Posted on Mar 31, 2009, 12 p.m.
By gary clark
Scientists are making tremendous progress in the field of regenerative medicine, literally growing body parts from the cell level up, which can then be implanted into patients.
A man who had sliced off the tip of his finger in the propeller of a hobby shop airplane re-grew that finger using a "powder" given to him by his brother, a research scientist. After applying the powder to his finger, every bit of the extremity - blood, vessels, skin and nails - grew back within four short weeks. As his brother explained to him, the powder - a substance made from pig bladder - is called an extracellular matrix and has the ability to instruct the body to regenerate cells. In fact, according to experts in the field of regenerative medicine, every tissue has cells that are capable of regeneration. The matrix is used to summons the cells to the site and instruct them in terms of how they need to differentiate into specific types of tissues. Today, advances in the science of regenerative medicine go well beyond theory. Scientists at Wake Forest University in North Carolina are literally growing body parts from the cell level up. To date, they have grown 18 different types of tissue, including whole organs, heart valves and muscle tissue. Click www.youtube.com to view this fascinating look at the power of regenerative medicine.