Salamanders, and lizards, too, are renowned for their ability to regrow their limbs. In a new study, scientists concluded that humans could regrow cartilages like a salamander. This ability could boost the production of treatments for several diseases like osteoarthritis.
The study was issued in the Science Advances journal, and scientists from Duke University in North Carolina and Sweden’s Lund University were behind the research.
The researches focused on the age of proteins in human cartilage to estimate the number of amino acid conversions. The scientists discovered that the cartilages in ankles were younger than the others. That means the respective cartilages are regenerating at a faster pace than those in knees and hips.
“These findings reveal a dynamic anabolic effect in human limbs, which reflect a potential innate, albeit limited, regenerative capacity in human cartilage,” the study reads, as reported by National Post.
New Research Showed That Humans Can Regrow Cartilages Like A Salamander
According to the study, proteins involved in repairing ankle injuries help the cartilages heal faster. On the other hand, knee and hip damages heal much slower than ankle lacerations. The research showed that some human cartilages could regrow like the members of a salamander.
“We believe that an understanding of this ‘salamander-like’ regenerative capacity in humans, and the critically missing components of this regulatory circuit, could provide the foundation for new approaches to repair joint tissues and possibly whole human limbs,” explained Virginia Byers Kraus, the study’s leading author, a researcher at Duke University in North Carolina.
The researchers agreed that more studies must be conducted on the microRNA molecules in humans to research for a better cure for joint issues.
“If we can figure out what regulators we are missing compared with salamanders, we might even be able to add the missing components back and develop a way someday to regenerate part or all of an injured human limb. We believe this is a fundamental mechanism of repair that could be applied to many tissues, not just cartilage,” concluded Virginia Byers Kraus.