Jun 22, 2017 | Updated: 01:05 PM EDT

Humans & Puffer fish Have The Same Teeth Genes

May 19, 2017 02:16 AM EDT

File photo of a pufferfish
(Photo : Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

A new research by an international team of scientists has discovered that the human teeth actually shares the same genes from one of the world's poisonous fish in the sea. In their study, they found out that the odd and bizarre beaked teeth of the puffer fish have some of its resemblance to the human teeth.

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In the study led by Dr. Gareth from University of Sheffield's Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, it was revealed that the pufferfish has the same tooth-making program to other vertebrates and that includes humans. The study is titled "Spatially restricted dental regeneration drives pufferfish beak development" and it was published in the online journal PNAS.

The study also shows that all vertebrates have forms of dental regeneration potential. In the case of the pufferfish, they use the same stem cells for tooth regeneration like humans do except that they replace some of their teeth with elongated bands that would form the characteristic beak.

The authors of the study believe that their research output could now help in solving problems regarding tooth loss in humans."Our study questioned how pufferfish make a beak and now we've discovered the stem cells responsible and the genes that govern this process of continuous regeneration," Dr. Gareth said.

He added that there are also involved in general vertebrate tooth regeneration like humans. "The fact that all vertebrates regenerate their teeth in the same way with a set of conserved stem cells means that we can use these studies [on puffer fish] in more obscure fishes to provide clues to how we can address questions of tooth loss in humans," he said.

In his another study published in Evodevo Journal titled "Developing an ancient epithelial appendage: FGF signaling regulates early tail denticle formation in sharks," it is revealed that some species share same genes not only on teeth but also on feathers and skins, like pufferfish. Dr. Gareth cited sharks as an example as it shares some genes with reptile scales, bird feathers, and human hair.

"Our study suggests the same genes are instrumental in the early development of all skin appendages from feathers and hair to shark skin teeth," he said. Dr. Gareth added that the final structures are different as his paper reveal the developmental origins of all these structures are similar, like what he found out on pufferfish

Therefore, he said that evolution on animals like sharks and puffer fish has used common underpinnings as a foundation that could be modified over time. It is for producing the vast diversity of skin structures observed in vertebrates.


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