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  #1  
Old 04-20-2010, 01:43 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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What body parts grow back? Not nipples, right?

For some reason, I always thought nipples grew back, but after researching it online, I guess they don't.

It got me to thinking, what bodyparts *do* grow back? Obviously skin, but what else? I hear the liver regenerates, and recently scientists discovered certain neurons do too. What else? What other body parts can be destroyed and regrown later?
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  #2  
Old 04-20-2010, 01:58 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Well, obviously dicks grow back.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:04 AM
fifty-six fifty-six is offline
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You missed hair.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:07 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Hair's a body part, but it's never really alive in the first place, right? I never mentioned that in my OP, but I don't feel the same excitement with hair as I would, say, a kidney. Same thing applies to nails.
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  #5  
Old 04-20-2010, 02:08 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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This is sort of related: Why do we only grow back teeth once?

Does that count as something that grows back?
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  #6  
Old 04-20-2010, 02:09 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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I'm not really the ultimate arbiter of such matters, but I'll say sure, why not.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:10 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Yay! I contributed!
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:10 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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First time for everything!
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:13 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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I'll try not to make a habit out of it.
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Old 04-20-2010, 02:17 AM
fifty-six fifty-six is offline
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Fat
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  #11  
Old 04-20-2010, 02:18 AM
Der Trihs Der Trihs is online now
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I recall reading some years ago that it was discovered that fingertips can grow back in small children; perfect scarless regeneration, at that.
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  #12  
Old 04-20-2010, 02:55 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AClockworkMelon View Post
This is sort of related: Why do we only grow back teeth once?

Does that count as something that grows back?
They don't grow back, as such.

We just have (in normal circumstances) two sets lined up ready to use - the first set is small (to fit a child's mouth) and disposable (so decay doesn't cause death before reproductive age)
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  #13  
Old 04-20-2010, 03:07 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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So, we could splice shark DNA with humans and grow 3+ sets of teeth? OK that's getting off-topic.
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  #14  
Old 04-20-2010, 03:21 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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Originally Posted by Autolycus View Post
So, we could splice shark DNA with humans and grow 3+ sets of teeth? OK that's getting off-topic.
I want this!

Don't bother brushing! Just close your eyes and concentrate- pow! New teeth.
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  #15  
Old 04-20-2010, 03:31 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Or, splice Megamouth shark DNA with certain females! Bam, think of the blowjob potential!

OK, I need to stop. You're not helping Melon!
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  #16  
Old 04-20-2010, 03:35 AM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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Originally Posted by AClockworkMelon View Post
Well, obviously dicks grow back.
Only if you're not Bill Gates!
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  #17  
Old 04-20-2010, 03:36 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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You don't know the power of the Dark Side of the Force!
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Old 04-20-2010, 03:42 AM
Cheshire Human Cheshire Human is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Der Trihs View Post
I recall reading some years ago that it was discovered that fingertips can grow back in small children; perfect scarless regeneration, at that.
But not in your teen years. I just checked. The end of my left thumb, which I hacked off w/ a saw @ 16 or 17 (accidentally), is still shorter than the right one, by the same amount I cut off.
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  #19  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:12 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Originally Posted by Autolycus View Post
For some reason, I always thought nipples grew back, but after researching it online, I guess they don't.

It got me to thinking, what bodyparts *do* grow back? Obviously skin, but what else? I hear the liver regenerates, and recently scientists discovered certain neurons do too. What else? What other body parts can be destroyed and regrown later?
Almost every section of every organ will grow back (or try its hardest, at least), provided the scaffolding (basement membrane, connective tissue) has not been destroyed. Skin layers, which are constantly being shed and replaced, are a good example.

But it is not as if you can take a chunk of skin and watch it grow scarless. If you that, chances are you've destroyed part of the scaffolding, and now the healing will leave a scar.

Liver is very good at regenerating, again if it doesn't get too damaged. Bone itself is constantly being turned over. There are constant pieces being taken down and new bone being laid. Inside some bones, their bone marrow, which has precursors of most blood cells, remains active throughout life. It has to do that, you know, otherwise you'd die.

In contrast with bone, skeletal muscle takes longer to grow back because it has a more limited capacity. Neurons and cardiac muscle have an even more limited capacity, even if the scaffolding around them is intact.

