Although it might seem strange, sharks can actually aid in the healing of human wounds. According to research from Sweden's Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, sharks are the only fish that can heal and recover from wounds more quickly than any other.
The scientists discovered that sharks' skin is covered in a unique mucus film that resembles human mucus more than fish mucus produced by other species.
To understand why sharks heal from wounds so quickly, the researchers concentrated on the thin layer of mucus that covers the shark's rough-textured skin.
The scientists discovered that the chemical makeup of sharks differs significantly from that of the mucus secreted by bony fish.
Their mucus is actually more similar to that of mammals, including humans, and has an almost neutral pH, making it less acidic.
Shark molecular biology is unique, according to Jakab Wikstrom, associate professor and principal investigator at Karolinska, and his colleague, senior study author Etty Bachar-Wikström.
While describing the special qualities of sharks, they made it clear that they are not just regular fish swimming in the ocean.
They went on to say that because of the biology of sharks, there are probably a lot of biological uses for humans.
They continued by saying, for instance, that one could envision various topical treatments for wound care that could be developed from the study of mucin, which is the main component of mucus.
According to Wikström, since researchers have previously developed wound-healing therapies based on studies on codfish, it is conceivable that shark tissue could be used to produce a comparable treatment.
The researchers discovered that 99% of fish species are bony fishes, with sharks and skates making up only 1% of fish species.