Bits of Science Fiction
In the year 2100, being an amputee was a temporary condition. In the early 21st century, newts were thoroughly investigated. It was discovered that this animalís rare ability to regenerate limbs was due to cellular differentiation. Cells would revert to an embryonic state and then specialize again to regrow the missing limbs. In mammals the necessary genes were missing. The key genetic material came from newt segments previously thought to be nonsense DNA, but these segments controlled the timing by which other genes were expressed. In mammals there was also a related lack of extracellular signals that were necessary to initiate the dedifferentiation process.
Through a combination of gene transposition and synthetic protein factors related to those found in newts, cellular dedifferentiation in mammals became a reality. People who lost limbs to either accident or disease had them restored within two to three years. Even small segments of spinal cords were regenerated.
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