Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Why living things are the size they are -- and none other

Date:
April 19, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
New research suggests that 'growth genes' are not driven by age, but by the process of growth itself, opening doors for organ regeneration as well as new treatments for abnormal body growth and cancer.

If you consider yourself to be too short or too tall, things are looking up, or down, depending on your vertical disposition. New research published online in The FASEB Journal explains how we grow, how our bodies maintain correct proportions, and offers insight into what goes wrong with growth disorders and unregulated cell growth in cancer.

Related Articles


"We hope that these insights into the mechanisms controlling body growth will help us understand better the reasons for the excessive growth of cancer cells and also provide new approaches to turn growth back on in normal cells in order to regenerate damaged organs," said Julian C. Lui, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Scientists studied which genes were active in young animals (growing rapidly) and compared them to the same genes in older animals (growing slowly). Then they identified which genes were "turned off" simultaneously in multiple organs with age. To understand the consequences of these genes being turned off, the researchers experimentally turned them off in cultured cells and observed the effects. They found that rapid growth in early life is a response to the activation of multiple genes that stimulate growth. These same genes are progressively turned off during the maturation process, causing growth to slow. This process occurs simultaneously in multiple organs, which explains why organs all stay in proportional size as the body grows. This process is not controlled by age. Instead, genes are turned off when organs achieve a certain level of growth.

"This important work answers the question of why any animal- including us -- has a certain size," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal, "As this study shows, growth is dictated by organ development, and no one wishes their organs to be abnormally large or small."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lui et al. Coordinated postnatal down-regulation of multiple growth-promoting genes: evidence for a genetic program limiting organ growth. The FASEB Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1096/fj.09-152835

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Why living things are the size they are -- and none other." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 April 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100407094456.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, April 19). Why living things are the size they are -- and none other. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100407094456.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "Why living things are the size they are -- and none other." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100407094456.htm (accessed November 28, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, November 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

Rural India's Low-Cost Sanitary Pad Revolution

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — One man hopes his invention -– a machine that produces cheap sanitary pads –- will help empower Indian women. Duration: 01:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

Research on Bats Could Help Develop Drugs Against Ebola

AFP (Nov. 28, 2014) — In Africa's only biosafety level 4 laboratory, scientists have been carrying out experiments on bats to understand how virus like Ebola are being transmitted, and how some of them resist to it. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

WHO Says Male Ebola Survivors Should Abstain From Sex

Newsy (Nov. 28, 2014) — WHO cites four studies that say Ebola can still be detected in semen up to 82 days after the onset of symptoms. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

Ebola Leaves Orphans Alone in Sierra Leone

AFP (Nov. 27, 2014) — The Ebola epidemic sweeping Sierra Leone is having a profound effect on the country's children, many of whom have been left without any family members to support them. Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
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