New findings on whale tongues may lead to insight on human nerve damage

By Nishant

5 months ago, the University of British Columbia had found out that the world’s largest animal – the whale has a nerve that controls the muscle of the tongue and it allows the tongue to double its length and recoils back like a bungee cord.

   So what? How does it matter? There are many types of nerve injuries
as the nerves are very fragile and may rip very easily. The most common problem is when the nerve stretches and may tear. That is a very big problem. Resea
chers such as Professor Wayne Vogl believe that the whale tongue stretches out because of the amount of krill and plankton they need to eat 2000-9000 pounds that is about 4-10 dump trucks. With their big mouth they can eat large amounts so they can be more efficient. Human nerves stretch very little and will break easily. It is a tedious process to regrow that nerve.
Using whales rebounding nerves researchers might be able to find out how to fix or heal our nerve injuries quicker.

Whales have a beautiful system for their nerves. They have the nerves, around that they have some type of covering like a corkscrew and that is surrounded by elastic fibre, which makes them act like a rubber band. Unfortunately we don’t have the same kind of nerve structure and cores like the whale’s tongue. Stretching of nerves creates them to grow like the vertebrates of many animals. Accordig to Dr. Douglas Smith, the whales have a very high tolerance to rapid nerve growth which we also need. Using specimens we could find out more about structure and the nerve cores of whales’ tongue. We could finally speed up the extremely slow process and heal people’s nerves using the best techniques. The next step of healing nerves quicker is to find out what the nerve cores do to extend themselves and apply the same technique to ourselves. There is so many things plants and animals know that we need to copy in orderto be the best creatures around

Beach, Mary. “New Findings on Whale Tongues May Lead to Insight on Human Nerve Damage.” The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail, 4 May 2015. Web. 11 Oct. 2015.


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