By rakyanwidhowati edited by thescienceofreality.
When I was watching The Amazing Spider-Man movie, I saw that Dr. Connors had focused on research of autotomy and regrowth in body parts and cells after becoming an expert in herpetology, aka the branch of zoology focusing on the study of amphibians and reptiles. Due to his expert knowledge and research, he predicted that someday the human body would achieve autotomy and regeneration of body cells and parts, and began to experiment upon himself in hopes of regrowing his amputated right arm. I as well believe this is probable within the scientific future.
Autotomy is a natural anatomical phenomenon found in many creatures, specifically amphibian and reptilian species, where said creature severs one or more of it’s own appendages, usually as self defense against predators, that has the possibility of regrowing later on. (e.g., starfish, salamanders, etc.).
Cellular regeneration is the cell reformation process that replaces cells that die and are regulated at the body’s cellular level. Regeneration is the regrowth or repair of damaged tissue, organs, etc. Regular red blood cells (aka erythrocytes or RBCs) are the most populated cells in the human body, measuring in numbers at approximately 30 trillion, which are found inside the circulatory system. Every second about 3 million RBCs are lost. Each cell that dies is replaced by more cells developed by your body.
"… the number of cells that an adult male human loses per second is somewhere between 200,000 and 3,000,000 cells per second, and is probably closer to 3,000,000. Still since these are very rough average estimates … you would be safe saying anywhere around 1,000,000 cells per second. When you consider that you have 40-50 trillion of your own cells in your body, that means that on average one cell out of every 40-50 million or more dies each second. Considering it that way, it doesn’t seem like that much at all.” [x]
Autonomy isn’t always perfect, and regeneration and regrowth depends on where said amputation occurred, and what type of creature it occurred to. We can see autonomy naturally occurring in reptiles, amphibians, echinodermata, and Platyhelminthes [aka. flatworms]. Autotomy occurring in mammals, specifically the human body, and for example, mice, is more complicated and not as organic when compared to naturally regenerative creatures mentioned above. Whilst focusing on regrowth and regeneration within mammals, recent research [x] shows that stem cells found in nails play a large role, especially within the regeneration of fingers and toes.
“Scientists conducted toe amputation in two groups of mice. The first is a group of normal mice and the other groups were mice that had been given drugs so that they can not make the chemical signals that stem cells grown nails. Within 5 weeks after the amputation, the normal mice can regenerate the feet and their nails. But the mice that had been treated with medication, nail or foot bones fail to grow back.” [x]
Regeneration within mammals is less common because amputated/lost body parts aren’t as easily chemically triggered into regeneration compared to chosen amphibians and reptilians. For example, it’d be much easier for one to experimentally regrow a finger in mammals, due to formerly mentioned nail stem cells, than it would be to regenerate a vital organ, or even a whole limb [e.g., arm, leg].
In this case, the big question is: What part of the human body [limbs, organs, etc.] could be amputated and not regenerate? Since stem cells found within nails help the regeneration of phalanges, what can we use to trigger regeneration in other parts of the human body where these stem cells are not available?
If we could expand upon this research, we could possibly achieve human autotomy and regrowth of not only human body parts, but regrowth of the human skeleton as well.