Scientists have turned crocodile scales into feathers to learn how dinosaur birds evolved – tech2.org

Scientists have turned crocodile scales into feathers to learn how dinosaur birds evolved



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The scientists took crocodile scales and turned them into pens in the laboratory. If you are the main question when you hear it is "why?", Everything was done to better understand how dinosaurs developed feathers and how dinosaur birds evolved.

"In human evolution, the great achievement is the brain, in birds are feathers," said lead author Cheng-Ming Choung, a professor in the Department of Pathology at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, BBC, as reported by Newsweek .

According to Newsweek the scientists identified the genes that develop feathers in birds and stimulated the same genes in the crocodile embryos that activated the crocodile scales to turn them into feathers. The full text of his research can be found in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution .

Dinosaurs that evolved in birds had scales, but according to an article published in Smithsonian Mag since 1996, paleontologists have found about 30 types of feathered dinosaurs. These dinosaurs were not ancestors of modern birds, but they had protoplumes that were made of branched filaments. They would look more like hair than we have come to recognize as the feathers of birds.

The majority of these feathered dinosaurs were coelurosaurs: the large group of theropod dinosaurs that includes tyrannosaurs, deinonychosaurs and the therizinosaurs, among others. The "feathers" were not only found in small dinosaurs similar to birds. Tyrannosaurs thirty feet long, like the Yutyrannus, also had this layer of protoplasts.

Using crocodile tissue, scientists unlock the process like the one that allows dinosaurs to produce feathers https://t.co/dKousBzzy2 pic .twitter.com / o98AcqrnUb

– Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 2, 2017

Although they evolved from dinosaurs, most birds today do not have these protofeathers.

Alligators, on the other hand, are almost biologically identical to their ancestors for 8 million years, according to a study from the University of Florida. This is one of the reasons why scientists chose their scales for studying the feathers of dinosaurs. In addition, birds and alligators have a common ancestor, the archosaur, Newsweek notes.

Given their success in handling crocodile scales on feathers, the research team has begun collaborating with plastic surgeons to find out how their findings can help resuscitate human scar tissue. Scar tissue often blocks the formation of new skin cells in the affected area, even after it is completely healed. The research could be the missing piece that allows scientists to decipher the code for skin regeneration that will help reduce the prominence of the appearance of a scar.

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