BAR HARBOR – We may one day have access to drugs that help trigger regeneration in damaged tissues and organs thanks to scientists from the MDI Biological Laboratory and University of Maine.
Their recent discovery in genetic material may help fight chronic and degenerative diseases like heart disease. Researchers are using highly regenerative animals to help in this process.
“Part of what we want to do is try to understand mechanisms that animals like the zebrafish use to naturally regenerate their heart muscles,” said researcher and assistant professor Dr. Voot Yin.
Scientists are looking specifically at noncoding RNA’s, or ribonucleic acid, which acts as the messenger between DNA and cells in the body.
“Everything in biology and everything in nature comes with an instruction manual, and that instruction manual is our genomic material, or our DNA,” said Yin.
Yin and the other researchers hope to amplify the regeneration process in humans, which can help fight things like heart disease. Their findings have recently been published, making them one step closer to helping humans.