One of the most trending topics in the field of Medicine is Regenerative Medicine. With its extraordinary potential to heal the diseases, the way it is revolutionizing the healthcare industry is quite mesmerizing. With the recent developments in techniques of treating a disease, it is in-fact said to be the next evolution of medical treatments. Regenerative medicine is the branch of medicine that develops methods to regrow, repair or replace damaged or diseased cells, organs or tissues. It includes generation, along with the use of therapeutic stem cells, tissue engineering and the production of artificial organs. This promising field is working towards restoring structure and function of damaged tissues and organs. It has been quite helpful in working to create solutions for organs that become permanently damaged. The major goal of regenerative medicine is to find a way to cure previously untreatable injuries and diseases.
Currently, the focus of current scientific research is more towards making regenerative medicine available for clinical purposes. Treatments include in vivo and in vitro procedures. In vivo studies and performs trials inside the living body in order to stimulate previously irreparable organs to heal themselves. In vitro treatment is applied to the body through implantation of a therapy studied inside the laboratory. The recent amazing breakthroughs are making the fact of regenerative medicine revolutionizing the treatments, much more evident. Out of them, the most promising breakthroughs include, creation of a system that predicts how to create any human cell type from another cell type directly called ‘Mogrify’, and, the new possibility in lung disease treatment due to the regenerative ability of the lung cells.
An international team led by researchers at the University of Bristol opened the door to a new range of treatments for a variety of medical conditions. Professor Gough, with his PhD student Dr. Owen Rackham, worked for 5 years to develop a computational algorithm to predict the cellular factors for cell conversions. They demonstrated the creation of a system that predicts how to create any human cell type from another cell type directly, without the need for experimental trial and error. They found that the cells that have not yet decided what to become, called ‘Pluripotent stem cells’, can be used to treat many different medical conditions and diseases. Mogrify, is a bioinformatics resource that will allow experimental biologists to bypass the need to create stem cells. It predicts the process of creating any human cell type from any other cell type directly. This significant breakthrough in regenerative medicine paves the way for life-changing medical advances, and the possibility in the long term quality improvement and increasing lifetime of cells. Mogrify, has been made available online for other researchers and scientists, to aid the rapid advancement of the field.
A team of scientists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Duke University have found that regardless of their stage in life, lung cells are able to regenerate themselves in order to repair missing or damaged tissue. There are two main types of lung cells: type 1 cells, where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged during breathing, and type 2, which secrete surfactants, a type of lubricant integral to the breathing process. These scientists have shown that for the first time ever, the type 1 cells gave rise to type 2 cells over about three weeks in various models of regeneration.
Till date, cell regeneration in humans has been largely focused on using stem cells, due to its unspecialized nature which helps in manipulating the cells into serving any function. But, a group of scientists with their out-of-the-box thinking are attempting to use already specialized cells to regenerate new cells and tissue. A collaboration of doctors from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the Victor Chang Institute in Australia succeeded in developing a way to get mature heart cells to regenerate. They developed a way to stimulate the release of a hormone that causes cardiac cell division. So far, this cardiac regeneration was only observed in lab mice. But, they are of all hopes to replicate it in humans as well, in a span of 5 years.
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