BPoD has moved!

BPoD has recently changed our domain name - we can now be found at bpod.org.uk

Please update your bookmarks!

Now in our 13th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Search the archive of over 4000 images

Tails with Lessons

Achieving tissue regeneration that emulates the natural embryonic development pattern using gene editing in geckos

11 November 2021

Tails with Lessons

Somewhere between axolotls able to regenerate their lost limbs, and humans who… can’t, lizards sit at an interesting place on the evolutionary tree. Like axolotls they can regenerate their tails – but not quite as completely. Now scientists use stem cells to give this regenerated gecko’s tail (pictured on the left) tissue ‘patterning’ matching its lost appendage. And key to achieving this is allowing the stem cells’ potential to thrive in the adult lizard. The team implant neural stem cells (NSCs) from an embryo into an adult’s tail stump, after editing genes to make the cells ignore pattern-blocking signals in the adult tissue. The gecko’s new tail grows from a ball-like blastema (right) with patterns of muscle (highlighted in white), cartilage (red) and dividing cells (green) around an unseen skeleton and nervous system. Researchers hope similar approaches may help human stem cells to treat hard-to-heal injuries, sharing lessons down the evolutionary tree.

Written by John Ankers

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

Follow on Tumblr

Follow on Instagram

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC Laboratory of Medical Sciences until Jul 2023, it is now run independently by a dedicated team of scientists and writers. The website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biology, and its influence on medicine. The ever-growing archive of more than 4000 research images documents over a decade of progress. Explore the collection and see what you discover. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at www.bpod.cat with translations by the University of Valencia.