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Wolverine's healing may soon become a reality

Posted on Tuesday, 26 March, 2019 | Comment icon 16 comments

Wolverine's powers may actually be possible in the real world. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Eva Rinaldi
The extreme healing of the adamantium-clawed comic book mutant may not be as far fetched as it seems.
While Wolverine's ability to heal practically any wound within seconds is perhaps the least detached from reality of all the mutant powers in the X-Men comic books, achieving such rapid regeneration in the real world is a goal that continues to remain elusive.

Now though, researchers at Harvard University are beginning to unlock the potential of rapid healing by studying the various ways in which animals such as worms, salamanders and jellyfish are able to not only heal wounds, but regrow entire parts of their own bodies.

In the case of three-banded panther worms, scientists have even been able to identify the specific DNA responsible for activating a 'master control gene' called early growth response (EGR) which is responsible for turning rapid regeneration on and off.

By decreasing the activity of this gene, they were able to effectively disable this regenerative ability.

Crucially, humans are also believed to carry EGR, however its master gene is wired differently than it is in panther worms, meaning that there is still some way to go to understand how it can be tweaked to make full-body regeneration possible.

If this inherent human trait can be harnessed however - achieving Wolverine's regenerative powers in the real world may actually become a very serious possibility.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (16)

Tags: Wolverine, Healing

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #7 Posted by EBE Hybrid on 25 March, 2019, 13:58
A bit like trying to bake a cake, when you've never baked a cake before. All the ingredients are set out but no information on how to combine the ingredients, or in what order and nothing mentioned about technique and oven temperature!
Comment icon #8 Posted by Farmer77 on 25 March, 2019, 14:29
Gonna be a lot of sore backs in the future
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye on 25 March, 2019, 14:39
Unless somebody comes up with adamantium , it ain't really gonna be anything like Wolverine ... ~
Comment icon #10 Posted by BorizBadinov on 25 March, 2019, 14:41
This is true, but we now have better ways to divine those recipes. Science is advancing at an even more incredible pace these last 40 years since the age of computers.    
Comment icon #11 Posted by BorizBadinov on 25 March, 2019, 14:56
To be fair the healing power was Wolverine's mutant ability not the endoskeleton of adamantium. It allowed him to survive having the molten adamantium poured into him. But I agree its not really the same without both.  
Comment icon #12 Posted by third_eye on 25 March, 2019, 14:57
Logan before he was Wolverine ...  ~
Comment icon #13 Posted by DieChecker on 27 March, 2019, 1:58
I thought it was the Adamantium that was stunting Wolverines healing power. Without the metal skeleton, he'd heal near instantly, rather then over several seconds. I very much doubt they will get Wolverine level healing. As in, seconds. Regeneration, over months... maybe. Heck, even Deadpool took a couple hours to grow that hand back.
Comment icon #14 Posted by BorizBadinov on 27 March, 2019, 3:09
I expect you are correct that it will be a somewhat longer and less magical process.  The movie Logan used the idea that the adamantium was a problem. I am not sure it was mentioned before that but I would assume it would be in Alpha Flight comics if so. 
Comment icon #15 Posted by DieChecker on 27 March, 2019, 9:11
Wolverine's slow poisoning has actually been a thing for a while, though many people say it doesn't make sense. Since no one else with adamantium implants shows symptoms. 
Comment icon #16 Posted by BorizBadinov on 27 March, 2019, 13:06
I can see needing a weakness in an unstoppable force for storytelling reasons. I believe actual people with metal implants sometimes have rejection issues while others do not so perhaps it has some validation.  In regard to the original topic of healing through dna manipulation I have to wonder how it would handle prior implants? Knees, shoulders, hips, eye correction, even dental fillings would likely be undone. It could be a long involved process. Failing organs could be repaired carrying the same original defect unless further manipulation is done. Would that be done by situational custom d... [More]

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