Agriculture
Flush-Free Fertilizer
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Seeds of the Future
Amphibians
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Newts
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Fishy Cleaners
G-Tunes with a Message
The Secret Lives of Grizzlies
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Baby Number Whizzes
Puberty gone wild
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
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Graphene's superstrength
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The hungry blob at the edge of the universe
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Small but WISE
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Dinosaurs Grow Up
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Earth
Undersea Vent System Active for Ages
Killer Space Rock Snuffed Out Ancient Life
Explorer of the Extreme Deep
Environment
Toxic Cleanups Get a Microbe Boost
What is groundwater
Little Bits of Trouble
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
Settling the Americas
Stonehenge Settlement
Fish
Mahi-Mahi
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Trout
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Healing Honey
Chocolate Rules
Turning to Sweets, Fats to Calm the Brain
GSAT English Rules
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Deep-space dancers
Detecting True Art
A Sweet Advance in Candy Packing
Human Body
Cell Phone Tattlers
A Sour Taste in Your Mouth
Disease Detectives
Invertebrates
Leeches
Grasshoppers
Cockroaches
Mammals
Bandicoot
Prairie Dogs
Cornish Rex
Parents
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
How children learn
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
One ring around them all
Speedy stars
Plants
Fastest Plant on Earth
Flower family knows its roots
Making the most of a meal
Reptiles
Snapping Turtles
Reptiles
Rattlesnakes
Space and Astronomy
Saturn's New Moons
Roving the Red Planet
A Family in Space
Technology and Engineering
A Light Delay
Roll-Up Computer Monitors to Go
Drawing Energy out of Wastewater
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Verb?
Transportation
Flying the Hyper Skies
Ready, unplug, drive
Morphing a Wing to Save Fuel
Weather
Recipe for a Hurricane
Watering the Air
Arctic Melt
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Return of the Lost Limbs

When people lose legs after accidents or illnesses, emergency care and artificial limbs often allow them to walk again. But salamanders and newts in the same situation don't need doctors or artificial body parts. They can grow limbs back on their own. Scientists have known for a long time that certain animals can regenerate limbs, but they haven't quite figured out how these creatures do it. Researchers from University College London have now come up with some new insights. Their work may lead to breakthroughs that could eventually enable people, too, to regrow lost limbs. The researchers started with two simple observations: When you cut off a newt's leg at the ankle, only the foot grows back. If you cut off a leg at the base, the whole leg grows back. In both cases, the regrowth begins with stem cells . Stem cells are unspecialized cells that can develop into nearly any type of cell in the body. But how do a newt's stem cells know when to regrow only a foot and when to regrow an entire leg? This question relates to another mystery: In newts, a severed leg will grow back only if the bundle of nerves in it also grows back. But if something prevents the nerve bundle from growing, the stem cells at the site of the wound won't multiply to produce a new leg. In its study, the British team zeroed in on a protein called nAG. When the team prevented nerves in a limb from growing, but added the nAG protein to stem cells in the limb, the limb still regrew. The scientists suspect that nerves in the stub of a limb signal the release of the nAG protein. That protein seems to guide limb regrowth. People and other mammals have proteins that are similar to nAG. Further research into these compounds may some day help human limbs and organs heal themselves.—Emily Sohn

Return of the Lost Limbs
Return of the Lost Limbs








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