Science Cracks a Superhero’s Powers

A spoof research paper elucidates the molecular keys to Wolverine’s regenerative abilities.

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Oct 31, 2013

Wolverine presumably retracted his adamantium-laced bone claws while participating in the research.FLICKR, JD HANCOCKX-Man and serial regenerator Wolverine is able to rapidly heal wounds received in the fight for justice and mutant equality thanks to a protein called Howlett, which shares many characteristics of the Amblox protein in the axolotl, an amphibian that can regenerate whole limbs. This according to a spoof research paper published earlier this year in the Journal of Superhero Mutational Science and penned by Canadian researchers along with fellow mutants Cyclops and Charles Xavier.

University of British Columbia grad students Sigrid Alvarez and Emma Conway authored the manuscript in collaboration with UBC biochemist Leonard Foster and submitted it for publication in the 8th issue of UBC’s The Science Creative Quarterly.

The researchers knocked down howlett, the gene that codes for Wolverine’s regeneration protein, performing parallel experiments with the amblox gene in axolotls....

(Hat tip to Boing Boing.)

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