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Electric current sparks mammalian tissue regeneration
One of the most fascinating medical mysteries is why an amphibian such as the salamander can regenerate missing parts, while a human in similar straits must simply do without.For the past 12 years, this mystery has occupied the concentrated attention of Robert O. Becker, MD, associate chief of staff for research at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Syracuse, NY.One theory has it that the ancestors of mammals possessed regenerative ability in the very distant past, but lost it when evolution reached the point where most of the body's electrical activity occurred in the brain.This theory is, at least in part, subscribed to by Dr. Becker who recently has had satisfying results in getting limb regeneration in rats. Earlier, he worked extensively with frogs—animals that also do not normally regenerate limbs."There is a lot of interest in regeneration," Dr. Becker said in an interview with
Medical News. JAMA. 1973;223(5):483-494. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03220050003002