Will Humans Ever Be Able to Regrow Their Limbs?
Salamanders can grow perfect replacements for lost body parts throughout their lives. If a complete understanding of how they do so can be reached, it could provide a road map for human limb regeneration.
Humans and salamanders have similar early tissue responses at amputation sites. However, human tissue eventually forms a scar, while the salamander reactivates an embryonic development program which builds a new limb.
If the human wound environment could be controlled in a way that would trigger salamanderlike healing, it could become possible for humans to regenerate large body parts. Science may be only a decade or two away from this achievement.
* Scientific American April 2008