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Let me start by saying that this sounds like some crazy science fiction story but, lets look at the things that science, technology and medicine have been able to do over the past twenty years.  We have been able to advance by leaps and bounds towards what earlier was thought to be impossible.  We’ve reached the point that nothing seems impossible.  Who would’ve thought that we would have been able to truly treat aids to the point where  a person with this dreaded disease could actually be able to survive and live a long and productive life .  Science and technology is capable of  resolving things that we can only wonder about.

“In a declaration with echoes of Frankenstein, scientists have suggested that electricity could one day be used to regenerate tissue and regrow lost limbs.

Researchers from the Aberdeen University believe electric currents and fields hold the key to major advances in tissue engineering.

In the distant future they may even help people with severed limbs, such as victims of industrial accidents or soldiers, to grow new arms and legs, the Daily Mail reported.

Electrical stimulus has already shown some success in stimulating sensory nerve regrowth in people with damaged spinal cords.

There is also evidence that bio-electric fields play a role in regenerating lost fingertips, especially in children.

However, the importance of electricity in wound healing and tissue repair has been largely overlooked because of its association with Victorian quackery and Frankenstein, according to Dr Ann Rajnicek.

“Electricity is key; its something that has been under-appreciated. But people still think of Frankenstein and the Victorian age. Even when you try to sell the idea to a research funding agency, they say ‘oh no, I’m not sure about that’,” Rajnicek added.

In Mary Shelley’s novel, electricity provides the spark that brings Frankenstein’s monster to life.

Rajnicek’s new research has demonstrated the effect of electricity on flatworms rather than human corpses.

“We’re using flatworms that multiply asexually by spontaneous fission. The worm snaps itself in two like an elastic band so you have one end missing a head and other missing a tail,” she was quoted as saying by the paper.

“We believe the natural electrical field that’s associated with the wounding process acts like a compass to tell cells where to migrate. You get a field that points towards the wound and directs cells there,” she said.

“We’ve also found that there’s a gradient – the electrical field is positive but at the very tip of the head of the worm its much less positive, so the animal has natural electrical polarity. We think the stem cells are being directed to build either a head or tail because one end is more positive and the other end is more negative,” she added.

“When a flatworm is cut, electricity leaks out of the wound – and the same thing occurs in all other animals, including humans. The skin [is] like a battery,” she said.

By reversing the polarity of the electric field at the wound site, Rajnicek was able to produce worms with heads where their tails should be, and vice-versa. Manipulating the field led to worms with two heads or two tails.

“We are still at the early stages, but we want to look at the genes that are switched on or off by the presence or absence of this field,” Rajnicek told the British Science Festival at the University of Aberdeen”

Please comment by telling me what you think.  Do you think this is really feasible or just science fiction?



Comments on: "Regrowing limbs with electricity! Is that really possible?" (29)

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