Salamander may help amputees

PUBLISHED : Monday, 06 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 06 July, 2009, 12:00am

Scientists are genetically modifying a strange-looking Mexican salamander in the hope that its ability to regenerate body parts will one day help human amputees.

Also known as a 'water monster', the 15-cm-long axolotl is nearly extinct in its only remaining habitat: the polluted remains of Aztec canals that snake through southern Mexico City, packed with colourful boats carrying tourists and musicians.

According to ancient mythology, the creature is a transformed Aztec god.