Full-body, genetically modified skin transplant saves life of boy with rare disease

After losing 80 percent of his skin to a devastating genetic disease, a seven-year-old boy underwent an experimental treatment replacing his epidermis with new skin grown in a lab from genetically modified stem cells. Two years on from the dramatic surgery the boy is alive, well, and back at school.

Referred to as a “butterfly child,” because of the fragility of his skin, the boy suffers from a rare and incurable skin disease called epidermolysis bullosa. The disease is caused by mutations in genes responsible for skin regeneration and result in skin that is very easily blistered or wounded.

Read More: New Atlas Magazine