Humans have a salamander-like ability to regrow cartilage in joints, a team of scientists has found.

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 that 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.

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