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"Miracle" Powder Grows Back Severed Limbs?

Teresa Neumann : Feb 25, 2011  Wyatt Andrews - CBS News

"I'd like to have this handy in my medicine cabinet." –Teresa Neumann

(Pittsburgh, Pa.)—A recent National Geographic special on "How to Build a Beating Heart" featured the research of Dr. Stephen Badylak, deputy director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Fingertip grown backI didn't watch it, but my son did. He was amazed by what he saw, especially the ability of a "powder" to regenerate a finger in its entirety after it had been amputated.

My research found that the regenerative "powder" is called extracellular matrix, a mix of protein and a substance made from pig bladders. This powder, according to a CBS News report, "holds some of the secrets behind the emerging new science of regenerative medicine."

matrix powderThe CBS report chronicles the case of one patient, Lee Spievak, who had the tip of his finger sliced off in an accident about three years ago. Spievack's brother, a medical research scientist, sent him the powder and told him to sprinkle it on the wound. Spievack did, and his fingertip grew back completely—"flesh, blood, vessels, and nails"—within four weeks.

While scientists are studying the substance for use in regrowing other body organs for transplant, the report notes that one of the biggest believers in the research is the U.S. military.

Said Dr. Steven Wolf, of the Army Institute of Surgical Research: "It's hard to ignore this guy's missing half his skin, this guy's missing his leg," Wolf said. "You start asking the question, is there somebody out there with the technology that can do this for us?"

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