Growing fingers, toes, and one day even arms and legs with 3-D structure and capability may not be too far away. This idea of re-growing body parts epimorphic regeneration (say that ten times fast) is not new to Mother Nature. There are many animals that can do this and there have been rare cases of humans re-growing the tips of their digits. This article posted on Kurzweil states that:
There are specific “steps of epimorphic regeneration to promote the partial or complete restoration of a biological digit or limb after amputations,” the scientists believe. Epimorphic regeneration in the murine (type of mouse) digit is level-specific and provides an opportunity for comparative studies of mammalian epimorphic regeneration. Some of those steps are suggested by what’s possible in mice, where the digit tip has been found capable of regrowing multiple structures, including bone, after amputation. The highly ambitious goal of epimorphic regeneration for humans would require the regrowth of multiple tissues that have been assembled in the proper conformation and patterns to create a fully functional limb, according to the authors.
If this happened, we wouldn’t have to fear the kitchen knife while chopping vegetables half as much. To read the rest of the article click here.