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Salamanders may hold the key to regrowing human limbs

By Jon Von Radowitz

Published 20/06/2014

Salamanders may hold the key to regeneration
Salamanders may hold the key to regeneration

Scientists may have uncovered the the secret of the salamander's ability to grow new limbs.

Though a long way from achieving the same feat in people, the discovery could help researchers unlock the "regenerative potential" of human cells. Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians famous for their capacity to replace body parts.

If a salamander's leg is cut off, in time it will grow a new one.

In the same way the creatures are able to regenerate tails, jaws, eyes, organs and even spinal cords.

Researchers at University College London identified a key difference between salamanders and mammals that might explain why humans lack the same ability.

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From Belfast Telegraph