Regeneration - Healing and Immortality in a nutshell

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Regeneration, in the biology context, is the ability to regrow damaged tissue. Known as a heal factor in the science-fiction genre, it is arguably the most useful ability to have and could be the key to immortality.

Most animals regenerate, with the exception of mammals. Mammals, when injured, will get scarring. They also grow old. Both of these traits originate from Gene P21, which mammals evolved during the time of the dinosaurs as a population control and to reduce competition for food. Gene P21 inhibits our natural regenerative powers and suppressing it in laboratory mice has been proven to restore the ability.

Regenerating has some interesting effects on the individual. Because DNA is damaged slightly every time the cell divides, fast healers should be more prone to cancer, as their cells divide more often. Fortunately, our immune systems are programmed to kill damaged cells, creating a shorter cell life cycle for the person who regenerates. Of course, this means we have to regenerate those damaged cells. Whether or not this escalates is unknown, although it doesn't seem to have much effect on non-mammals. Seriously, tortoises can live for 200 years without getting cancer.

Healing fast, as the perceptive amongst you will have figured, creates a faster metabolism and thus requires more food. If you plan on getting healing powers, you'd better be prepared for a massive grocery bill. That's one thing they never show us on Heroes - Claire Bennet should be having to eat constantly.

I said regeneration was the key to immortality. That's because your cells are constantly replacing themselves, so your body never wears out. Why do you think tortoises live to 200? Reptiles keep living until something else kills them, while mammals are weakened by the P21 gene and eventually their hearts give out.

As of yet, there are no reported cases of humans regenerating. The consequences immortality would have upon society are massive, as you can probably imagine.


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Comments

dream pixie's picture

500years

are you faking because 500 years wouldnt normal humans notice how old you are

Anonymous's picture

anyone else like me?

my body heal generally fast its helped me stay alive for the past 500 years i was just wondering if there is anyone else like me or from my time?

Foreseer's picture

500 years? yeah right

500 years? yeah right

superhuman's picture

i think i have some powers

i think i have some powers but i cantfind out what   

 

 

 

 night shadow

writer2036's picture

Re regenerative healing

I can heal very fast from injuries. I healed from impalement in the back of my knee in about a 20 seconds. Although I was more psychologically traumatised by it. Any normal person may have bled to death. I still have a large scar from that impalement event. I have lots of scars from various injuries that would have resulted in either broken bones, paralysis or possibly even death if anyone else had experienced the injuries I have sustained in the past. I can almost relate to the claire bennet character from heroes. The difference being she does not get scarring and in reality regenerative healing is slower and you still get scarring. My pain threshold is far higher than normal too. I also have an extremely high metabolism like what IAMAT said in his post. I am constantly eating and rehydrating myself. I also have to shave twice a day. Because my facial hair grows back extremely fast. I could go into much further detail but I might do that in a blog post.

i_am_making_a_team's picture

Do you grow body parts back?

Because that is the crucial difference between healing and regenerating. If you regenerate, then that means that you'll get your finger back if I cut it off.

Also, remember that scarring factors are transferable too, and it's possible for both to exist in the same organism - meaning that it would simply be a race to see if you form the membrane before the blastema develops.

Anonymous's picture

Believe me or not...

I really dont care if you do. You do...great...not its your problem. As far as I am aware...I am the only human alive right now that literally regenerates though it started as simply rapid healing. I found this site trying to find out how to control the rest of my abilities, which for the last month or so have been rapidly increasing. I went from a quick metabolism to a massive spike in speed, not just running or my personal movement. I see things slower than they truly are, my strength sky rocketed to a point where I can nearly lift the front end of a car off the ground, mind you I do not work out. I eat enough food for a man weighing 350 lbs. I know cause my dad is about 250 and I have to eat nearly twice what he does and far more often. I need people to contact me...I think I am meant to do something far greater than what I am doing now. If you have Yahoo messenger my ID is arsenal_the_dark_assassin. Stupid name I know but its old. My email is drakko615@yahoo.com. Please refrain from spamming me if you wouldnt mind. Let me give an example of the new healing power. I cut the tendons in my right hand, in the last three of my digits. Long story ask later if you must. The doctors and surgeons told me that 1) it would never completely heal to a point of use and dexterity again, 2) it would take over a year of surgery and physical therapy to get to a point where I could make a fist if ever. The wound was stitched and the tendons reattached in a surgery and three months later, one of those with physical therapy...my hand was completely healed. I have full use, can make a tight fist and have full feeling which was never supposed to return. My healing has gotten faster since then...by enough to notice quite a bit. Cuts heal in seconds...cuts worthy of stitches heal in minutes...or just under a minute. Broken bones within the hour.

Anonymous's picture

regeneration

it takes me weeks to heal from very small, shallow cuts, but i once accidently cut my finger almost to the bone and it badly need stitches. but i just tightly put a band-aid on it. it healed completely after 3 days...

Anonymous's picture

so...

I heal from EMOTIONAL wounds quickly...is that a super power?

-Take that Nicole!

i_am_making_a_team's picture

Possibly.

I've heard of a few cases of accelerated grieving, although I just wrote them off as a simple case of being shallow and self-centred.