Question

Are scientists mixing lizard dna with us to make us grow limbs back?

My science teatcher was talking to us about genetics and said there's scientists working with like lizards and are trying to give us some of there DNA so if say a soldier gets his foot blown of it can grow back in like 8 months. Does anyone know if this is true?

Answer

It doesn't really work that way - you can't just pop some nonhuman DNA into a human genome and expect it to magically make us develop wings or gills or something like that. What people are looking into is how it works for animals that are able to regenerate lost body parts. It's probably not as simple as one gene that can simply be 'turned back on', and even if it were, there's a pretty good chance that our complicated, interlocking systems would crash like Windows ME if we just made a simple change. We need to find out the details of how the nonhuman systems work together to allow regeneration before we can even begin to think about how to adjust human genetics to see if we can make it work in us. Don't hold your breath. We're still only beginning to understand how we work, even though we've found out a great deal of information over the past 50 years or so. Just because you know how to change the oil and replace the fan belt doesn't mean you understand how a car's engine works.

Apr 13 at 17:19

The idea is being studied that is true. The potential is YEARS and most likely DECADES away if possible. Salamanders/Newts have the ability to grow back limbs if lost. We are simply studying the mechanism by which this happens. Any factual information learned is good information.

Apr 13 at 21:5

Yes: People are studying lizards and other animals that are capable of limb regeneration to understand how it works on the genetic and molecular levels, with the hope that eventually, years down the road, this understanding will lead to better medical care in humans.

No: No one is stupid enough to try to insert lizard DNA into a human, because that would never work in a million years.

Apr 14 at 1:14