Regeneration: It Works for Alligators, What About Humans?

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Young alligators are targeted by other predators, so they need a tail to make it through their most vulnerable years. (Florida Fish and Wildlife via Flickr under CC BY-ND 2.0)

Regeneration: Studies of Reptiles May Lead to Human Applications 

Health Editor’s Note: Imagine being able to regrow an arm or leg that has been amputated. Reptiles and amphibians can do just that. While alligators can regenerate a ‘tail’ which does not have the muscles that the original tail had, this new appendage is good enough to help it to survive and avoid predators. 

Interestingly enough, dinosaurs which were the ancestors of reptiles and birds, could generate new limbs, but when the two species lines separated hundreds of thousands years ago, only the reptile line maintain the regenerative ability. 

We have always wanted humans to have the ability to regenerate lost body parts but alas the the human body is too complex to do this. Alligators are large reptiles and display the ability to regenerate which brings hope to finding a way for humans accomplish the same feat….Carol

 

 

 

Biography
Carol graduated from Riverside White Cross School of Nursing in Columbus, Ohio and received her diploma as a registered nurse. She attended Bowling Green State University where she received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Literature. She attended the University of Toledo, College of Nursing, and received a Master’s of Nursing Science Degree as an Educator.

She has traveled extensively, is a photographer, and writes on medical issues. Carol has three children RJ, Katherine, and Stephen – one daughter-in-law; Katie – two granddaughters; Isabella Marianna and Zoe Olivia – and one grandson, Alexander Paul. She also shares her life with husband Gordon Duff, many cats, and two rescue pups.

Carol’s Archives 2009-2013
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3 COMMENTS

    • I had one finger that was degloved, and they snipped the bone, but did not sew the end, so the nail and flesh did grow back, but the bone did not. It is a painful process.

  1. Scientific work that was done on this matter by Robert O Becker, M.D, was published in a book co-authored by Becker and Gary Selden titled, “The Body Electric” (copyrighted 1985).
    In studying the regeneration of salamander limbs, Becker found that the formation of a blastema through the regeneration of the limb was electrically controlled, not chemically controlled.
    He found that the electrical conductors in the body behaved as if they were semiconductors. In bone he found that the mineral apatite crystal behaved as a P type semiconductor and the collagen behaved as an N type semiconductor, making their junction a diode. In addition, the collagen was piezoelectric. Becker was the physician who found that when broken bones didn’t heal, running a tiny current through them allowed the fracture to heal.