King’s research finds new genetic regulators for regeneration, media report

ScienceDaily, EurekAlert and Medical Xpress published a news release from the MDI Biological Laboratory about new research on regeneration by scientists at the laboratory and the University of Maine. Benjamin King, an assistant professor of bioinformatics at UMaine and co-lead researcher, identified genetic material previously thought to be useless as having a role in regulating the genetic circuits responsible for regeneration in highly regenerative animals, the release states. The research team found the genetic material — long noncoding RNAs — by studying genomic data in their RegenDbase, or Comparative Models of Regeneration Database, a resource created to compare and contrast gene regulatory pathways within and across tissues and research models. This research will inform the question of why humans cannot regenerate tissues and organs despite having dormant pathways for regeneration, and could lead to the development of a drug to activate these pathways, according to the release. WVII (Channel 7) also reported on the research findings.