A child who was expected to die from a devastating skin disease is alive today thanks to an experimental treatment that grew him a whole new skin. 

Hassan, a 7-year-old Syrian boy living in Germany, was born with a condition called epidermolysis bullosa that prevented the outer layer of skin from binding to the inner layer and left him with painful blisters starting when he was just a few days old, NPR reports. 

After skin grafts from the boy's father failed, doctors thought there was no hope, but they managed to save him with a treatment devised by scientists in Italy. A team led by Michele De Luca of the University of Modena repaired DNA from a sample of the boy's skin and was able to grow whole new sheets of epidermis.

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