Thursday, 14 February 2019
Research: Regenerative Medicine
The book A Brief History of the Future predicts that by 2060 regenerative medicine had developed such that organs and limbs could be regrown, like a lizard grows a new tail.
I use regeneration in my Flight of the Kestrel books, but not to that extent. The Medical Officer uses a regeneration ray to speed up the healing process. He has a handheld device for smaller injuries and a canopy for full body treatment. But this can't heal everything. The First Officer, Nate Parks, has an injury to his shoulder that can't be repaired, which is an important part of his back story. I even wrote a short story about it, which is not yet generally available.
As with my other research posts, I Googled regenerative medicine to see what progress we are making today. The main area of research seems to be stem cells, the basic building block of every different cell in the body. Injected into a damaged area, the stem cells turn into the right cells to repair the damage.
The research is still in early days and they haven't yet worked out all the places it can be used. Where it will lead, I don't know. Maybe one day we will be able to grow a replacement limb.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of four medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, and book two Alien Secrets, are out now. Follow her at http://eepurl.com/bbOsyz