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Learning How Organs Tell Left From Right

Date:
September 20, 1999
Source:
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
Summary:
In attempting to unravel the genetic program that determines left/right orientation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator Michael Rosenfeld and colleagues at the University of California, San Diego, and The Salk Institute, engineered knockout mice that lacked the Pitx2 gene. The mice exhibited a number of developmental abnormalities, including inappropriate position of the heart and lungs.

September 16, 1999 — From all outward appearances, the human body is symmetrical. If one were to divide the body into two halves, for example, each side would have a single arm and leg. But a look inside at the internal organs shows that there is not perfect symmetry throughout the body. The heart and spleen normally reside on the left side and the liver and gallbladder are on the right. Furthermore, the organs themselves are asymmetrical.


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The above story is based on materials provided by Howard Hughes Medical Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Learning How Organs Tell Left From Right." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990920071950.htm>.
Howard Hughes Medical Institute. (1999, September 20). Learning How Organs Tell Left From Right. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990920071950.htm
Howard Hughes Medical Institute. "Learning How Organs Tell Left From Right." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990920071950.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

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