Last edited by KarlGrenze; 04-20-2010 at 05:14 AM..
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  #20  
Old 04-20-2010, 07:53 AM
NinetyWt NinetyWt is offline
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My sister works for a biology research group which is studying limb regeneration in salamanders. They hope to one day apply the technology to humans.
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  #21  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:38 PM
DocCathode DocCathode is offline
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Originally Posted by NinetyWt View Post
My sister works for a biology research group which is studying limb regeneration in salamanders. They hope to one day apply the technology to humans.
Isn't she familiar with the work of Dr Kurt Connors?
__________________
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  #22  
Old 04-20-2010, 05:40 PM
KneadToKnow KneadToKnow is offline
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I'd like to nominate this thread for the "Needs '(Need Answer Fast)'" award for 2010.
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  #23  
Old 04-20-2010, 07:05 PM
lizardling lizardling is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Human View Post
But not in your teen years. I just checked. The end of my left thumb, which I hacked off w/ a saw @ 16 or 17 (accidentally), is still shorter than the right one, by the same amount I cut off.
It'd have to be WAY younger than that, then. I was a tiny kid in... probably kindergarten... when I took a chunk of the pad of my thumb off with scissors.

I still have a near-perfect round scar nearly 30 years later.
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  #24  
Old 04-20-2010, 09:27 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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The WAG I'd heard, was that in the span of most of a human lifetime, you can grow back half of your pinky tip. I seem to recall reading that in high school biology, so I don't have a great source. I wasn't going to mention it, but a few people have already mentioned chucks of their thumbs not growing back, so there, research the pinky, not the thumb, if you want to know were to look.

I think I'd heard about half a pinky tip grown back in grammar school too, come to think about it. The teacher pointed out, it's so small, you could conceivably, regrow the bone tip, then you have the "scaffolding" mentioned above. And with a smaller volume, the existing blood vessels would have an easier time of building more tissue, and filling in the tip. Maybe.
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  #25  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:37 AM
si_blakely si_blakely is offline
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Some recent research points to the scarring response as a limiting factor in regrowth/regeneration of CNS nerve tissue - glial scar tissue forms rapidly, blocking regrowth and limiting regeneration. Drugs that block/dissolve the glial scar have been shown to assist functional improvements in rats.

I suspect that further developments in this area will eventually allow the reduction of scarring following surgery/trauma, at the expense of healing time.

Si
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  #26  
Old 04-21-2010, 01:39 AM
Autolycus Autolycus is offline
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Thank you everyone for your responses so far. As borderline silly as the OP was, I was legitimately curious.
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  #27  
Old 04-21-2010, 04:19 AM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Originally Posted by Arkcon View Post
I think I'd heard about half a pinky tip grown back in grammar school too, come to think about it. The teacher pointed out, it's so small, you could conceivably, regrow the bone tip, then you have the "scaffolding" mentioned above. And with a smaller volume, the existing blood vessels would have an easier time of building more tissue, and filling in the tip. Maybe.
Each tissue has its own "scaffolding", just like it has its own blueprint. Although grossly we think of the bone as the "scaffolding"/support of an extremity, microscopically it needs a different support and microenvironment from the surrounding area in order to develop properly. Whatever grows out of a sliced off pinky, it won't be a complete finger tip like it was before.
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  #28  
Old 04-21-2010, 06:42 AM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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Originally Posted by NinetyWt View Post
My sister works for a biology research group which is studying limb regeneration in salamanders. They hope to one day apply the technology to humans.
I don't wanna piss on her parade, but how many people would really want to regrow a Salamander leg?
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  #29  
Old 04-21-2010, 06:51 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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I don't wanna piss on her parade, but how many people would really want to regrow a Salamander leg?
Where do I sign up?
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  #30  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:16 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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I don't wanna piss on her parade, but how many people would really want to regrow a Salamander leg?
I'd like a pair of them growing from my top lip - so as to resemble a moustache. I'll pay extra if I can control them to make hand gestures while I speak.
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  #31  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:28 AM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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I don't wanna piss on her parade, but how many people would really want to regrow a Salamander leg?
Since on one has, up to this point been born with salamander legs, how could one REgrow one?

To the OP, skin does not grow back, if its full thickness is removed, as in third degree burns. It must have replacment skin applied as a graft, whether from another part of the body or skin cultured in the lab. The covering that grows over non grafted full thickness wounds is called granulation tissue. It has no feeling and it restricts movement.

