What is Regeneration? A Dive into the Science of Regrowth (Book Review) | New Scientist

The hydra can regenerate its entire body, including its head. Muscles (sepia) and the nerve net (blue and green) are tagged in this hydra image by John Szymanski.

Review of: What Is Regeneration? By Jane Maienschein and Kate MacCord University of Chicago Press (out 6 April)

SOME animals are able to grow an entire new body from tiny parts. Crabs and lobsters can regenerate lost tentacles and claws. Hydras and some worms can regrow their heads. We humans can replace our skin, hair, fingernails and even our liver.

Regeneration is such a peculiar ability that, even in science, it is surprisingly under-researched. As a result, there is much we still don’t know. What Is Regeneration? is a collaborative effort between Jane Maienschein and Kate MacCord, both at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, to fill some of the gaps. Together, they explore why regeneration occurs when it does, why it doesn’t always happen and what the process can tell us about the grander mysteries of birth, death and development. Read the full story.