One of the weirder facts about the human genome is that it’s relatively small. It’s ten times smaller than the 32 billion base pairs that make up the genome of the axolotl salamander, which was recently sequenced.
Scientists are excited about this because of all the animals on Earth, the axolotl salamander has the greatest ability to regenerate lost limbs and organs – including the brain and the heart – and they’re eager to find the genes responsible for this amazing ability.
When these creatures are grievously injured, instead of scarring, their bodies create pluripotent stem cells that can regrow the physical structure that has been lost. If they lose a hand, they’ll regrow a hand. If they lose an arm, they’ll regrow an arm. It’s really quite something!