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.