Previously this group of researchers created a three-eyed dung beetles randomly locking of the genes responsible for the development of the head of an insect, they got beetles without horns, but with three eyes.
This time they experimented with two species of beetles of the scarab family, blocking the only one responsible for the formation of the head gene. A new eye was formed directly between a pair of normal eyes. It was formed by the same cell types as other eyes, has the same structure and just reacts to stimuli.
The researchers hope that the findings will allow to better understand the mechanisms of formation and development of organs — it will also enhance the possibility of growing artificial organs in the laboratory, both for research and for medical purposes.
Image — Eduardo Zattara (Indiana University)