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W
e currently live on a planet with many
other organisms which from a health
and wellness perspective are much
further advanced than human beings.
Many lower organisms can replace lost or
damaged organs and tissues that are identical
in both structure and function to the original,
effortlessly regenerating a wide variety of tissues,
including spinal cords, limbs, hearts, eyes, and even
large segments of their brains.
In a similar fashion, many of these same
species possess fascinating skills for repairing and
reversing cellular and genetic damage.
Some of these organisms don't age and
exhibit "negligible senescence". Some can age, and
then return to a youthful state later on in life. Some
can even die, and be re-born.
Needless to say, humans are extremely weak
when it comes to accomplishing any of these feats,
and unfortunately, the outcomes are very different.
The ability to tap into nature, and mimic
its capabilities with novel bio-products, in human
beings, will offer potential solutions to a wide range
of disorders responsible for human degeneration,
suffering, and death.
OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN FROM NATURE
Throughout the 20th century, natural products
(primarily those from plants, fungi, and bacteria)
formed the basis for a majority of all pharmaceuticals,
biologics, and consumer healthcare products used
by patients around the globe, generating trillions of
dollars of wealth.
However, many scientists believe we have
only touched the surface of what the natural world,
and its range of organisms, which from a health and
wellness perspective are much further advanced
than human beings, has to teach us.
Lately, novel research disciplines, including
"interkingdom signaling" and "semiochemical
communication", the respective abilities of one
species living signals to affect the genome of
another, not to mention in-depth study of the
microbiome, are highlighting entirely new ways
that non-human bio-products can affect the
human genome for positive transitions in health
and wellness.
Merging a 21st century, "convergent"
knowledge base of regenerative biology,
evolutionary genomics, and bio-cybernetics, offers
us new guidance to understand how nature is so
successful in warding off disease and degeneration,
and eventual clues to how humans can achieve the
same outcomes, and perhaps even move beyond.
CLUES FROM REGENERATIVE BIOLOGY
Regenerative biology, is the integrated discipline
that studies genomes, cells, organisms, and even
their ecosystems, and finds out what makes them
resilient to natural fluctuations, or events that
cause disturbance or damage, allowing for proper
renewal, restoration, and growth.
Of the five major classes of regeneration (i.e.
physiologic turnover, hypertrophy, wound healing,
epimorphosis, morphallaxis), humans possess the
first three.
However, when it comes to epimorphosis
and morphallaxis, which represent higher
order complex organ, limb and body segment
regeneration, primarily seen in amphibians and
lower invertebrates, humans possess no such
capabilities in our fully developed state.
During the epimorphic regeneration
process, cells that remain in the damaged body
region are reprogrammed, literally erasing their
functional history and re-starting their life again
along a defined generative developmental pattern.
Image: B
ioquark