Whenever the topic of re-growing human limbs is posed for discussion, it is often argued that 'if a newt can do it, then so can we'. This notion, albeit promising, is somewhat like watching a science-fiction film; the individual components are currently available but we are far from realizing the complete picture. Today's reality is that if we are faced with a limb-severing injury, any regenerative attempt would endeavour to accelerate the pace at which the tissue heals to a clinically relevant/functional state. The science of limb regeneration can be approached from three different angles, developmental biology; regenerative medicine; and tissue engineering. This opinion piece describes how each approach can be used to understand the concepts behind regeneration, how far each approach has advanced and the hurdles faced by each of the approaches.