For people like Lee, these scientific advances couldn't have come at a better time. A few years ago, he was building a model airplane when he accidentally cut off part of the middle finger on his right hand.
Thankfully, Lee's brother, Dr. Alan Spievack, was a pioneer in cellular regeneration. He gave Lee a powder made from the extracellular matrix material found in pig bladders. "I applied that to the wound and just put a Band-Aid over it," Lee says. "I did it for 10 days ... and in four weeks, I regrew the finger."
Lee says the powder keeps the wound from healing, and in turn, the body sends new cells to that area. Now, Lee's regenerated finger functions and looks just like the others. The only difference? He says the nail grows more quickly than the rest. "This [new nail] is 70 years old," Lee says. "This [regenerated nail] is only three and a half years old. It grows like a tree."
Dr. Oz says cellular regeneration research is ongoing at the University of Pittsburgh.