Nipples, too, would have to be grafted, however, I've never heard of a nipple bank.
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  #32  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:33 AM
AClockworkMelon AClockworkMelon is offline
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I'd like a pair of them growing from my top lip - so as to resemble a moustache. I'll pay extra if I can control them to make hand gestures while I speak.
I laughed imagining the bolded section.
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  #33  
Old 04-21-2010, 07:57 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Originally Posted by picunurse View Post
Nipples, too, would have to be grafted, however, I've never heard of a nipple bank.
There's no specific checkbox for it on my donor card either. (I suppose there would have to be two checkboxes, in case someone only feels comfortable donating the left or right one)
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  #34  
Old 04-21-2010, 09:05 AM
Uzi Uzi is offline
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I'll pay extra if I can control them to make hand gestures while I speak.
Imagine if it was only partially successful. As in, they made gestures based upon what you were ACTUALLY thinking when you were talking to someone, say your boss.

Or, they groomed and plucked your nose hairs continuously. Or, picked your nose and flicked boogers at people. Or, they could stuff the boogers into your mouth!
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  #35  
Old 04-21-2010, 11:01 AM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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My salamander mustache legs would never stop flipping people the bird.
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  #36  
Old 04-21-2010, 11:11 AM
filling_pages filling_pages is offline
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Nipples, too, would have to be grafted, however, I've never heard of a nipple bank.
If someone loses their nipples due to breast reduction or chest surgery and doesn't want the nickname Nippleless Nippleby, the usual fix is to get nipples tattooed on. Seriously. I mean, it doesn't provide nipple sensation, of course, but it'll pass a quick visual check.
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  #37  
Old 04-21-2010, 08:04 PM
BigNik BigNik is offline
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Actually, they do grow back - I lost money on that one once. It may have been that there was enough surrounding tissue, but it grew back.

Not to get too TMI on everyone, but the story involves a five-eighth who forgot to tape up his piercings before a game for the Petersham fourth XV, a ruck that he was caught at the bottom of and the fact that his ring was about the same size as the studs on the bottom of someone's boot, which it had to be pried off.
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  #38  
Old 04-21-2010, 11:23 PM
TBG TBG is offline
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nipple bank
band strip club name!
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  #39  
Old 04-22-2010, 01:08 AM
Horatio Hellpop Horatio Hellpop is offline
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Originally Posted by Cheshire Human View Post
But not in your teen years. I just checked. The end of my left thumb, which I hacked off w/ a saw @ 16 or 17 (accidentally), is still shorter than the right one, by the same amount I cut off.
Did you cut off bone, or just skin? I've sliced off a couple of my fingertips at various times and scraped most of the palm of one hand off in a cycling accident; they all grew back with minimal scarring.
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  #40  
Old 04-22-2010, 02:08 AM
horsetech horsetech is offline
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Picunurse, does skin not migrate back over granulation tissue? In horses, it does, at least to a certain distance. I have seen gaping full-thickness wounds which were un-suturable which, after many weeks, filled in with granulation tissue to the level of the skin and later re-epithelialised to form new skin covering the wound (although it did not necessarily look exactly the same as the surrounding skin and sometimes a tough scar is left). Granulation tissue that does not get covered by skin or scar (proud flesh) is a problem, not the normal state of things. From what I have seen in vet med, even skin grafts do not necessarily cover the entire area that was wounded; little "islands" of skin are implanted on a healthy bed of granulation tissue so that skin can grow out from around these islands.
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  #41  
Old 04-22-2010, 09:43 AM
cmkeller cmkeller is online now
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Autolycus:

Quote:
So, we could splice shark DNA with humans and grow 3+ sets of teeth? OK that's getting off-topic.
http://mediumlarge.files.wordpress.c...jaws-quint.jpg

Last edited by cmkeller; 04-22-2010 at 09:44 AM..
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  #42  
Old 04-22-2010, 04:05 PM
picunurse picunurse is offline
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Originally Posted by horsetech View Post
Picunurse, does skin not migrate back over granulation tissue? In horses, it does, at least to a certain distance. I have seen gaping full-thickness wounds which were un-suturable which, after many weeks, filled in with granulation tissue to the level of the skin and later re-epithelialised to form new skin covering the wound (although it did not necessarily look exactly the same as the surrounding skin and sometimes a tough scar is left). Granulation tissue that does not get covered by skin or scar (proud flesh) is a problem, not the normal state of things. From what I have seen in vet med, even skin grafts do not necessarily cover the entire area that was wounded; little "islands" of skin are implanted on a healthy bed of granulation tissue so that skin can grow out from around these islands.
To some degree, but full thickness damage will only see a thin, insensitive re-epithelization, that may or may not reach all the margins
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  #43  
Old 04-22-2010, 04:41 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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The last part of wound healing (remodeling) is a competition between/combination of re-epithelialization and wound contraction (with fibrosis and scarring). Smaller cuts leave minimal to no scarring, and less scarring, more reepithelialization are goals of surgical incisions.

