Interesting Medical Fact: Human can regenerate limbs

1 Apr

I was reading about limb regeneration because I was bored today, and found out that relatively recently it was discovered human beings, along with salamanders, are the only known vertebrates capable of limb regeneration, although our ability is greatly limited when compared to the Salamander:

Like many discoveries, this one was made by accident. In 1974, a child arrived at the emergency room of Sheffield Children’s Hospital in England. A piece of farm machinery had sliced off her fingertip. The standard procedure in such injuries is to smooth the exposed bone and sew the skin closed, but due to a clerical mixup, the girl was not seen by a surgeon that day. When surgeon Cynthia Illingworth caught up with the error a few days later, she was surprised to find the fingertip was growing back. She ordered staff not to touch it. Within three months, the bone, cartilage, tendons, blood vessels, skin, nail, cuticle and motor nerves had grown back as though the accident had never occurred.

Studies have since documented more than 1,000 such cases. In fact, if a finger is guillotined beyond the outermost joint, in a child 11 years or younger, it always grows back within 90 days.

Does anyone have a younger brother, sister, nephew etc. who wants to try a fun science experiment and document it?


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