Although humans possess same cells, their tooth regeneration ability is limited. But the study has identified a network of genes that enables sharks to develop and regenerate their teeth throughout their lifetime.

Researchers have identified how a special set of epithelial cells form, called the dental lamina, which are responsible for the lifelong continuation of tooth development and regeneration in sharks.

The genes also allow sharks to replace rows of their teeth using a conveyer belt-like system.

Humans also possess this set of cells, which facilitate the production of replacement teeth, but only two sets are formed - baby and adult teeth - before this set of specialised cells is lost.

These 'tooth' genes, therefore make all vertebrate teeth from sharks to mammals, however in mammals like humans, the tooth regeneration ability, that utilises these genes, has been highly reduced over time.

 

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