Earlier American researchers led by Arhat Abzhanova from Harvard University have successfully created embryos of chickens with snouts of dinosaurs, suppress the action of proteins that trigger the development of the beak. Now joão Botelho, from the laboratory of Alexander Vargas (University of Chile) continued the work of colleagues on the resurrection of the ancestors of birds.
Scientists were able to recreate the process of development the clutches of the dinosaur in chickens, modifying the action of one of the genes. The attention of researchers was attracted by a slight difference in the structure of the legs in birds and dinosaurs: the length of the fibula in chickens less than the length of the tibia, while the dinosaurs of the long bones is almost identical and they both connect to the ankle joint.
Paws embryo chickens repeat the structure of the paws of the lizards, but in the early stages of the development of the fibula stops growing and then becomes a characteristic of the "acute".
For this change, according to preliminary hypothesis, answer two genes of Indian Hedgehog (IHH) and PTHrP. The hypothesis was confirmed in the process of the experiment is the suppression of the action of IHH protein has led to the continued growth of the fibula. Same PthrP gene, researchers found, was responsible for the growth of cartilaginous tissue on a bone edge and connecting the fibula with the ankle joint. In the end, the chickens were born with legs, like the limbs of dinosaurs.
Genetics birds are the closest of all living classes in fossil lizards. According to the views of biologists that birds are the direct descendants of dinosaurs. The study continued a series of laboratory experiments on manipulation of the proteins that are responsible for embryonic development, and has brought the scientific world to answer the mysteries of the evolution from dinosaurs to modern animals at the molecular level.