Researchers are trying to understand limb regeneration by studying salamanders, as they think the reptiles could hold the key to regeneration for human limbs.
Salamanders can regrow lost body parts where as human tissue forms a scar. The trick is to learn to control the human wound area, triggering the salamander-like healing process in order to make it possible to regrow body parts. Repairing damaged organs and regenerative medicine, is a hot topic with pretty much all the attention focused on growing stem cells outside the body, turning them into a specific type of tissue to transplant into patients. But some scientists believe a better approach is to induce the regeneration process of salamanders into people. This natural regeneration, accomplished with drugs or genes, will be much easier than transplanting.
"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."