There’s a lot of research and development in the field of prosthetics, but wouldn’t it be great if we could just regrow missing appendages like a starfish? According to a recent CNN article, it may be possible sooner than we think. A team of researchers at Harvard University’s Wyss Institute were able to trigger the regrowth of an amputated leg on an African clawed frog.
The technique used, which was developed at Wyss and Tufts University, involves applying a cocktail of 5 drugs to the frog’s stump before sealing it with a small silicone dome. Although the cocktail is only applied for 24 hours, after 18 months, the frog had developed a limb that could respond to touch, and help the amphibian swim. The limb also grew several toes, but sans webbing between them. The breakthrough brings the team a step closer to achieving regenerative medicine, or at the very least a more sustainable approach to the culinary frog leg industry.