An advance in the methodologies of nerve repair: "scientists believe a new procedure to repair severed nerves could result in patients recovering in days or weeks, rather than months or years. The team used a cellular mechanism similar to that used by many invertebrates to repair damage to nerve axons. ... We have developed a procedure which can repair severed nerves within minutes so that the behavior they control can be partially restored within days and often largely restored within two to four weeks. If further developed in clinical trials this approach would be a great advance on current procedures that usually imperfectly restore lost function within months at best. ... nerve axons of invertebrates which have been severed from their cell body do not degenerate within days, as happens with mammals, but can survive for months, or even years. The severed proximal nerve axon in invertebrates can also reconnect with its surviving distal nerve axon to produce much quicker and much better restoration of behaviour than occurs in mammals. ... Severed invertebrate nerve axons can reconnect proximal and distal ends of severed nerve axons within seven days, allowing a rate of behavioural recovery that is far superior to mammals. In mammals the severed distal axonal stump degenerates within three days and it can take nerve growths from proximal axonal stumps months or years to regenerate and restore use of muscles or sensory areas, often with less accuracy and with much less function being restored. ... The team described their success in applying this process to rats ... The team were able to repair severed sciatic nerves in the upper thigh, with results showing the rats were able to use their limb within a week and had much function restored within 2 to 4 weeks."