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Regrowing major body parts

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March 17, 2008

March 18, 2008 You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone and that goes doubly when there’s a limb amputation involved. We have always marvelled at the Salamander’s ability to regrow lost limbs – this fascinating article details the history and progress of work in the area of regenerating limbs.

The gold standard for limb regeneration is the salamander, which can grow perfect replacements for lost body parts throughout its lifetime, over and over. Scientific America has an excellent article by three experts (Ken Muneoka, Manjong Han and David M. Gardiner ) in the subject that offers us the latest understanding on progress towards human limb regeneration.

The early responses of tissues at an amputation site are not that different in salamanders and in humans, but eventually human tissues form a scar, whereas the salamander’s reactivate an embryonic development program to build a new limb.

Learning to control the human wound environment to trigger salamander-like healing could make it possible to regenerate large body parts.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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