What is Regeneration?
Regeneration is one of the processes in which if an organism is cut into several pieces, each of its parts regrows to the original state. This process is carried out by specialized cells called stem cells. The cells divide quickly into a large number of cells. Each cell undergoes changes to form various cell types and tissues. This sequential process of changes is known as development. The tissues form various body parts and organs. Regeneration takes place in organisms that have a very simple structure with very few specialized cells.
Which Organisms can Regenerate?
Regeneration occurs in organisms like hydra, flatworms, tapeworms. They have highly adaptive regenerative capabilities. When an organism is wounded, its cells become activate and the damaged tissues and organs are remodelled back to the original state.
Regeneration is very prominent among metazoans. Starfish, crayfish, reptiles, and amphibians also exhibit signs of tissue regeneration. It is not the same as reproduction. In some animals such as the lizard, the shed limb regrows into the original organ.
Regeneration can happen in many different ways using pluripotent stem cells. Some regeneration does not require stem cells. After amputation, stem cells accumulate at the site of injury. The cells then start dividing to form the missing tissue. But not all animals use the pluripotent cells for regeneration.
Can Humans Regenerate?
Regeneration is a process also visible in humans. Our skin gets renewed from time to time. The liver also has the ability to regrow if a part of the liver is damaged due to some disease. Thus, we see regeneration as an integral part of healing.