July 28, 2017

Applying Shark Science to Human Health

Viewers of the Discovery Channel’s highly anticipated Shark Week may not know about the different role sharks play aside from teeth-thrashing and jaw-clamping they see on television.
By Jennifer Barrett
Sharks may get a bad reputation, but that doesn’t stop viewers from tuning in every year for the Discovery Channel’s highly anticipated Shark Week.

But viewers may not know about the different role sharks play aside from teeth-thrashing and jaw-clamping on television.

Researchers have been increasingly focused on applying shark science to human health in cutting edge research that may lead to several discoveries in medicine.

Sink your teeth into these 5 ways that sharks could benefit humans, potentially leading to new drug developments.


1. Wound Healing
Sharks can heal quickly from wounds and also resist infections, making their genome interesting to researchers. By sequencing the sharks’ genome, researchers are trying to understand which genes contribute to this quick-healing ability and translate this into the development of wound healing human medicine.

A graft device approved by the FDA, called Omnigraft Dermal Regeneration Matrix, for instance, uses a combination of silicone, cow collagen, and shark cartilage to treat life-threatening burns and diabetic foot ulcers.1



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