathered armadillos, who are known for carrying the disease, for their experiment. The observation showed the animals’ livers became significantly larger in size when infected with leprosy and, what’s more, the new growth was healthy. Professor Anura Rambukkana called the discovery “mind-blowing.”
If the process translates to human livers, science might be able to significantly turn back people’s biological clocks. Also, Dr. Darius Widera from the University of Reading said the discovery could result in new therapies for liver diseases.
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