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Published on Jul 6, 2011
For 250 years, scientists have believed old age and repeated amputation weaken a newt's ability to regenerate. They were wrong. And that's good news for humans.
Panagiotis Tsonis, director of the University of Dayton's Center for Tissue Regeneration and Engineering at Dayton (TREND), said his discovery will benefit the entire field of regeneration research and brings us one step closer to a complete understanding of how newts regenerate, which could one day enable humans to replicate the process.
Nature Communications published Tsonis' research July 12, 2011. The study shows even after surgically removing the lens from a newt 18 times over 16 years, the newt was still able to regenerate a perfect lens. Tsonis' findings overturn long-accepted theories proposed by regeneration scientists, including Charles Darwin.
"When would a person benefit from regeneration most? It's when they are older," Tsonis said. "This shows the newt is an excellent source for finding answers to regeneration, particularly as it relates to old age. It has the ability to protect and preserve regeneration."