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UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs

ing that many of these genes are responsible for limb defects in humans is intriguing," Cohn said. "What we've done is identify where those developmental pathways originated during our evolutionary past and how they became involved in limb development."

Learning the mechanics of development enriches our understanding of evolution, according to Ann Campbell Burke, Ph.D., an associate professor of biology at Wesleyan University who was not connected with the study.

"Using modern molecular techniques, this confirms in a lovely way an idea that's been around for over 100 years about how paired fins may have evolved in the first place," Burke said. "To translate a 19th century observation about fin development into modern molecular data is a great thing for science. It has become increasingly important to understand developmental processes in our attempts to understand evolution."


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Source:University of Florida


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