Scientists have developed a drug treatment that successfully regenerated the leg of a frog. The treatment is a landmark for regenerative medicine that may pave the way for human application.
Scientists tested the cocktail of drugs on an African clawed frog, a species that is incapable of regenerating its own limbs. The frog was administered the drugs over the course of 24 hours, after which an 18 month process of generation occurred. The frog eventual regrew an entirely functional leg. The researchers behind the study hope that this success may be the seed for an equivalent regenerative treatment for human patients.
“It’s exciting to see that the drugs we selected were helping to create an almost complete limb,” said Nirosha Murugan of Tufts University in Massachusetts, the first author of the study. “The fact that it required only a brief exposure to the drugs to set in motion a months-long regeneration process suggests that frogs and perhaps other animals may have dormant regenerative capabilities that can be triggered into action.”