“An important advance for regenerative medicine”

Emanuel Cura Costa, (32), who was born in Junin, Buenos Aires province, where he completed his primary and secondary studies, came to our city at age 18 to study Biotechnology at the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the UNLP, and since then is considered one more platense.

He is one of the authors of the work that gained international relevance, and highlights that “we study an incredible species like the axolotl, which has the ability, for example, to lose its tail and grow back, or a hand or a little leg. In other words, it has a great capacity for regeneration in practically all parts of its body, which is even more surprising because it is a vertebrate, that is, it has bones like us. Its column, which goes from head to tail, is a spinal cord, and it looks a lot like our spine, and within it there is gray matter, that is, it is an extension of the brain. I particularly dedicated myself to studying that, and in the study we took a little step forward to try to understand why they are able to regenerate a part of the body when they lose it and we are not. In my case, I had to do the entire computational mathematical modeling part, and we found ourselves with the beautiful surprise that we had been able to reproduce how much its tail grew after losing it, when verifying that it did so at a rate of two millimeters in 8 days, which corresponded to the experiments that had been done in Austria. As a result, the Vienna researchers, who work with axolotls, found that what was presented in our computer simulations happened in the same way in practice. In this way, it was the first time that a computational and mathematical model was made to model the spinal cord of the axolotl, and also the first time that a technique called Fucci was developed, which allows measuring the activity of the cells ”.

“Now,” adds the biotechnologist, “if we are able to understand why the axolotl is able to recover the lost part of the body, such as the spinal cord, and we are not, in the future regenerative medicine could cure diseases or sequelae accidents, although it will surely take many years for this to be applied in regenerative medicine, since we still have much to learn. But the one we made is an important step forward, a great step forward ”.


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