REVEALING MYSTERY: Why Humans Can’t Regenerate Limbs

Why Can't Human Regenerate Limbs

All living organisms are capable of regeneration from bacteria to humans. An average human loses 500 million skin cells per day.

Don’t worry because our body produces 30 trillion skin cells i.e. 100,000 times lost cells. Our regeneration power is outstanding but also it’s not enough for regenerating our limbs.

Some scientists think this because humans don’t have all the necessary genes to operate such a level of regeneration. However, some animals show outstanding talent in regeneration.  

Animals having regeneration power are:

  • Lizard
  • Starfish
  • Salamander
  • Sea cucumber
  • Planarians like Flatworms

Axolotl, a mexican salamander can regenerate all body parts from eyes to the brian.

So, Axolotl is called the master of regeneration.

If we could unlock the key of regeneration inside Axolotl, then nobody will lose body parts.

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What’s the Problem

When a human loses a limb, cells close the wound by blood clotting.

This leads to a scab on the wound.

But in salamanders instead of forming scars, the wound closes more rapidly.

How do Salamanders regenerate body parts?

First, wound healing takes place in the wound part.

Cells stream out of the surrounding tissues into the area of the wound.

They are multi-colored as they come from skin, muscle and cartilage.

These cells go back to a less specialized state and begin creating blastema.

Actually blastema is the bud of the new limb which is a group of undifferentiated cells that are just like stem cells.

Growing of the blastema leads to the formation of outline of the new limb and the foot.

The cells start to create new tissues by multiplying and differentiating into things like muscle and bone.

The new leg enlarges to fill out the missing segment between the amputation site and toes.

For two months, this whole process lasts.

Those cells have a miraculous memory of what they used to be.

So they are able to form a perfectly functional limb.

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Main Reason

The main problem is that the blastema in humans never grows.

It is because our fibroblast cells (Cell in connective tissue) don’t migrate to the wounded area.

Hence, the fibroblast doesn’t differentiate for wound healing which is necessary for the regeneration.

That’s the main reason why can’t human regenerate limbs?


Axolotl, a Mexican Salamander can regenerate any body parts like eyes, spinal cord, parts of brian, etc.

They contain active LINE-1 retrotransposons, which help blastema to replicate and differentiate by rearranging genes.

The LINE-1 retrotransposons have PL1 and PL2 proteins.

These proteins are the keys for the regeneration in the axolotl.

We can develop a new technology using those keys to have the power of regeneration in humans like axolotl.

So that, we can regenerate any missing body parts.

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Amazing Facts

  • Abraham Trembley discovered Regeneration in 1741 A.D. He did this when he was researching hydra.
  • Lizards who lost their tail can regenerate new ones. 
  • Liver is the only one organ which can regenerate itself if a small part of the liver is injured.
  • Starfish can regenerate its missing arms.
  • When cutting Sea Cucumber into pieces, each piece can become a new sea cucumber.
  • Sharks can regenerate 24000 teeth in their lifetime if lost.


Having superpowers of healing like Wolverine and Deadpool is so cool!

What will happen if we have those superpowers in real life?

Then, nobody will lose their body parts, nobody needs prosthetic arms and legs.

However, Scientists believe they can get a regeneration cure from regeneration power animals.

Until now, research is going on but someday in the future, regeneration will be possible.

So, that we will not need to lose missing body parts.

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