UPDATE: This article has been fact-checked by Africa Check and rated partly false. The previous title—”Scientists Have Developed a Gel That Can Actually Regrow Tooth Enamel”—was misleading and has been updated for accuracy.
The new gel mimics tooth enamel but does NOT “regrow” it. We updated the article on February 3rd to reflect this.
(TMU) — It’s long been a basic matter of life that humans have only two sets of teeth in a lifetime: our baby teeth and our permanent “adult” teeth.
And while our teeth are the hardest bones in our body, billions of people throughout the world face the perpetual loss of tooth enamel—the mineralized substance protecting the surface of our teeth—thanks to tooth decay and various acids found in our foods and drinks.
And unlike tissue such as bone, muscle, and skin, once enamel is generated the cells that produce it immediately die—meaning that when enamel erodes, breaks, or chips, it can never regenerate itself again.
A team of scientists in China have now developed a liquid solution that helps recover the tough external surface of damaged tooth enamel through the use of a material that mimics the natural mineralization process of our teeth’s protective outer layer.
The method, published in the journal Science Advances this week, replicates the biomineralization process whereby cells known as ameloblasts secrete proteins that eventually become enamel.
The team of researchers from Zhejiang University School of Medicine in China mixed the two minerals found in enamel—calcium and phosphate ions—into an alcoholic solution with the organic compound trimethylamine, before applying it to samples of damaged teeth.
Scientists were able to create a new layer of enamel roughly 3 micrometers thick over the course of 48 hours using the gel they created.
The breakthrough technique, billed as a world-first, is remarkable because past attempts have failed due to the complex, crystalline nature of enamel and the impossibility of replicating it in a lab.
The researchers wrote in their study:
“We herein reveal that a rationally designed material composed of calcium phosphate ion clusters can be used to produce a precursor layer to induce the epitaxial crystal growth of enamel apatite, which mimics the biomineralization crystalline-amorphous frontier of hard tissue development in nature.”
The team hopes to launch clinical trials in the next one to two years after testing their technique within the human mouth.
Biomimetics and material scientist Zhaoming Liu, a co-author of the study, told Sky News:
“Our newly regenerated enamel has the same structure and similar mechanical properties as native enamel.
We hope to realize tooth enamel regrowth without using fillings which contain totally different materials and we hope, if all goes smoothly, to start trials in people within one to two years.”
Various products that prevent the erosion and decay of enamel are already available for retail, but this new method could potentially repair decayed teeth and prevent tooth decay for good.
Chen Haifeng, an associate professor at Peking University’s biomedical engineering department, warns that we should still be careful about our dental health while the new material undergoes tests.
“Prevention is the best approach. We should never wait until the damage is done. Our teeth are a miracle of nature. Artificial replacement will never do the job as well.”
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”
Binx the Cat, Who Survived Florida Condo Collapse, Found and Reunited With Family
Amid the tragedy of last month’s collapse of a South Florida condo building, there was a tiny bit of good news when a cat named Binx, who lived on the ninth floor of the Surfside building, was found safe and returned to his family.
“I’m glad that this small miracle could bring some light into the lives of a hurting family today and provide a bright spot for our whole community in the midst of this terrible tragedy,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava in a Friday press conference, reports NPR.
Levine Cava explained that a volunteer who feeds street cats in the area recognized the cat near the building before bringing him to an animal shelter, where it was then identified.
Gina Nicole Vlasek, the co-founder of the The Kitty Campus rescue group, posted on Facebook that a black cat had been found near the rubble of the group before it was brought to the shelter on Thursday night.
“We are so grateful to be able to help in any small way,” Vlasek said.
“All we needed was a ray of hope in this tragedy,” she continued. “Today was one of the most amazing days.. one of the survivors came to see the cat and to determine if it was her families cat and IT WAS!”
The mayor said that animal control workers are continuing to work to recover any pets that may have survived the horrible collapse.
The 12-story Surfside condo collapsed on June 24. At least 79 people have been confirmed dead, with 61 additional residents remaining unaccounted for.