Your Inner Fish Part 2

What did you think about the reading?

As I said a fortnight ago, Neil Shubin’s book was a pleasure to read and incapable of straining my attention. Zealous in my reading, I had finished ahead of schedule and regrettably have little to write in regards to this segment.

What did you learn?

Shubin drew to my attention the difference between human sets of teeth those of a reptile. Now when I see a crocodile on the television or in pictures, I am always drawn to the lack of uniformity in their teeth or “precise occlusion” as Shubin says in his book. I also discovered that teeth are the best-preserved part of an animal, contrary to my belief of teeth having equal durability as bone.

What questions do you still have?

If the zone of polarizing activity (ZPA) controls the development and appearance of digits on a limb bud, could it be used to regenerate limbs?

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4 thoughts on “Your Inner Fish Part 2

  1. Narrowing it down to the zone of polarizing affect for limb regeneration is clever. Eventually, I think we will be able to link either the ZPA or other control genes to limb regeneration. We are probably missing the technology and some key ideas on how to manipulate it along with other structures to our advantage. I believe with time we will achieve it some day.

  2. Thats extremely clever, but isn’t this gene are almost surely deactivated and silenced by being “stored” around histones. The key to succeeding in such a ventureI would think lies in creating technology reversing the genes deactivation. Modifying chromatin at such a microscopic level is a tremendous challenge. In the future, using stem cell research, it should be possible to cultivate the cells which are responsible for constituting the zone of polarizing activity and then implant them in the area the needs regenerating,right?

  3. I believe investigating possible limb regeneration using ZPA would be a valid route for potential study. However, I believe that the location of the gene would be important for regeneration. Shubin noted that growth (in terms of type and amount) was dependent on the location of the ZPA, so there would need to be a way to check that the ZPA does not grow a limb backwards or mirrored or along those lines.

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