Chinese scientists are examining the genetic code of American cockroaches to see how they can be of health benefit to man.
A research led by Li Sheng, director of the Institute of Insect Science and Technology at South China Normal University in Guangzhou City has sought to explore the potential of cockroaches in medical treatment.
According to Li, a cockroach has about 522 taste receptors of which 329 of such receptors have evolved into bitter receptors that respond to poisonous foods.
Li said: “they eat almost everything. They can do self-detoxification if they eat the wrong food.
“Even if it is beheaded, its body can still move for five or six days. If you cut its legs or antennae off, they will recover in just a few days and look almost the same as before.”
In Li’s suggestion, the factor in the body of cockroaches that enables them heal wounds and regenerate tissues might also be effective in repairing wounds to the human body.
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The research paper tagged; “The genomic and functional landscapes of developmental plasticity in the American cockroach,” was published online by the research team in the journal of Nature Communications on March 21.
According to Li, cockroaches are an ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Extracts of active ingredients from cockroaches have also been used in modern Chinese clinics for more than 30 years, mainly to treat diseases such as gastric and oral ulcers.
The research team therefore suggests possibilities for wider medical use of the American cockroach.
“The extracts could even be used to make beauty masks and treat hair loss in the future,” Li said.