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Bridgewater research team studying regeneration in Axolotls

Published: Jul. 25, 2021 at 7:25 PM EDT
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BRIDGEWATER, Va. (WHSV) - Every summer Bridgewater College donors award funds to student-faculty research projects across all disciplines. This year, funds were awarded for six projects including one studying regeneration in axolotls.

Axolotls are a type of amphibian native to Mexico that have the unique ability to regenerate lost limbs. Bridgewater biology student Emily Schloss is partnering with Dr. Moshe Khurgel to conduct tests on the amphibians and calculate the impact of their metabolic rate on how fast they can regrow their limbs.

They hope that a better understanding of their regeneration abilities can one day be used to help people. “They have the ability to regenerate entire limbs and even organs so if we were to discover why they were able to do that that could be very useful in medicine,” said Emily Schloss.

The team is currently studying how the temperature the creatures are kept in affects their metabolic rate. They have observed that Axolotls that have been kept in cold water are bigger, but regenerate limbs slower. They also track how the surrounding temperatures effect the axolotls body temperatures by using tiny temperature probes.

Schloss, a junior, says she will continue working on the project over her final two years at Bridgewater.

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