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Breakthrough medical research could utilize oxygen blasts to regenerate human limbs

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A breakthrough in medical technology could see limb regeneration by utilizing high levels of oxygen on severed bone.

Truth be told, there is a countless list of amazing feats that occur in nature we, as a species, have yet to truly comprehend. For centuries humans have long been trying to replicate some of the more amazing accomplishments Mother Nature rightfully boasts over us.

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Breakthrough medical research could utilize oxygen blasts to regenerate human limbs

  1. 1. Breakthrough medical research could utilize oxygen blasts to regenerate human limbsA breakthrough in medical technology could see limb regeneration by utilizing high levelsof oxygen on severed bone.Truth be told, there is a countless list of amazing feats that occur in nature we, as a species,have yet to truly comprehend. For centuries humans have long been trying to replicatesome of the more amazing accomplishments Mother Nature rightfully boasts over us.One of the more amazing achievements that occur in nature has to do with the nimblegecko and the elegant sea star, which can partially regenerate their tails and limbsrespectively. Of course, salamanders go one better and are able to regenerate whole limbs.Even humans, to some degree, are able to regenerate damaged livers (partially) or even thetips of our fingers. Now, according to Science Daily, a new study conducted by the TulaneUniversity shows it might actually be possible to promote limb regrowth to levels akin tosalamanders by utilizing the very air we breathe.The Department of Defense-funded study shows that when severed bone is exposed tohigh levels of oxygen the bone will undergo regrowth. Leading the study is TulaneUniversity’s Mimi Sammarco who found that any bone growth in humans must be triggeredin order to activate the type of genes that can stimulate the kind of regenerative growthseen in salamanders.
  2. 2. “What it boils down to is genes (that spur regeneration) don’t just turn themselves on. Theyturn on because something signals them. So I thought, maybe it’s oxygen that’s turningthem on,” Sammarco said in a release for the study. “Oxygen is often the primary signal thatturns on various genes.”To test this, Sammarco and the team at Tulane have been experimenting with samples ofbone and exposing them to high levels of oxygen.”What we found is that when you exposeregenerating bone to 20 percent oxygen, it’ll respond very favorably but only at a certaintime. If you try it too early, like right after amputation, it doesn’t do a whole lot.”Sammarco and the team’s main focus for the regenerative research centers on thebattlefield and the countless soldiers that lose their limbs in combat as well as thosesuffering from diabetes and other accidents that have led to limb loss. For now, it at leastlooks like high levels of oxygen shows promise in “turning on” the requisite genes topromote partial regrowth, but since timing proves vital — and getting soldiers to safetyduring the heat of battle brings forth its own complications — challengers still impede thelevel of success and regeneration Sammarco is aiming for.
  3. 3. And the problem will only continue to grow worse: ”One out of every 200 Americans is anamputee,” Sammarco explains. “This number is expected to double in the next 40 years andis of particular concern given that amputation injuries have increased considerably due tocombat casualties and the increasing amputation issues associated with the rise in diabetesand other related diseases.”Unfortunately, it looks like it will be a long wait until the day we see entire limbsregenerated. At best we can expect to see doctors regrow limbs partially, and most likelyonly enough to see about an inch or two of growth, but according to Sammarco – evennow — that can make all the difference until medical technology allows for maximumgrowth.Acroseas sees this as a path-breaking advancement within the field of medical andhealthcare practices. This coupled with the rapid ground gained in the field ofbiotechnology will define many complicated procedures in the future.

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