Frogs can’t Regrow Limbs, Unless Given THIS Cocktail of Drugs and Next are Human Trials

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In a groundbreaking experiment, frogs with lost legs recovered them naturally.

Amputated frog legs were regrown by scientists after they were given a “cocktail” of medications enclosed in a silicon stump.

African clawed frogs (Xenopus laevis) are similar to humans in that they cannot recover missing limbs spontaneously. In the latest study, researchers successfully encouraged the frogs to develop prosthetic limbs for 18 months after a 24-hour therapy. While there are significant differences between frogs and people, the discovery suggests that humans may regenerate limbs in the future.

First author Nirosha Murugan, a research affiliate at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said in a statement:

“It’s exciting to see that the drugs we selected were helping to create an almost complete limb. The fact that it required only a brief exposure to the drugs to set in motion a months-long regeneration process suggests that frogs and perhaps other animals may have dormant regenerative capabilities that can be triggered into action.”

Humans can Regrow Their Liver

Human bodies can repair open wounds and even rebuild liver sections using stem cells. Salamanders, for example, may regenerate whole limbs and other lost parts. The mechanics behind limb regeneration are not entirely known, although neither humans nor mature frogs can regrow legs and arms, perhaps due to the complexity of those limbs.

To prevent additional blood loss and infection, both humans and frogs cover an open amputation incision with scar tissue. Humans have created artificial replacement limbs, but scientists have yet to restore or reverse the loss of a significant limb such as an arm or leg.

The most recent study employed a combination of medications to repair damaged limb tissue. The scientists surgically severed the legs of the frogs before applying a silicone cover termed a “BioDome” to each frog’s incision. The cap delivered a combination of five medications, including growth hormones, that served various functions, such as stimulating nerve and muscle development. One of the medications also blocked the frogs’ bodies from making collagen, which is generally responsible for wound scarring.
Co-author and Tufts University, professor of engineering David Kaplan, said in a statement:

“Using the BioDome cap in the first 24 hours helps mimic an amniotic-like environment, which, along with the right drugs, allows the rebuilding process to proceed without the interference of scar tissue.”

During pregnancy, embryos and fetuses grow in an amniotic sac. The researchers were able to activate some of the same biochemical pathways in frogs employed while an embryo is growing and developing.
Except for the toes, which lacked underlying bones, the new legs resembled regular legs with identical bone structures. The frogs were able to swim with their new limb.

Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.