“For centuries, scientists have known that certain animals can regenerate missing parts of their bodies. Humans actually share this ability with animals like the starfish and the newt. Although we can’t replace a missing leg or a finger, our bodies are constantly regenerating blood, skin, and other tissues.
The identity of the powerful cells that allow us to regenerate some tissues was first revealed when experiments with bone marrow in the 1950s established the existence of stem cells in our bodies and led to the development of bone marrow transplantation, a therapy now widely used in medicine.
This discovery raised hope in the medical potential of regeneration. For the first time in history, it became possible for physicians to regenerate a damaged tissue with a new supply of healthy cells by drawing on the unique ability of stem cells to create many of the body’s specialized cell types (…)”