Sciency stuff...Scientists trigger liver cells growth...

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    A new model of liver regeneration: Switch causes mature liver cells to revert back to stem cell-like state

    Scientists have new evidence in mice that it may be possible to repair a chronically diseased liver by forcing mature liver cells to revert back to a stem cell-like state. The researchers happened upon this discovery while investigating whether a biochemical cascade called Hippo, which controls how big the liver grows, also affects cell fate. The unexpected answer is that switching off the Hippo-signaling pathway in mature liver cells generates very high rates of dedifferentiation. This means the cells turn back the clock to become stem-cell like again, thus allowing them to give rise to functional progenitor cells that can regenerate a diseased liver.

    Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists at Boston Children's Hospital have new evidence in mice that it may be possible to repair a chronically diseased liver by forcing mature liver cells to revert back to a stem cell-like state.

    The researchers, led by Fernando Camargo, PhD, happened upon this discovery while investigating whether a biochemical cascade called Hippo, which controls how big the liver grows, also affects cell fate. The unexpected answer, published in the journal Cell, is that switching off the Hippo-signaling pathway in mature liver cells generates very high rates of dedifferentiation. This means the cells turn back the clock to become stem-cell like again, thus allowing them to give rise to functional progenitor cells that can regenerate a diseased liver.
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  • Yes! Yes! Yes! I'll drink to that...
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    GeekHawk
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  • Liver cells normally regenerates very easily and efficiently as the liver is charged with detoxing your body of almost everything you put in it. When you abuse your liver with chronic alcohol abuse, your liver cells can accumulate damage to the point where they lose regenerative capacity, usually due to overaccumulation of damages that change the cell. You don't want damaged cells to start regrowing because they're likely to be nonfunctional or even cancerous. For this sort of thing to work properly, a person would have to have surgery to remove the diseased tissue before undergoing whatever Hippo related therapy they might come up with, which would be enormously painful. Sorry to be a total downer but we haven't quite cured cirrhosis yet so I'd temper the liver damage for now.
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