December 2, 2022

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Limb regrowth, crazy new hope for science

Scientists take humans from octopuses. In a new study published Wednesday in Science Advances MagazineResearchers have demonstrated its ability to stimulate the growth of frog legs. A result that could one day be applied to humans.

According to science, the loss of limbs will accelerate over the years. Work accidents, cancer or even military injuries, it is expected that approximately 3.6 million Americans will be affected by the year 2050. All these dramas have made researchers think and the same question has returned: When is a human being able to form limbs?

To answer this question, biology professor Michael Levine decided to experiment with 115 female African-clawed frogs. For the experiment, he and his colleagues amputated an amphibian with one of its hind legs. The frogs were then separated into three groups: the first group received a portable silicone bioreactor called the BioDome and five drug cocktails. Second, only BioDome; The third was just followed by an interference-free control experiment.

The drug cocktail was developed by Michael Levin and first author of the study, Nirosha Murugan, a professor at the University of Algoma in Ontario. The drugs of choice stimulate the production of collagen that aids healing and promotes the growth of nerve fibers, blood vessels, and muscles. This formula was the first to be tested and makes the team of scientists especially proud. “It makes me so happy because if our first guess is good, imagine how the improved version could be in the future”Biology professor says.

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Meanwhile, BioDom is loaded with five pro-regenerative compounds. The respective group of frogs was allowed to activate regrowth at 18 months. After the injection, the reconstructed extremities consisted of muscles, bones, and nerves. Amphibians can use it again to stand and even swim.

Various new members

The species of frog chosen for this experiment are known for their claw-like feet and legs. After the experiment, the scientists realized that the regrowth of the lower limb did not follow its original shape. Michael Levine thinks it’s because the drug combination still isn’t right, or the team didn’t wait long for the regeneration process to be complete. “Some animals responded very well, some not as big as some, but all improved”which you refer to.

The researchers are already hoping that a combination of the BioDome and the drugs could be introduced into humans in the distant future. So we can imagine regenerating our organs like octopus, crabs, and starfish do so naturally.