Scientists try to restart human ability to grow new parts

02/12/2007 | Wall Street Journal, The

Scientists have become convinced through advances in stem cell therapy, genetics and tissue engineering that they may be able to recapture the human ability to grow new body parts, an ability found in the womb. Doctors hope to restart the regenerative process and regrow portions of fingers lost by five soldiers in Iraq by treating them with an extracellular matrix, a sort of "scaffolding" that cells latch onto as they divide and grow into tissue and body parts.

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