Blood-sucking fish may be the key to curing paralysis

Could there be a link between blood-sucking fish and repairing spinal cord injuries in humans? Scientists seem to think so!

Lamprey can completely heal themselves from a severed spinal cord and full paralysis in just 10 to 12 weeks.

Scientists discovered that the genetic changes making this happen occur in the spinal cord. However, unexpectedly, the changes occur in the brain as well.

This discovery, published in Scientific Reports, is huge because humans share these same genes.

By controlling these genes and the pathways' on and off switches, such as the 'WNT Signaling Pathway' required for regeneration in the fish, researchers can look for improvements in spinal cord therapy for humans.

Animals that vastly out-live humans
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Animals that vastly out-live humans

Tuatara: Up to 100 years

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Orange Roughy: Up to 100 years

(Photo by Karen Gowlett-Holmes via Getty Images)

Blue Whale: 110 years

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Lake Sturgeon: Females up to 150 years

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Aldabara Tortoise: 152 years in captivity

(Photo credit ANDREAS SOLARO/AFP/Getty Images)

Geoduck: 165 years

(Photo by Gary Sergraves via Getty Images)

Giant Galapagos Tortoise: 175 years

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Red Sea Urchin: May reach 200 years

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Rougheye Rockfish: 205 years

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Bowhead Whale: Over 200 years

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Lamellibrachia Tubeworms: Up to 250 years

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Greenland Shark: 400 years

(Photo by Franco Banfi via Getty Images)

Ocean Quahog: 507 years

(Photo by Andrew J Martinez via Getty Images)


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