“Alligator pie, alligator pie, If I don’t get some I think I’m gonna die.” Sound far-fetched? Based on new research from George Mason University, this rhyme from Dennis Lee’s children’s book, “Alligator Pie,” may not be so far from the truth. Learn how the American alligator is fighting infection, one peptide at a time.
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of USC are studying the alligator for clues how to regenerate teeth in humans. The tooth structure of alligators is surprisingly similar to that of humans, except that an alligator has eighty teeth, each of which can be regenerated up to fifty times in a single day. The frequency at which American alligators can regenerate teeth is due to the activation of dormant stem cells which trigger the growth of a new tooth when the alligator loses one.