James Mon­aghan, a biol­o­gist at Boston’s North­eastern Uni­ver­sity, began studying axolotls during a grad school project and stuck with them since.

If they’re par­a­lyzed in the back they can recover the func­tions of their legs … They can make all new neu­rons and new con­nec­tions that allow them to use their legs again, which is really one of the most incred­ible exam­ples of recovery.”

His most recent research has focused on what genes reg­u­late the axolotls’ regen­er­a­tive abil­i­ties, testing what hap­pens when cer­tain genes are turned on or off. The axolotl “is a great model because it has a wide tool set to study regen­er­a­tion,” he said.

Read the article at National Geographic →