JAN 08, 2018 2:19 PM PST

This Salamander Resists Cancer and Regrows Limbs

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

The axolotl, also known as the Mexican salamander, has incredible self-restoring and regenerative properties. They are highly resistant to cancer and have been observed to regrow their limbs, spinal cord, tail, jaw and skin, along with portions of their brain. The same limb can be replaced by an axolotl's body more than 100 times. They can successfully receive organ transplants as well.

Axolotl have displayed extraordinary cancer resistance and in 2011, researchers from the University of Nottingham used an extract from axolotl eggs to stimulate tumor suppressor genes and prevent breast cancer growth.

These remarkable creatures are endangered. Mexico City, where most axolotl live, is working to develop and preserve their habitats.

Study referenced: Epigenetic reprogramming of breast cancer cells with oocyte extracts, https://molecular-cancer.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1476-4598-10-7
About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
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