Researchers from theTufts University and Harvard’s Wyss Institute have just succeeded in what we thought was impossible: to regrow the members of certain animal species (man tomorrow?), and we are not talking here about salamanders or the charming axolotl. Scientists started from the premise that many animal species still have fully mature genetic material allowing the growth of limbs or organs.
In order to test this strong hypothesis, the researchers amputated frogs from one of their hind legs and covered the stump with a BioDome containing a silk protein gel composed of a mixture of molecules close to the amniotic environment. Miracle, after only 24 hours, the limb started to regenerate! After 18 months – the BioDome having been removed after the first 2 days – the frog again had a second hind leg, admittedly imperfect but nevertheless perfectly functional. The test frogs were even able to jump and swim again.
The regeneration of functional limbs also means in passing that the nerve and muscle fibers had recomposed under the effect of the initial mixture of the BioDome, which constitutes a major advance in research on the biological regeneration of organs or limbs. . The researchers will now try to obtain a regeneration even closer to the original limb. As for transposing these discoveries to humans… that remains pure science fiction for the time being.