Monday, February 19, 2007

Heal thyself?

Whenever I see cool things about the future, that silly song from the TV show Late Night With Conan O'Brien pops into my head..."in the year 2000." They started it before the year 2000 but never changed the song once we passed 2000.


I found this really cool AP article, Science Finding Ways to Regrow Fingers. There are claims that a powder created from pigs bladder has helped people grow back fingertips which apparently isn't uncommon for children under two years of age but is more rare in adults. They're not talking about regrowing complete fingers right now but even a part of a finger would be a godsend for someone who has lost all of their fingers in a fire or accident. A part of a finger or a stub would at least give them some pinching/grasping capabilities.
This summer scientists are going to perform a study to see if the powdered pig extract can help injured soldiers regrow parts of their fingers.

The article also touches on studies taking place on animals that have the ability to heal themselves. For example the salamander can regrow an arm after it's been severed. Apparently rather than growing scars, they instead grow a group of cells called a bl
astema from which the new arm grows.

As with anything, th
ese are just the babysteps for the future. I can imagine in the future we'll be able to regrow more than just small stumps but rather fully formed functioning limbs, or new skin where scars would be, or internal organs, or teeth...


"in the year 2000!"

1 comment:

voyageur said...

Do you think in the future they will finally bring us that "Superman" musical we've been waiting so long for?

...with the background music being the main theme from "Superman: The Movie":

"Look up in the sky, flying high. Such a snazzy guy, Superman!

If he can fly, why can't I?

Superman, Superman, snazzy guy!"