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Why can't we grow new body parts? Alan Russell on TED.com

Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine, a breakthrough way of treating disease and injury by helping the body to rebuild itself. He shows how engineered tissue that “speaks the body’s language” has helped a man regrow his lost fingertip, how stem cells can rebuild damaged heart muscle, and how cell therapy can regenerate the skin of burned soldiers. This new medicine comes just in time, Russell says — our aging population, with its steeply rising medical bills, will otherwise (and soon) cause a crisis in health care systems around the world. (Recorded February 2006 in Monterey, CA. Duration: 19:37. Contains graphic medical imagery.) Read more about Alan Russell on TED.com.

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