• Malcolm Maden
Part of the METHODS IN MOLECULAR BIOLOGY™ book series (MIMB, volume 461)

1. Overview

Limb regeneration is one of the oldest topics within developmental biology, since the first experiments were reported in 1768 by Spallanzani, a Roman Catholic priest and Professor of Natural History at Padua, Italy. In his work Prodromo di un opera da imprimersi sopra la riproduzioni animali, he showed that regenerative ability was widespread throughout the animal kingdom, and that the legs and tails of newts could regenerate perfectly time after time. These studies provided much fuel to the contemporary debate between the preforma-tionists and epigeneticists, and won for Spallanzani his election as a foreign correspondent of the Royal Society.

The Italian connection was crucial to the early development of regeneration research, because in 1823 Todd (1) showed that the regeneration of newt limbs was completely inhibited when the nerve supply to the limb was cut. Todd was a physician who served in the Royal Navy and apparently performed his experiments while at the British...


Limb Regeneration Apical Ectodermal Ridge Blastemal Cell Mesodermal Tissue Adult Newt 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm Maden
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Centre for Developmental NeurobiologyKing's College LondonLondonUK

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