Navigation Links
Scientists find out why living things are the size they are -- and none other

If you consider yourself to be too short or too tall, things are looking up, or down, depending on your vertical disposition. New research published online in The FASEB Journal ( explains how we grow, how our bodies maintain correct proportions, and offers insight into what goes wrong with growth disorders and unregulated cell growth in cancer.

"We hope that these insights into the mechanisms controlling body growth will help us understand better the reasons for the excessive growth of cancer cells and also provide new approaches to turn growth back on in normal cells in order to regenerate damaged organs," said Julian C. Lui, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Scientists studied which genes were active in young animals (growing rapidly) and compared them to the same genes in older animals (growing slowly). Then they identified which genes were "turned off" simultaneously in multiple organs with age. To understand the consequences of these genes being turned off, the researchers experimentally turned them off in cultured cells and observed the effects. They found that rapid growth in early life is a response to the activation of multiple genes that stimulate growth. These same genes are progressively turned off during the maturation process, causing growth to slow. This process occurs simultaneously in multiple organs, which explains why organs all stay in proportional size as the body grows. This process is not controlled by age. Instead, genes are turned off when organs achieve a certain level of growth.

"This important work answers the question of why any animal including us has a certain size," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "As this study shows, growth is dictated by organ development, and no one wishes their organs to be abnormally large or small."


Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists: Soccer improves health, fitness and social abilities
2. Pan-Asian hub for life scientists to open in Suzhou, China, on Monday, April 6
3. Scientists Find Clues to How the Body Fights Off HIV
4. Caltech scientists uncover structure of key protein in common HIV subgroup
5. Start spreading the news: NYU scientists find therapeutic target to stop cancer metastases
6. Scientists Tweak Subjects Brains to Alter Their Moral Choices
7. Scientists in hot pursuit of first new drug for global killer in 50 years
8. Top Scientists Explore the Origin of Life in Annual Lasker Lecture at Scripps Research Institute Florida Campus
9. Anti-obesity drugs unlikely to provide lasting benefit according to scientists
10. University of Michigan scientists identify chemical in bananas as potent inhibitor of HIV infection
11. Scientists Find Stem Cells in Hair That Can Become Skin
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... , ... The Foundation for Breast and Prostate Health (FBPH)—a ... with the award-winning creator and writer of Downton Abbey Julian Fellowes to host ... Union League of Philadelphia. , The benefit, titled “An Evening with Julian ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Specialty Ingredients (ASI) as their exclusive channel partner for the Nutraceutical Specialties products ... markets in the US, effective immediately. , “We are pleased to announce ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... California-based i2i Systems, a ... today that Michigan-based Family Health Center (FHC) has selected i2iTracks as their population ... was awarded the largest Affordable Care Act grant for Federally Qualified Health Centers ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... PITTSBURGH, PA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... quality of life in the womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due ... way for mothers to protect their babies from noise pollution as well as radio ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... In an interview with Andy ... a top ophthalmologist on Long Island’s east end. During the broadcast, entitled “Eyes: the ... and treatment of glaucoma and cataracts, and how a visit with his grandmother to ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... LAKE CITY , Nov. 30, 2015 Booth ... (NYSE: VAR ) will exhibit a broader array of ... of the Radiological Society of North America ... Varian exhibit at the meeting will feature X-ray components "At ... CT tube, a line of products from Varian,s Claymount brand, ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... Belgium , Nov. 30, 2015   VolitionRx Limited ... developing blood-based diagnostic tests for a broad range of cancer ... at the LD Micro Conference, which will be held December ... Attending from VolitionRx will be David Kratochvil , ... Vice President of Investor Relations. ® blood-based ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... and REHOVOT, Israel , Nov. ... pharmaceutical company focused on acquiring and developing innovative therapies ... the appointment of Keith A. Katkin as ... Gregory J. Flesher , chief executive officer for OticPharma, ... successful organizations.  As chairman, he will be able to ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: