EurekAlert! reports that some researchers are optimistic about enhancing liver regeneration: they tested "whether regenerating cells behave like embryonic ones, as is commonly assumed for other organs. New processes may explain why the liver is so uniquely capable of renewal and repair after injury, the scientists thought. ... The results were unexpected. The researchers noticed that only a few proteins were common to both processes. Proteins called transcription factors, which affect DNA in the cell's nucleus, were highly involved in the development of embryos' livers but not in adult liver regeneration. Instead, proteins that help cells proliferate were active in both the developing and regenerating livers. These findings showed that a regenerating liver does not behave as a developing embryo. Instead, regeneration could actually be only due to an increase in cells that multiply through regular cell divisions, a process called hyperplasia. ... Not only did we discover that the number of proteins involved in liver regeneration is relatively low, but they don't include transcription factors, so we may be closer to being able to stimulate liver regeneration than we thought."