Maybe you take a spill on an asphalt path and scrape your knees, and on that same day, a fellow runner friend does the same on a trail run. Days later, your friend only has minor evidence of the incident, while your scrapes still look fresh. Is it the difference between dirt and pavement?

The more likely answer is that the difference could be related to genetics, according to new research.

The study, published in PLOS Pathogens, found that genetic variability across 164 patients influences the composition of wounds and how they heal. Specifically, the forms of bacteria present in wounds have a genetic component that could make it easier to identify who would struggle with slower wound healing.

Researchers found that genetic variation in two genes, TLN2 and ZNF521, was associated with both the number of bacteria in wounds and the prevalence of common pathogens that causes slower healing.

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