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Deadpool’s Healing Factor

The Merc With A MouthFormerly a mercenary for hire, Wade Wilson, a.k.a. Deadpool, entered the Weapon X program in a last ditch effort to treat his aggressively malignant cancer.  Implanted with the genetic healing factor of another Weapon X agent, the mutant Wolverine, Deadpool gained his ability to regenerate any destroyed tissues or organs at a super-human rate; however, the procedure was not without side effects.  His new healing factor supercharged the growth rate of his cancerous tumors, causing them to quickly spread across his entire body and resulting in massive amounts of scar tissue.  His brain cells are similarly affected, with dying brain cells being rejuvenated at a super accelerated rate, which allows him to recover from any and all head wounds, and renders him nearly invulnerable to psychic and telepathic powers, as the altered or damaged brain cells quickly regenerate to their original state.  It is also the cause of his psychosis and mental instability.

Hopefully, if we are ever able to replicate this incredible power in real life, it will be without the unfortunate and occasionally debilitating side-effects.  Last year, studies performed on growth-factor-containing nanoparticles found they were able to accelerate the healing of chronic wounds.  Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital have developed a new delivery system for such growth-factors improved the healing of deep skin wounds in diabetic mice. “It is quite amazing how just one dose of the fusion protein was enough to induce significant tissue regeneration in two weeks” says the paper’s lead author Piyush Koria, PhD at the University of South Florida.  The team developed a fusion protein from recombinant KGF and elastin-like-peptides, which are major constituents of skin and other connective tissues. Experiments showed that the fusion protein retained the wound-healing properties of both elastin and KGF and that it rapidly and efficiently self-assembled into nanoparticles in response to a simple increase in temperature. When applied to deep skin wounds in genetically diabetic mice, the nanoparticles accelerated healing by stimulating the formation of both surface epithelial tissue and thick fibrous connective tissue.

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