Navigation Links
College scientist cites enlarged skeletal muscles as reason birds exist
Date:6/22/2011

A developmental biologist at New York Medical College is proposing a new theory of the origin of birds, which traditionally has been thought to be driven by the evolution of flight. Instead, Stuart A. Newman, Ph.D., credits the emergence of enlarged skeletal muscles as the basis for their upright two-leggedness, which led to the opportunity for other adaptive changes like flying or swimming. And it is all based on the loss of a gene that is critical to the ability of other warm-blooded animals to generate heat for survival.

Dr. Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy, studies the diversity of life and how it got that way. His research has always centered on bird development, though this current study, "Thermogenesis, muscle hyperplasia, and the origin of birds," also draws from paleontology, genetics, and the physiology of fat.

Dr. Newman draws on earlier work from his laboratory (Mezentseva et al. BMC Biology 6:17; 2008) which provided evidence for the loss, in the common dinosaur ancestors of birds and lizards, of the gene for uncoupling protein-1 (UCP1). The product of this gene is essential for the ability of "brown fat," tissue that protects newborns of mammals from hypothermia, to generate heat. In birds, heat generation is mainly a function of skeletal muscles.

"Unlike the scenario in which the evolution of flight is the driving force for the origin of birds, the muscle expansion theory does not require functionally operative intermediates in the transition to flight, swimming, or winglessness, nor does it require that all modern flightless birds, such as ostriches and penguins, had flying ancestors. It does suggest that the extinction of non-avian dinosaurs may have been related to a failure to evolve compensatory heat-generating mechanisms in face of the loss of UCP1," says the scientist.


'/>"/>

Contact: Donna E. Moriarty, M.P.H.
donna_moriarty@nymc.edu
914-594-4536
New York Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. UA engineering college lands national support for equipment used in unique research
2. Media invitation: Pioneer of organ-on-a-chip technology to speak at Imperial College London
3. Michael S. Watson, Ph.D., receives Am College of Medical Genetics-ACMG Foundation Presidents Award
4. Anna-Kaisa Niemi awarded 2011 Genzyme/ American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Fellowship
5. UM College of Arts and Sciences student is awarded AACR-Thomas J. Bardos Science Education Award
6. Albert Einstein College of Medicine geneticist wins Sloan Research Fellowship
7. 6 LSU College of Science faculty named AAAS Fellows
8. College students lack scientific literacy, study finds
9. UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics professor to be inducted to AIMBE College of Fellows
10. Program for young students increases interest in college attendance and medical careers
11. APHA 2010: College days -- more sedentary days
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2016)... , UAE, April 20, 2016 ... be implemented as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution ... the biometric fingerprint reader or the door interface with ... of modern access control systems. The minimal dimensions of ... ID readers into the building installations offer considerable freedom ...
(Date:4/15/2016)... DUBLIN , April 15, 2016 ... of the,  "Global Gait Biometrics Market 2016-2020,"  report ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160330/349511LOGO ) , ,The global gait ... CAGR of 13.98% during the period 2016-2020. ... movement angles, which can be used to compute ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... CHICAGO , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can ... weight, pulse and body mass index, and, when they ... quick and convenient visit to a local retail location ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... This unique "Fertility Happy Hour" event will be held ... to get the lowdown on female fertility and the reproductive technologies that are empowering ... of Boston IVF - The Arizona Center, will give a short presentation and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... Seattle based non-profit, The Institute ... 1Plus12 Corporation. The grant will be used to further the scientific research goals ... website http://www.ivsci.org , In accounting the grant to the IVS, Mr. ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... April 26, 2016 , ... uBiome, the leading microbial genomics ... on the company’s Advisory Board. Prior to co-founding Plum in 2007, Neil Grimmer was ... at IDEO. , A renowned, innovative designer of ideas, products, and brands, Grimmer has ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... 2016 genae, a Contract Research ... announced today the appointment of Prof. Dr. Jörn Balzer ... responsibilities will include all clinical, safety and risk management ... privileged and honored with the acceptance of Prof. Balzer ... CEO at genae. "Prof. Balzer,s impressive and extensive background ...
Breaking Biology Technology: