The video explains how scientists at Stowers Institute for Medical Research are studying the flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea to gain insights into tissue maintenance and organ regeneration, specifically the evolutionary origin of mammalian kidneys.
During their experiments, researchers identified a gene, EGFR5, that they believe is essential for the excretory structures of the flatworms to re-form during regeneration and for maintaining them in the intact animal. They hope that examining similar genes in mammals could shed provide clues about how humans maintain their kidneys — and could one day repair damaged ones.
Previously: Limb regeneration mysteries revealed in Stanford study, Bladder infections – How does your body repair the damage? and Stanford scientists replicate newts’ regenerative ability in mammals
Via Biomedical Beat