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News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

World-first regeneration of a living organ

• http://www.gizmag.com, By Darren Quick
The organ in question was the thymus, which is located next to the heart and is an integral part of the immune system. In humans, it achieves most of its growth in early life, continuing to then grow slowly until puberty when it slowly begins to shrink for the remainder of a person's life. It's deterioration with age leaves older people with greater susceptibility to infections, such as flu.
 
In a study led by researchers from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, levels of a protein called FOXN1, which is produced by cells of the thymus and helps control how important genes are switched on and off, was increased. This instructed the stem cell-like cells to rebuild the organ in very old mice.
 
 

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