Regenerative Medicine

In this post, I pointed to a new technique for regrowing limbs that makes use of “Pixie Dust” to accomplish the seemingly impossible: regrowing the entire tip of a man’s finger.  It prompted the question, “Could we do more?”  To find out, watch this short video from Newsweek.  It features Shilo Harris, a man who suffered the loss of two fingers and extensive burns durring an IED explosion and a discussion of both the treatment he received and the progress that was made.

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2 thoughts on “Regenerative Medicine

  1. A couple of things seem to me of interest here. The first is the emphasis on RE-generation, and especially its depiction as a tweak on a natural process, whether it be the original generation of limbs in utero (as mentioned early in the clip), or the idea of helping the body to do something it does anyway, but only better, a kind of naturo-enhancement. Here technology doesn’t substitute for but facilitates natural bodily processes.

    The other is the connection to individual choice. There’s the idea of regenerative therapy of this kind being available for those who want it, at least eventually. What I wonder about is how free the choice would be for those who decide not to take up restorative enhancement of this kind, choosing to be less or differently functional, to depart from appearance norms, were such treatments readily available, and it really were a matter of sprinkling pixie dust on one’s body parts, and watching them grow. Could we allow DE-generative choices, in the way in which most people can’t allow, say, amputee wannabes to elect to have some of their limbs removed in order to “be the person they feel they really are”. If it came in a bottle, could we allow THAT kind of choice to be made by individuals?

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