Of Sea Stars And Stem Cells

Source: Of Sea Starts And Stem Cells by Stephanie Demarco

By Stephanie Demarco
Source: DDNews

Here we share an exciting article by Stephanie Demarco about marine life and the study of stem cell biology and neural regeneration.

“Echinoderms, with their close evolutionary similarity to humans, provide insight into fundamental stem cell biology and neural regeneration that will inform human health.”
– Demarco, S.

“Humans cannot completely regenerate their nervous systems after injury like echinoderms can. However, by studying the neurobiology of different echinoderm species, scientists uncover the molecular mechanisms required to regenerate the nervous system, setting the stage for improved stem cell treatments, and providing insights for developing future therapies for neurodegeneration in humans.” – Demarco, S.

For this article, the author interviewed our PI Dr. José García-Arrarás. Who’s study is with sea cucumber regeneration at the University of Puerto Rico.

“One of the main problems in humans, as vertebrates, is that the nervous system has a very difficult time regenerating. So, I put this all together, and I decided I wanted to look at the regeneration of the nervous system in echinoderms,” García-Arrarás said to Demarco

“What we’re trying to look at now is the molecular basis of the dedifferentiation to see if we can extrapolate some of the findings that we see to the vertebrate level,” (García-Arráras, J.)

“We believe that from our studies in the digestive tract and in the nervous system, that probably the dedifferentiation process is key.” (García-Arrarás, J. said in the interview)


Demarco, S. (2022).Of Sea Stars And Stem Cells.DDNews.http://epubs.democratprinting.com/publication/?i=748800&article_id=4278407&view=articleBrowser&ver=html5