Mice hold the key to faster wound healing in the young

Researchers in America believe they may be close to uncovering the secret to why younger people’s wounds heal faster than those in the elderly. A report in the journal Cell highlights the discovery of two of the genes involved in tissue regeneration, following research on mice.

As part of the study, scientists managed to isolate separate genes that accelerate tissue regeneration in laboratory mice. The genes, which are also present in humans, demonstrated increased activity in younger mice compared to older mice. It is claimed that the genes —Lin28a and IMP1 — are more active during the foetal stages of development and are gradually switched off as we age.

One of the experiments performed by the scientists involved activating the Lin28a gene in adult mice that had been shaved — the hair on these mice grew back quicker than in mice that had not had the gene activated artificially.

It is hoped that that the findings will help to develop new wound-healing treatments as well as further explaining the ageing process itself.

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Picture: © Harlequeen on flickr


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