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Some reptiles are able to regenerate their limbs like lizards. Those of you who have watched the Amazing Spider man know that at least in fiction, the research to replicate this ability in humans has been tried. What you probably don’t know is that research on this has been carried out for years. Regenerative capabilities have interested humans ever since they’ve witnessed or experience an injury that only a prosthetic limb can partially mend. Having your hands or feet cut off in battle or amputated because of disease is terrible. Now though, there is realistic hope that one day we’ll all be like lizards, in that we’ll be able to regenerate our limbs.
Researchers at Duke University excitedly announced that they’ve created an artificial muscle fiber with regenerative capabilities. This fiber can be tested with or without integration in to a living body. They’ve tested the muscle fibers with snake venom and the results are amazing. After the damage, the muscles healed themselves in a matter of days.
The trick is that the scientists created “micro environments”, sites where stem cells can get to work and multiply and effectively heal the muscle. These stem cells here are called satellite cells, orbiting the muscle, waiting to provide it with help when the need arises.
This fiber has been tested on mice and the results look promising, especially when you factor in the ability to heal without any medication. Having scars and scabs will be a thing of the past in the near future perhaps.