Fossils helped to discover the secret of regeneration
The research team of paleontologists of the Berlin Museum of natural history, brown University and new York University Oswego showed that the unique regenerative ability of modern salamanders, most likely, was a feature of ancient four-legged vertebrates, lost in the course of evolution.
Salamanders have the amazing ability to restore damaged or lost limbs and internal organs. The controlling feature high regenerative mechanisms are the center of attention of a large number of biologists. They do not lose hope once to apply the received knowledge in the field of medicine.
However, regeneration is not the only thing that interests the scientific community. So, salamanders develop their hind legs in the embryo that distinguishes it from all other four-legged creatures.
“Their fingers are formed in reverse order compared to other four-legged vertebrates. It remains a mystery for over a hundred years. We are very interested in, as a way of evolutionary development of the limbs is associated with high regenerative capabilities,” says Dr. Trubish Nadia (Nadia Fröbisch), the author of the study.
“Lizards can only regrow their tails once or twice and replace the spine in the tail cartilage. But the salamanders vosstanavlivayut, including all of the vertebral elements, nerves and muscles,” says study co-author Constance Bickelmann (Constanze Bickelmann).
Previously it was thought that the high regenerative capacity of historically belong only to the salamanders. However, the resulting study of these fossils suggest new view of evolution. We investigated various groups of amphibians that lived about 300 million years ago. For the study we used the exhibits of the Berlin Museum of natural history. It turned out that other amphibians were able to regenerate their legs and tails. It turns out that the abilities of modern salamanders possess a ancestors of four-legged vertebrates, regardless of how developed their limbs.
Dr. Trubish argues that the method of development of the limbs of modern salamanders and their ability to recover is not something unique. Millions of years ago such feature was widespread. It can be argued that the high regenerative abilities were lost during evolution.
The new data are of great interest for biomedical research. As a result, biologists hope to uncover responsible for limb regeneration mechanisms. Because, as it turned out, they can be for all terrestrial vertebrates.