by Dr. Enozia Vakil on  February 6, 2013 at 12:06 PM Health In Focus
From Fish to Man
The evolution of man is probably the most controversial topic of debate since decades. However, new studies done by archeologists and geneticists may provide a key to resolving the quarrels raging since over half a century or more. New inventions and gene modifications have paved way for science and allowed us to look at the evolution of man in a whole new light.

Scientists from CSIC-Universidad Pablo de Olavide-Junta de Andalucía, in Seville, Spain have now demonstrated a whole new process of development of limbs from fins of a fish. This startling new concept may give us some deep insight about how man may have evolved from these inhabitants of oceans and seas.

The study reported in the December issue of Developmental Cell and the Cell Press Journal have provided new evidences of how the development of hands and feet in humans may have occurred due to gain of some new DNA elements that activate particular genes.

Dr. José Luis Gómez-Skarmeta of the CSIC-Universidad Pablo de Olavide-Junta de Andalucía and his colleagues introduced a gene called Hoxd13, at the tip of the zebrafish embryo's fin. This gene is thought to play a role in distinguishing body parts.

Introduction of this gene led to a startling discovery-it showed significant reduction of fin tissue and development of cartilage tissue in the baby zebrafish. Moreover, the Hoxd13 control element, responsible for expression of that gene, was also found to be present in zebrafish. This remnant of the control element hints that last common ancestor of finned animals may also have possessed this control element that may have led to the development of limbs in the next generation of the species.

This discovery will not just put an end to all the controversy about the evolution of man, but also help us gain some helpful insight about different limb malformation diseases that occur in humans like synpolydactyly (fusion of digits) and hand-foot genital syndrome (limb malformations and urogenital defects).

Source: Medindia

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