Yeah, you read that right.
Chinese Scientists at Northwestern Polytechnical University are using stem cells from Sika deer antlers to grow miniature antlers on mice. It might seem to you like these experimenters are putting the “mad” in mad scientists, but this actually could be a major medical breakthrough.
Deer antlers are known to be some of the fastest growing appendages in the world, and scientists are looking to tap into their record growing speeds to help with medical advancements. Though the results right now are just producing strange looking rodents, the hope is that this stem cell experiment can one day lead to aiding the healing process of bone injuries and possibly even regrowing limbs in humans.
The scientists found that the more recent shed samples they were able to find provided for better and more regenerative stem cell collections. They then took those regenerative qualities and implanted them into the mice.
Mice + Antler Stem Cells = Antlered Mice. Simple math really.
The conclusions in the report from the scientific study stated:
“Our results suggest that deer have an application in clinical bone repair. Beyond that, the induction of human cells into [antler-like] cells could be used in regenerative medicine for skeletal injuries or limb regeneration.”
So if you clicked on this article thinking “now why would they do that,” I hope you are now saying “oh okay, well that makes sense.”
As much sense as it is going to make, at least…
There might be some outrage about this being cruel animal testing, but imagine the improvements in life this could lead to? A broken bone could be healed at a much faster pace, and those who have lost limbs could possibly regain them. There is still a long way to go in bridging the gap between “growing antlers on a mouse” and “re-growing a human limb,” but you have to start somewhere am I right?
I don’t think this will lead to any “check out this 10-point mouse I just bagged” pictures, but it is still an interesting scientific discovery.