General, Research, Technology

Can new molars be grown?

Imagine that after a visit to the dentist andremoval of one of the 32 teeth, instead of installing crowns, bridges and implants, the lost tooth simply grows back. Agree, if it were possible, people would have fewer problems. Fortunately, the new experimental treatment offers hope for a bright future, however, provided that research in laboratory animals continues. Scientists at Kyoto University of Japan and Fukui University have developed monoclonal antibodies that appear to trigger the growth of new teeth in the body. If the upcoming experiments are successful, it may ultimately provide us with a way to restore teeth that have been lost in adulthood or those that have been missing since childhood due to congenital diseases.

Perhaps in the future we will forever forget about dental implants.

How to grow new teeth?

Discoveries of new overarching rules or "laws"very rare in nature. Surprisingly, scientists have recently discovered a new rule of biological growth that explains the unexpected similarity of sharp structures found on the tree of life - in teeth, horns, claws, beaks, animal shells, and even in thorns and thorns of plants.

New discovery published in BMC magazineBiology could help scientists look into the future of evolution to predict how animals, including humans, and their many parts, are likely to evolve.

"Power cascade" is observed in various life forms. The venomous spider fang in front of you is one of the prime examples of this process.

Over the years, researchers have been looking forregularity in how teeth grow. By looking at hundreds of teeth and measuring how they get wider as they grow, scientists have been able to derive a simple mathematical formula that underlies the shape of teeth - it's called "power law". According to this law, there is a direct relationship between the width of a tooth and its length.

I wonder what the study authors callpower cascade because it describes how the surface of a tooth “cascades” downward in a pattern. In the course of the work, the teeth of huge sharks, tyrannosaurs, mammoths and humans were studied - a "power cascade" was observed in all cases. The researchers also note that the "power cascade" can mimic the growth of the teeth of animals, including saber-toothed cats, tyrannosaurs and giant sharks.

See also: Why don't animals need to brush their teeth?

After examining the skull of a Triceratops, scientists discovered a cascade of power in the three horns and beak.

“Surprisingly, this rule also works forclaws, hooves, horns, spider fangs, snail shells, horns and beaks of mammals, birds and dinosaurs, "- as the study authors write in an article for The Conversation, a" power cascade "was found even in the horns of a Triceratops skeleton on display at the Melbourne Museum.

New law of nature

Animal evolution is believed to includemany "random" factors. This makes it difficult to accurately determine what animals will look like in many millennia. The power cascade is perhaps the simplest way to form a pointed structure when an animal is developing, for example, in the womb. Moreover, many structures, such as horns, evolved independently in different animals.

Read more fascinating articles about the latest scientific discoveries in the field of biology and medicine on our channel in Yandex.Zen. There are regularly published articles that are not on the site!

And yet, growing new molars is a challengecomplex. For example, genes that affect tooth growth have far-reaching effects on the development of the whole organism, and some of the first iterations of treatment actually provoked more birth defects in laboratory mice before the research team ironed out all the negative consequences.

To date, scientists have learned to help mice regrow lost teeth.

Eventually the team found thatblocking a gene called USAG-1 increases the activity of bone morphogenic protein (BMP), the molecule that determines how many teeth grow first and allows adult mice to repair whatever they were missing. The results from the study showed that a new tooth grows out after a single injection of the drug developed by the team.

This is interesting: What causes caries and how to protect teeth?

The experiment was also successful on ferrets, whichimportant, according to scientists, as their teeth are much more human-like than mouse teeth. The next step is to test for antibodies on other animals such as pigs and dogs. Of course, the researchers will not begin human trials anytime soon, but further success in the upcoming trials could be huge. change the way we think about teeth, their growth, disease and treatment.

In ferrets, as in humans, milk teeth are replaced by molars throughout life. Therefore, scientists consider the latest experiment to be especially successful.

Interestingly, in 1659, an anatomist, mathematician andphysicist Sir Christover Wren designed London's St Paul's Cathedral on the assumption that the shell of a snail might be a cone twisted into a logarithmic spiral. New research shows that shells and other shapes such as teeth and horns are actually a form of a power cascade called a "force cone" and complements existing knowledge about how animals and their body parts grow.