Tufts University

Could Humans Ever Regrow Limbs? A Lab Study With Frogs Offers Hope

Scientists used a combination of a drug cocktail and a specialized wearable bioreactor, with frogs regrowing legs that could be used to stand and swim

Photo by Joshua Prieto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Every week, Michael Levin receives calls and letters from people who have lost limbs. 

How this happened varies — industrial accidents, military injuries, birth defects, the list goes on — but they approach Levin, a professor and director of the Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University, with the same question: When can they regrow their limb?

While technologies like prosthetics have advanced, doctors are still unable to induce human limb regeneration. But scientists are a step closer. In a study published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, Levin and his colleagues announced they were able to trigger the regrowth of legs in adult frogs. 

“They weren’t perfect cosmetically, but they were pretty darn good legs,” he said.

 Read the full story on NBCNews.com here. 

Paralympic runner Blake Leeper is fighting for the next generation of disabled kids. His dream was to represent them by competing in the Tokyo Olympics with his prosthetic legs. But after losing that appeal, he has turned his focus to creating safe spaces for the disabled community to work out.
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