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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    14 Oct '16 12:45
    http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new-drug-could-help-nerve-fibres-to-repair-themselves

    A gene inhibits the regrowth of nerves.

    My question is what positive thing does that gene do? Why would we want to inhibit nerve regrowth when damaged?

    Is this just a gene that is not needed, a real junk gene or is there something else going on more subtly that we don't yet know about?
  2. 14 Oct '16 14:23
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    My question is what positive thing does that gene do? Why would we want to inhibit nerve regrowth when damaged?
    It inhibits overgrowth when we become adult. The alternative is cancer.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    15 Oct '16 14:39
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It inhibits overgrowth when we become adult. The alternative is cancer.
    So the use of such treatments is only short term till the nerves start working again. I would assume the cancer would happen only after extended use of such.
  4. 15 Oct '16 17:34
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    So the use of such treatments is only short term till the nerves start working again. I would assume the cancer would happen only after extended use of such.
    Yes, I assume they are only used short term. Perhaps I should have said 'tumor' rather than cancer to refer to abnormal growth beyond the desired amount. I doubt that such growth would be malignant in this case, but it could still cause problems, and allowing the treatment to affect other parts of the body may cause problems.

    My point was that the body is always a delicate balance between growth enhancers and suppression and the suppression is typically just as important as the enhancers.
    As an example, people who take steroids to enhance muscle growth can have negative side effects.