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Critically Speaking

Jul 14, 2021

Most organisms have ways to fix a wound. But what about regenerating missing tissues or limbs after that wound has healed? What about crippling spinal cord injuries?   Well, today we'll hear about the process of wound healing and subsequent regeneration, and how findings in lower organisms can help us to understand and enhance regeneration in humans. In this episode, Therese Markow and Dr. Karen Echeverri discuss what happens when you get a wound, the role the immune system plays in regeneration, and the difference between  vertebrate and invertebrate regeneration. They also discuss how regeneration shows up differently in axolotls, zebrafish, and even humans. 


 Key Takeaways:

  • The axolotl is the champion of regeneration - it can regenerate portions of internal organs, tail, and lesions in the brain and spinal cord. 
  • The amount of regeneration time is in proportion to the size of the animal. 
  • Understanding the different mechanisms  of regeneration in various animal species is the key to developing effective treatments for these serious human injuries.


"Our highest regenerative ability is, when we're youngest, so young babies have the highest regenerative potential. There is some evidence that very young children can regenerate the partial digit tip. As the child grows older, and again, their immune system becomes more developed, they also lose that regenerative ability." —  Dr. Karen Echeverri


Connect with Dr. Karen Echeverri:

Professional Bio: 




Connect with Therese:


Twitter: @CritiSpeak




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