Humanosity says…it feels like we are on the brink of medical breakthroughs that have the ability to radically alter our ability to heal. This article looks at the science that is starting to uncover the human body’s ability to heal itself, by showing that humans can regrow cartilage…
Salamanders are well-known for being able to regrow new limbs, but it turns out that a similar process takes place in the human body, according to a study published in the journal Science Advances.
The scientists from Duke Health identified a mechanism for cartilage repair which they say could have important implications, potentially opening the door to new treatments for osteoarthritis—the world’s most common joint disorder—as well as methods to grow human body parts.
“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,” Virginia Byers Kraus, a senior author of the study from the departments of Medicine, Pathology and Orthopedic Surgery at Duke, said in a statement.
For the research, the scientists used a technique known as “mass spectrometry” to determine the age of cartilage throughout the body. This analysis revealed that cartilage has different “ages” depending on where it is located: young in the ankles, middle-aged in the knees and old in the hips.
“In our efforts to understand the proteins in cartilage, we discovered big differences in the chemical modifications of the proteins in hip, knee and ankle cartilages,” Kraus told Newsweek. “These types of modifications build up if the tissue is not repairing or turning over—the process of getting rid of old protein while making new protein.”
“Hip cartilage proteins had an abundance of chemical modifications of proteins while the knee had moderate amounts and the ankle very few proteins with these chemical modifications,” she said. “This showed that the ankle was in a high state of repair or turnover, the hip in a low state of repair and the knee in between.”
These results mimic those seen in animals which regenerate their limbs beginning at the furthest tips….