Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mice teeth explain the troubles with human wisdom teeth

27.09.2007
During evolution, many of a species’ properties are shaped by ecological interactions. This is readily evident in mammalian teeth, whose many features closely reflect what each species eats.

However, for a long time scientists have suspected that genetic and developmental interactions may also influence species-specific properties.

Now, researchers at the University of Helsinki’s Institute of Biotechnology show how development affects the evolution of teeth, and have devised a simple developmental model to predict aspects of teeth across many species. The results were published in Nature.

In the study in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, the researchers Kathryn Kavanagh, Jukka Jernvall and Alistair Evans in the Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Helsinki first studied cheek tooth, or molar, development in mice. Similarly to human teeth, mouse molars develop from front-to-back so that the first molar appears first and the posterior molars bud sequentially along the jaw. Normally the last molar to develop is the third, or wisdom tooth. Experiments on cultured mouse molars revealed that the size and number of posterior molars depend on previously initiated molars.

... more about:
»Development »Evolution »WISDOM »teeth

The mechanism, called an ‘inhibitory cascade’, acts much like a ratchet that cumulatively increases size differences of teeth along the jaw. By quantifying their experiments, the researchers constructed a simple mathematical model which they then used to predict relative size and number of molars across many other mouse and rat species. They show that the model accurately predicts tooth proportions and numbers, one curious effect being that the second molar makes up one-third of total molar area, irrespective of species-specific molar proportions.

This new research demonstrates that with advances in the study of the molecular regulation of development, it is now possible to identify how development influences evolution. And this may help explain the troublesome wisdom teeth of modern humans - the blame may lie within a weak inhibitory cascade that allows the development of the last molar in a jaw that is too small.

The article Predicting evolutionary patterns of mammalian teeth from development by K. Kavanagh, J. Jernvall and A. Evans will be published in Nature September 27th.

Maria Peltonen | alfa
Further information:
http://www.helsinki.fi

Further reports about: Development Evolution WISDOM teeth

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Cells communicate in a dynamic code
19.02.2018 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Studying mitosis' structure to understand the inside of cancer cells
19.02.2018 | Biophysical Society

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

Im Focus: Stem cell divisions in the adult brain seen for the first time

Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.

The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...

Im Focus: Interference as a new method for cooling quantum devices

Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters

Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

When Proteins Shake Hands

19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

Cells communicate in a dynamic code

19.02.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>