The name of the individual is Michael Levin, and he’s the professor of the Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology at Tufts University. An article recently published in Muse magazine tells of Levin’s belief that the electric signaling of the cells of the human body may be a key to many other functions, including regeneration. Levin even feels that understanding the role of electricity in our bodies might eventually allow people to regrow a lost leg or arm!
This reminds me of the time when my book on electricity was first published, and then later translated into Italian. I was pleased to learn that one of my counterparts on the other side of the Atlantic, an Italian scientist named Luigi Galvani, of Bologna, had read my book, and was influenced by my “one fluid” theory, including my explanation of the Leyden Jar, an early type of condenser. Galvani came up with an analogy between the Leyden Jar and animal muscle, and so carried out his experiments with this in mind. He, like myself, used lightning to study electricity, in his particular case, its effects on muscular contractions in a frog. He was able to prove that electricity produced muscular convulsions!
Of course it’s a very long stretch from the time of Galvani and myself to the present, and the work of Michael Levin. But who knew that Galvani’s famous jumping frogs would ultimately lead to such groundbreaking research at Tufts University? If Levin successfully continues with his work, we may even see electrical regeneration of lost human limbs in our lifetimes!
Your humble servant,