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The Mexican tetra fish can repair its heart after damage — something researchers have been striving to achieve in humans for years.

Now, new research funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) published in Cell Reports suggests that a gene called lrrc10 may hold the key to this fish’s remarkable ability.

Around 1.5 million years ago, the tetra fish (Astyanax Mexicanus) living in the rivers of Northern Mexico were periodically washed into caves by seasonal floodwaters. Over time, the floods became less frequent and eventually stopped. This created the perfect environment for different members of the same species to adapt and evolve to suit their different habitats — the river and the caves.

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