posted on Dec, 10 2004 @ 01:05 PM
Perhaps if we can unlock the secrets of the Salamander it could happen they are the superstars of regeneration.They can grow back not only limbs but
also tails, parts of their hearts and the retinas and lenses in their eyes.
Scientists here hope that the salamander's tricks may one day be applied to people.
"I really do believe it's just a matter of time before you're going to regenerate an arm or at least a finger," said Dr. David M. Gardiner, a
biologist who runs the laboratory at the University of California at Irvine with Dr. Susan V. Bryant, the dean of biological sciences and his wife.
"I'd like to see that in my lifetime."
"Regenerative medicine, regrowing or repairing damaged organs, has become a hot topic. Almost all the attention has focused on stem cells. The idea
is to grow stem cells outside the body, turn them into particular types of tissue and transplant them into patients. "
"But a few scientists theorize that a better approach is to induce the same regeneration in people that occurs in salamanders and some other animals.
Natural regeneration, which might be accomplished with drugs or genes, would be easier than transplanting, they say. And the tissue would be the
patient's own, doing away with the problem of rejection."