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While humans can regenerate damaged muscles, we are unable to regenerate severely damaged nerve tissue. Now researchers at McGill and the University of Washington may have discovered why. Stem cells are critical to tissue regeneration. But the researchers found that a protein called Netrin-1 accumulates where nerve damage has occurred and repels stem cells. Blocking netrin-1 and keeping stem cells near damaged nerves could be the first step toward coaxing the nerves to regrow.
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