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What science says about shark skin’s amazing ability to heal wounds

What science says about shark skin’s amazing ability to heal wounds

The mucus layer covering the skin of fish such as sharks has several functions, including protection from pathogens and mechanical damage.
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In the vast underwater world, Sharks are not only distinguished by their majestic presence and crucial role in ecological balanceBut also because of an amazing feature that left the scientific community amazed: The amazing regenerative power of your skin.

Most of the evidence has been gathered by observing these fish in their natural habitat, which is no easy task. However, two dermatologists from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden wanted to go a step further and performed an operation Study to determine what shark skin is Very special.

The ability to quickly regenerate their skin allows these marine predators, sharks, to recover quickly from wounds and injuries, ensuring their survival in a competitive aquatic world.

The research was conducted at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) at the University of Chicago in the United States, in a way. A small shark known as a “dogfish” and other types of cartilaginous fish, Including small fonts.

The secret is in chemistry

As Ete Bachar Vikström, one of the researchers at Karolinska Institutet in this study, explained in an article Official announcementThat was the goal “Shark skin is unique at the molecular level“It’s something that has never been done in depth before.”

The study determined that the layer of mucus covering the shark’s skin is chemically different from that found in other fish, and has properties that make it more similar to that of mammals, including human mucus.

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Jacob Wickstrom, lead researcher, commented that this is “Further evidence that the molecular biology of sharks is unique. They’re not just another fish swimming around. They have a unique biology perhaps “Many biomedical applications for humans can be derived from it.”.

Potential contribution to human medicine

Imagine you cut your skin due to negligence or were seriously injured in an accident: it would be great to have the same ability as sharks and to heal in the blink of an eye, right?

Understanding the mechanism of shark skin regeneration Through studies like this, doors open to the world of… Potential in biomedicine.

Shark or dogfish
Research is ongoing to better understand the mechanisms behind this regeneration and explore whether biological principles can be applied to improve wound healing in humans. Image credits: Eti Bashar-Wickström, MBL

Wikström ventures out with ideas. “For example, when it comes to mucin – the main component of mucus – you can imagine it differently Topical treatments or creams to treat wounds from which it can be developed.”

Products have already been developed to treat cod-derived wounds, he says, and it’s entirely possible they could do the same based on what can be discovered about shark skin.

Don’t forget to respect marine life

While the oceans face challenges such as overfishing and pollution, while the oceans face challenges such as overfishing and pollution Understand the unique adaptations of sharksLike you Renewal capacitybecomes necessary for Guaranteed survival One of these species is vital to marine balance.

Studying these regeneration capacities also highlights the importance of conserving sharks and their habitats.

The team responsible for the study stated that “in addition to its importance for humans, “It is also important to describe these amazing animals and learn more about them and how they survive in their environment.”highlighting that this is just The first step towards molecular understanding Deeper than these animals.

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In the fascinating world of sharks, skin reveals amazing secrets, and who knows, we might be about to discover the next medical hero in the depths of the ocean!

News reference
Bashar-Wickström E, Thompson KA, Seehlbaum C, Abu L, Tartur H, Linden SK, Wickström JD. Identification of novel glycans in the mucous layer of shark skin and skate skin. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2023.