Hydra is an aquatic invertebrate that can regenerate every part of its body, even if cut in half. A study by the Universities of California and Harvard has mapped its DNA to identify the genes that make this possible. In this way the researchers have obtained invaluable data, which in the future will be usable in the field of regenerative medicine.
The team led by Dr. Juliano and Dr. Siebert performed a total genetic sequencing on some hydra. In doing so they followed the phase-by-phase regeneration process, moving from the three stem cell lines of the invertebrate to the mature adult cells. At the base of all this there are mechanisms of gene regulation, which could also be hidden in human DNA.
This is not the first study that studies hydra to improve regenerative medicine. The extraordinary capacity of regeneration of this organism makes it in fact immortal. Researchers from around the world are therefore looking for the key to this process, in order to reproduce it.