Regrowing lost limbs

Aug 04, 2010

Another option may be on the horizon for patients who lose limbs due to war, accident, or disease. Instead of using artificial legs or arms, patients actually may regrow their own missing limbs. An article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), ACS' weekly newsmagazine, focuses on research efforts to turn the long-standing dream of human limb regeneration into reality.

C&EN Senior Editor Sophie Rovner notes that salamanders, flatworms, and certain other creatures can easily regrow lost body parts, including organs, nerves, and muscle. But regenerative capabilities are rarer and much more limited among humans and other animals. People can grow new skin and nerves, for instance, but regrowing an entire arm or leg seems like pure science fiction.

The article describes how salamanders — which can regrow an entire — and other animals are providing clues to regenerating human limbs. Scientists, for instance, have discovered certain proteins and genes with key roles in regenerating lost body parts. Environment also may be an important factor in regeneration. Certain chemicals in the amniotic fluid that cushions and protects fetuses prior to birth may help promote regeneration in adult mammals. There are other hints that electricity might be used to help jump-start .

Explore further: New technique reveals immune cell motion through variety of tissues

More information: "Recipes for Limb Renewal", This story is available at pubs.acs.org/cen/science/88/8831sci1.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Liver regeneration may be simpler than previously thought

Apr 11, 2007

The way the liver renews itself may be simpler than what scientists had been assuming. A new study, appearing in the April 13 issue of The Journal of Biological Chemistry, provides new information on the inner workings of cel ...

Research project tackles 'regeneration' gap

Mar 30, 2007

Researchers at the McKnight Brain Institute of the University of Florida have initiated a project to treat human brain and other diseases by plundering the secrets of regeneration from creatures with remarkable powers of ...

Recommended for you

'Global positioning' for molecules

Dec 19, 2014

In everyday life, the global positioning system (GPS) can be employed to reliably determine the momentary location of one en route to the desired destination. Scientists from the Institute of Physical and ...

Cells build 'cupboards' to store metals

Dec 17, 2014

Lawrence Livermore researchers in conjunction with collaborators at University of California (link is external), Los Angeles have found that some cells build intracellular compartments that allow the cell ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.