Multi-drug cocktail applied to site of amputation kick starts frog limb regeneration
Humans regrowing lost limbs is a medical marvel confined to the realms of science fiction. Scientists trying to make that far-off fiction a contemporary reality investigated what's needed to kickstart the body’s latent growth abilities, by treating wounded frogs with a multi-drug combination applied directly to an amputated limb via a wearable cover for 24 hours. Each chemical aided a different aspect, encouraging growth or preventing typical scarring or inflammation responses. The African clawed frog can't naturally regenerate limbs, so is a promising model for human limb regrowth. Over 18 months following the treatment, the leg regrew (pictured during post-experiment examination of the nerve and tissue structure), responding to stimuli and being used for swimming. The next step is to tweak the cocktail to encourage even more functional and complete limbs, then see if similar pathways can be stimulated in mammals, ultimately helping millions of patients who have lost limbs.
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