The island grafts that horsetech mentions I've only seen referenced again and again in equine veterinary medicine. Horses are notorious for having "tight skin", proud flesh (excessive granulation tissue), and more functional damage if fibrosis is prevalent. Part of the reasons of the skin islets is to promote re-epithelialization, especially of haired skin. Even with that, my equine teachers stressed that at most, 30-40% of the grafted skin islands made it, while the other ones didn't take.
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  #44  
Old 04-22-2010, 08:37 PM
horsetech horsetech is offline
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Thanks for the additional information. It is always good to hear from the real experts on this sort of thing.

I know this site is trying to shill some wound-care product, but I have seen this sort of recovery (such as in a friend's gelding who did a number on his lateral antebrachium and now has just a very thin line of scar tissue), so I think it's fair to say that there can be a considerable amount of healing covering and almost eliminating a defect with normal-looking and normal-feeling skin.

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  #45  
Old 04-26-2010, 10:11 AM
TubaDiva TubaDiva is offline
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Originally Posted by lizardling View Post
It'd have to be WAY younger than that, then. I was a tiny kid in... probably kindergarten... when I took a chunk of the pad of my thumb off with scissors.

I still have a near-perfect round scar nearly 30 years later.
Were you running?
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  #46  
Old 04-26-2010, 11:48 AM
goodie goodie is offline
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Interesting thread...I would like to know if the way that the tissue was lost makes a difference, for instance, does burned tissue heal faster or scar less/more than say something that was cut off? I'm not talking about something that was effectively cauterized, I mean burned completely off.

And we know that very young children will heal better than older children and adults, but what about later in life, will a 70 year old person grow back more of that liver/kidney than a 90 year old?

I would have guessed that nipples regenerate better than any other skin, after all, for most mammals, they were designed to be chewed on by babies/toddlers for many of (I don't endorse this!) a female's reproductive years, they would have to be durable and able to heal and stay elastic with a minimum of tough scar tissue that might hinder milk flow.

Also, I'm forced to ask...what else can you do with that salamander mustache?
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  #47  
Old 04-26-2010, 01:17 PM
TheoS TheoS is offline
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"I'd like a pair of them growing from my top lip - so as to resemble a moustache. I'll pay extra if I can control them to make hand gestures while I speak."

I like it... I could think of all kinds of cool uses for a pair of little arms with hands hanging off my upper lip.
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  #48  
Old 04-26-2010, 02:41 PM
KarlGrenze KarlGrenze is offline
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Interesting thread...I would like to know if the way that the tissue was lost makes a difference, for instance, does burned tissue heal faster or scar less/more than say something that was cut off? I'm not talking about something that was effectively cauterized, I mean burned completely off.
The body will try the same basic mechanism to repair itself no matter what. But it will be much harder with a burn than with a section that was just cut. A chunk of skin taken off would still heal faster than a burn. Both would leave scars, though. Burns are nasty... They're not "healthy tissue taken away and surrounded by healthy tissue", but they're "dead tissues surrounded by live tissue". Dead tissue does not support life.


Quote:
I would have guessed that nipples regenerate better than any other skin, after all, for most mammals, they were designed to be chewed on by babies/toddlers for many of (I don't endorse this!) a female's reproductive years, they would have to be durable and able to heal and stay elastic with a minimum of tough scar tissue that might hinder milk flow.
Huh... nope. I mean, really... Babies are not constantly drawing blood (and neither are partners, I hope, otherwise, OUCH!), or causing skin lesions that go past the dermis. Granted, some of those areas, at least in animals, have "tougher" skin than other places. They do, at least in other species, have awesome glandular regenerative capacity. But at least in humans, it's not as if they're constantly being mutilated.
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  #49  
Old 04-26-2010, 03:32 PM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
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Also, I'm forced to ask...what else can you do with that salamander mustache?
Eat baby corn like it's corn on the cob

Pick spinach out of your front teeth

Novel impersonation of Lord Kitchener

Out-Dali Dali
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  #50  
Old 04-26-2010, 04:11 PM
horsetech horsetech is offline
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It seems fitting that Mangetout would post on a thread about regenerating body parts. Imagine a pig where you could cut off a slab and make it in to bacon, and the pig would grow back. What if you could put salt on the pig and get it to grow bacon directly?

As for tiny moustache hands, it would allow those of Italian ancestry like my family to effectively talk and drive (type, etc.) at the same time. I have a friend who is otherwise a very careful driver who ends up using his forearms to hold the steering wheel sometimes so that he can use his hands when expounding on a point to his passenger.
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