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Scientists find 'redesigned hammer' that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals
Date:9/18/2008

rimitive lineage with a placenta, to humans but does not exist in marsupials, like opossums or wallabies, where there is a brief and rudimentary pregnancy followed by development of the offspring outside the mother, or in egg-laying mammals like the platypus.

The textbook story is that regulatory proteins, like HoxA-11, are ancient, universal and unchanging tools, and that new functions arise by using an existing tool from the gene regulatory 'toolbox' in a new or different place.

According to Yale graduate student Vincent Lynch, lead author of the study, "We are writing a different chapter. In this case the function of a major regulatory tool was altered it is like we found a redesigned hammer."


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Contact: Janet Rettig Emanuel
janet.emanuel@yale.edu
203-432-2157
Yale University
Source:Eurekalert  

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