1,100 Words

fruit fly gut

Awakening a Sleeping Organ

The green ring of cells lining this fruit fly’s digestive tract normally lie dormant, but after injury they spring into action, growing and copying their DNA to help the fly’s gut heal. To repair damage, organs either make new cells to replace those that were lost, or enlarge the cells that remain. Don Fox  in Duke’s Regeneration Next program is trying to understand why organs such as the fly hindgut or the human liver tend to enlarge cells after injury, instead of making more cells -- research that could lead to new ways to help damaged or diseased organs regrow.