Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Hens’ teeth not so rare after all

23.02.2006


Scientists have discovered that rarest of things: a chicken with teeth – crocodile teeth to be precise.



Contrary to the well-known phrase, ‘As rare as hens’ teeth,’ the researchers say they have found a naturally occurring mutant chicken called Talpid that has a complete set of ivories.

The team, based at the Universities of Manchester and Wisconsin, have also managed to induce teeth growth in normal chickens – activating genes that have lain dormant for 80 million years.


Professor Mark Ferguson, one of the scientific team at the University of Manchester, says the research – published in Current Biology this week – has major implications in understanding the processes of evolution. It could also have applications in tissue regeneration, including the replacement of lost teeth in humans.

“The mutant bird has severe limb defects and dies before it can hatch,” explained Professor Ferguson, who is based in the University’s Faculty of Life Sciences.

“It was discovered 50 years ago but no one has ever examined its mouth. What we discovered were teeth similar to those of crocodiles – not surprising as birds are the closest living relatives of the reptile.”

The discovery led the team to wonder whether healthy chickens might still maintain the genetic pathways to re-grow teeth.

“We found we were able to induce teeth to grow in normal chickens by making changes to the expression of particular molecules,” said Professor Ferguson.

“All the pathways to make teeth are preserved which helps us understand how evolutionary changes can be brought about by subtle alterations in developmental biology.”

Professor Ferguson says a direct application of the research could be in the re-growing of teeth in people who have lost them through accident or disease.

But the study has implications for tissue regeneration more widely.

“The principle of activating specific dormant pathways to stimulate regeneration instead of repair has made applications, to injury, surgery and human disease,” he said.

Indeed, building on previous discoveries of scar-free healing in embryos, Professor Mark Ferguson and Dr Sharon O’Kane founded Renovo, a spin-out company from The University of Manchester, which is developing novel pharmaceuticals for the prevention and reduction of scarring.

“Renovo now employs about 100 staff and is the world-leading company in researching and developing novel pharmaceuticals to prevent and improve scarring.”

Aeron Haworth | alfa
Further information:
http://www.manchester.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>