Science — 2015/05/17

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. How birds got their beaks“, by Elizabeth Pennisi (Science). Dr. Abzhanov and Dr. Bhullar “have demonstrated a powerful new approach: pinning down how anatomy changes using fossils, then trying the recapitulate the changes in the lab by tinkering with genetic signals”. Their study suggests that the genes Fibroblast growth factor 8 (Fgf8) and WNT were involved in the evolution of beaks from snouts. Other researchers express reservations about these pathways, proposing sonic hedgehog (SHH) as the critical gene in beak formation.