The future is leper!

in STEMGeeks2 months ago

I was checking some science news this morning and stumbled upon a really interesting and bizarre paper in the field of tissue regeneration.

My guess is you have probably heard of leprosy, a disease that is pretty much"forgotten" in the western world. If you haven't, Wikipedia has a great article on it , feel free to check it out.

Anyways, in this new paper researchers have discovered that Mycobacterium leprae (the bacterium responsible for the disease) promotes the regrowth of liver tissue. Of course this isn't a selfless act, it's for the bacterium to have more tissue to infect 😅 But what's really interesting is that the regrown tissue is not defective or cancerous but totally healthy and functional.

Don't get your hopes super up though, as this research was done on armadillos. And armadillos aren't... human so the microorganism may exhibit a totally different behavior on us. Still, an interesting and promising research!

Below follows a photo from the study and the abstract


Ideal therapies for regenerative medicine or healthy aging require healthy organ growth and rejuvenation, but no organ-level approach is currently available. Using Mycobacterium leprae (ML) with natural partial cellular reprogramming capacity and its animal host nine-banded armadillos, we present an evolutionarily refined model of adult liver growth and regeneration. In infected armadillos, ML reprogram the entire liver and significantly increase total liver/body weight ratio by increasing healthy liver lobules, including hepatocyte proliferation and proportionate expansion of vasculature, and biliary systems. ML-infected livers are microarchitecturally and functionally normal without damage, fibrosis, or tumorigenesis. Bacteria-induced reprogramming reactivates liver progenitor/developmental/fetal genes and upregulates growth-, metabolism-, and anti-aging-associated markers with minimal change in senescence and tumorigenic genes, suggesting bacterial hijacking of homeostatic, regeneration pathways to promote de novo organogenesis. This may facilitate the unraveling of endogenous pathways that effectively and safely re-engage liver organ growth, with broad therapeutic implications including organ regeneration and rejuvenation.

Link to paper - >

And here's a dumbed down article about the study from BBC along with some remarks from the authors ->

Have fun reading!

Posted with STEMGeeks


"I was checking some science news"

Just admit you were searching Leper & Armadillo Porn again, no need to be ashamed!



Every now and then you come up with a fascinating article 😄. Armadillos in the U.S. are vectors of the disease. More than one hunter who killed an armadillo for dinner came down with leprosy. Maybe the animal's ability to grow livers is related to why they catch the disease and how they spread it to humans. We still don't clearly understand how leprosy is transmitted. The liver thing might offer a clue.

Just a thought :)

People eat armadillos? Oh geez


human so the microorganism may exhibit a totally different behavior on us


A liver transplant is about $600,000...
Regrow liver to sell for transplants...

Easy money

Exploring ways to not die from drinking




That's new

Drinking every day makes me stronger!


looking for a way to regrow that alcohol damaged liver ? :))


That's really interesting. Tissue regeneration is fascinating technology in science !

But the liver does not regenerate itself? Another drunken scientist report!

No idea, me not a liver expert!

Bang, I did it again... I just rehived your post!
Week 132 of my contest just can now check the winners of the previous week!

Leprosy patients suffer a lot , they used to have lots of problems in society … hopefully they move forward with this research! But it is the first time that i saw using armadillo for health experiment model!


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 2 months ago Reveal Comment