As rare as hen's teeth? Not any more, say scientists

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Artykuł pochodzi z pisma "Guardian"

As rare as hen's teeth? Not any more, say scientists

Katherine Demopoulos
Thursday February 23, 2006
If you thought hen's teeth were the rarest thing in nature, think again: researchers from Britain and the US have succeeded in growing teeth in a chicken.
Far from being rarer than students who turn up at 9am lectures or lecturers who like giving them, a hen with teeth does occur naturally, scientists based at the universities of Manchester and Wisconsin have found.
And by studying that mutant chicken - which is too weak to hatch, explaining its rarity - the team has been able to stimulate "natural" tooth growth in chickens.
The mutant chicken harks back to toothier days: the ancestors of today's birds lost their teeth about 80 million years ago, but not the ability to grow them.
Dr Matthew Harris, the lead researcher from Wisconsin, told how scientists were able to isolate the usually latent genetic "pathway" that leads to tooth growth - and create the "initiations of early teeth".
"We turned on a gene that is involved with the earliest steps of making organs from the skin, like hairs and glands and teeth.
"We turned on this gene in the oral cavity and saw that the underlying tissue was able to respond to the signal."
The work is a breakthrough, says Dr Harris, because for the first time, the teeth created in the chicken are natural rather than imported from another animal.
"We've put bits of mice into chicken and got a mouse tooth," he says. "The big deal is that we didn't do anything to this chicken. It was a naturally occurring mutant."
Professor Mark Ferguson, a member of the team at the University of Manchester, says the research on reactivation of dormant genetic pathways could ultimately help treat sufferers of scarring, where tissue regeneration is needed.
As for whether the research could be used to regrow human teeth, Professor Ferguson says that is "wild speculation" - in other words, about as likely as hen's teeth.

as rare as hen's teeth- bardzo rzadki, niespotykany, trudny do znalezienia
ancestor- przodek
breakthrough- przełom
dormant- śpiący, uśpiony
gland- gruczoł
hatch- wykluwać się
involved with- związany z
latent- ukryty, utajony
lecture- wykład
lecturer- wykładowca
occur- pojawiać się, występować
oral cavity- otwór gebowy, jama ustna
researcher- badacz, naukowiec
scarring- bliznowacenie
succeed in- odnieść sukces, wykonać coś z powodzeniem
tissue- tkanka
turn up- pojawiać się, stawiać się
ultimately- ostatecznie, w końcu


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