Regenerative medicine has long targeted the impossible - regrowing a diseased organ, or a hand lost in an accident. But biologist Michael Levin thinks an astonishing breakthrough may be within reach. He has resurrected a much-maligned branch of science, and shown that a little-understood process can trigger remarkable feats of regeneration in animals. As his research advances, he's moving us closer to the day when regeneration is possible in people.
Levin isn't focused on genetics or stem cells. His secret is electricity. Long dismissed as quackery thanks to its "Frankenstein" connotations, the idea that charge and voltage help shape our bodies is now being revived. In this profile from new digital publisher, MATTER, award-winning science journalist Cynthia Graber traces Levin's roots from Moscow to Massachusetts - and describes how his ideas are about to face their biggest test yet.