Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mice Teeth Explain The Troubles With Human Wisdom Teeth

Date:
September 27, 2007
Source:
University of Helsinki
Summary:
Mice teeth can explain human troubles with the wisdom teeth, according to scientists. For a long time scientists have suspected that genetic and developmental interactions may also influence species-specific properties. Now, researchers show how development affects the evolution of teeth, and have devised a simple developmental model to predict aspects of teeth across many species.

During evolution, many of a species' properties are shaped by ecological interactions. This is readily evident in mammalian teeth, whose many features closely reflect what each species eats.

Related Articles


However, for a long time scientists have suspected that genetic and developmental interactions may also influence species-specific properties. Now, researchers at the University of Helsinki's Institute of Biotechnology show how development affects the evolution of teeth, and have devised a simple developmental model to predict aspects of teeth across many species. The results were published in Nature.

In the study in the field of evolutionary developmental biology, the researchers Kathryn Kavanagh, Jukka Jernvall and Alistair Evans in the Institute of Biotechnology of the University of Helsinki first studied cheek tooth, or molar, development in mice. Similarly to human teeth, mouse molars develop from front-to-back so that the first molar appears first and the posterior molars bud sequentially along the jaw.

Normally the last molar to develop is the third, or wisdom tooth. Experiments on cultured mouse molars revealed that the size and number of posterior molars depend on previously initiated molars. The mechanism, called an 'inhibitory cascade', acts much like a ratchet that cumulatively increases size differences of teeth along the jaw. By quantifying their experiments, the researchers constructed a simple mathematical model which they then used to predict relative size and number of molars across many other mouse and rat species.

They show that the model accurately predicts tooth proportions and numbers, one curious effect being that the second molar makes up one-third of total molar area, irrespective of species-specific molar proportions.

This new research demonstrates that with advances in the study of the molecular regulation of development, it is now possible to identify how development influences evolution. And this may help explain the troublesome wisdom teeth of modern humans - the blame may lie within a weak inhibitory cascade that allows the development of the last molar in a jaw that is too small.

The article Predicting evolutionary patterns of mammalian teeth from development by K. Kavanagh, J. Jernvall and A. Evans will be published in Nature September 27th.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Helsinki. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Helsinki. "Mice Teeth Explain The Troubles With Human Wisdom Teeth." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 27 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926172246.htm>.
University of Helsinki. (2007, September 27). Mice Teeth Explain The Troubles With Human Wisdom Teeth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926172246.htm
University of Helsinki. "Mice Teeth Explain The Troubles With Human Wisdom Teeth." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070926172246.htm (accessed December 18, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

UN: Up to One Million Facing Hunger in Ebola-Hit Countries

AFP (Dec. 17, 2014) Border closures, quarantines and crop losses in West African nations battling the Ebola virus could lead to as many as one million people going hungry, UN food agencies said on Wednesday. Duration: 00:52 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

When You Lose Weight, This Is Where The Fat Goes

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) Can fat disappear into thin air? New research finds that during weight loss, over 80 percent of a person's fat molecules escape through the lungs. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Why Your Boss Should Let You Sleep In

Newsy (Dec. 17, 2014) According to research out of the University of Pennsylvania, waking up for work is the biggest factor that causes Americans to lose sleep. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

Flu Outbreak Closing Schools in Ohio

AP (Dec. 17, 2014) A wave of flu illnesses has forced some Ohio schools to shut down over the past week. State officials confirmed one pediatric flu-related death, a 15-year-old girl in southern Ohio. (Dec. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins