The ability to regenerate missing body parts is a prominent feature of many animals. Investigation into the cellular and molecular basis of regeneration using highly regenerative model organisms should identify principles that explain how regeneration can occur and might clarify why such regenerative capacity is limited in humans. Hydra are freshwater cnidarians capable of whole-body regeneration after amputation. On page 341 of this issue, Siebert et al. (1) report a cell type transcriptome atlas of all major cell types of Hydra, generated by single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). In another recent study, Aztekin et al. (2) used scRNA-seq to study Xenopus tadpole tail regeneration and identified a cell that regulates regeneration, which they call the regeneration-organizing cell (ROC). These sequencing approaches provide a wealth of molecular data that should enable future dissection of regeneration mechanisms.
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