For a salamander, the loss of a limb isn’t a terrible event. If a leg or a tail is suddenly amputated, the amphibious creature can simply regrow the lost body part, as if it had never been damaged at all.
Though a long way from achieving the same feat in people, the discovery could help researchers unlock the “regenerative potential” of human cells. Salamanders are lizard-like amphibians famous for their capacity to replace body parts.
If a salamander’s leg is cut off, in time it will grow a new one.
In the same way the creatures are able to regenerate tails, jaws, eyes, organs and even spinal cords.
Researchers at University College London identified a key difference between salamanders and mammals that might explain why humans lack the same ability.