With all the news lately about 3D printing and other methods of producing new organs to replace damaged ones, actually getting a damaged organ to regenerate itself has remained beyond our grasp, until now.
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh have succeeded in getting a living organ to rejuvenate while still inside the animal. They specifically focused their efforts on a protein known as Forkhead box N1 (FOXN1), which is part of the mechanism in our bodies that turns on certain genes as we age, and is known to be important in the development of the thymus. The thymus is an important part of our immune system, since it's where cells from our bone marrow mature into a type of white blood cell called T-cells — which allow our immune system to adapt to new threats. When we age, the thymus doesn't function as well, so fewer T-cells are produced and our immune system becomes diminished.
The researchers found that by stimulating an increase in the amount of FOXN1 produced by the thymusRead More »from UK scientists regenerate a living organ in a mammal for the first time