New hope for nerve injuries

A small transparent roundworm with the remarkable ability to self-heal may hold the secret to treating nerve injuries and spinal cord injuries. In a University of Queensland study published in renowned scientific journal Nature, Queensland Brain Institute (QBI) scientists at UQ discovered the molecular mechanisms that allow severed nerves in roundworms to fuse back together. “This will now open new avenues to try to exploit this knowledge in other systems closer to human physiology, and hopefully move further towards developing effective treatments for nerve injuries,” said project leader Associate Professor Massimo Hilliard from QBI. The study was performed in collaboration with Professor Ding Xue, from the University of Colorado, Boulder.