We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

Will Humans Ever Be Able to Regrow Lost Limbs?

By Kevin Hellyer
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In a scientific achievement that might sound more like science fiction, Tufts University researchers enabled African clawed frogs with amputated limbs to regrow fully functional leg-like appendages in a laboratory. The scientists encased each leg stump in a silicone cap containing a protein gel laced with five drugs intended to reduce inflammation, prevent scarring, and encourage growth of nerve fibers, blood vessels, and muscle.

They let the stumps soak in the treatment for only 24 hours in a process designed to instruct the cells to multiply. Within 18 months, the frogs had new limbs and were using them to swim.

Although the researchers are optimistic that these findings could have relevance for mammalian limb regeneration, science is still many years away from being able to regrow limbs in humans.

The miracle of regeneration:

  • The next step, scientists say, is to hone the process to produce a reconstituted frog leg with normal digits, webbing and more detailed skeletal and muscular details.

  • Certain other animals can naturally regenerate complete limbs, including salamanders, starfish, crabs, and lizards. Flatworms cut up into pieces can reconstruct an entire organism from each piece.

  • The research focused on using drugs to encourage existing cells to regrow, rather than using a process that manipulated genes or introduced new stem cells. The simplicity of the process makes potential medical applications more possible.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Link to Sources
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.