Melbourne: Amputees could one day regenerate limbs and organs owing to scientists who have found a key to salamanders` ability to grow back lost legs and damaged organs.Salamanders` immune systems are key to their remarkable ability to regrow limbs, and could also underpin their ability to regenerate spinal cords, brain tissue and even parts of their hearts, scientists have found.Researchers from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University found that when immune cells known as macrophages were systemically removed, salamanders lost their ability to regenerate a limb and instead formed scar tissue.Lead researcher, Dr James Godwin said the findings brought researchers a step closer to understanding what conditions were needed for regeneration."Previously, we thought that macrophages were negative for regeneration, and this research shows that that`s not the case - if the macrophages are not present in the early phases of healing, regeneration does not occur," Godwin said.
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