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25 March 2008

Will Humans Ever Be Able to Regrow Their Limbs?

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

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