Meet my short-legged dad.
short legs dad
Scientists have genetically engineered creatures known as papa’s long legs to create a short-legged version of the mutant, in an effort to study how spiders’ genomes evolve over time — and why their fearsome legs grow in the first place. cnet Reports.
The work has largely been presented by the media as cute, and it may enhance our understanding of genetics. But the images of genetically hacked feral creatures are downright disturbing (not that the control group, without genetic modifications, is totally cool).
The team, led by Gilherme Giant of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, first sequenced the genome of the insect, which was one of more than 6,000 known species of paternal long-legged harvesters, which are Technically close cousins of spiders.
Then they used a technique called «RNA interference» to turn off a pair of genes linked to stem development in hundreds of the creature’s embryos.
The shocking result: Six of the eight reapers’ legs were underdeveloped and much shorter, as detailed in their paper Published in the magazine Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The limbs also lost their stem, which gives them the ability to grip sticks.
«The paternal long leg genome holds great potential for elucidating the complex history of spider genome evolution and body plan, as well as revealing how paternal long legs made their unique long legs,» said Gainet. cnet.
«Looking into the future, we are interested in understanding how genes lead to the emergence of new traits of spiders, such as spider fangs and scorpion discs, as well as taking advantage of the genome to develop the first genetically modified harvests,» he added.
As for arachnophobia among us, let’s just hope that scientists don’t end up with giant long legs the next time they decide to genetically engineer creatures.
More on genetic engineering: The population is outraged by the release of 500 million mosquitoes that hacked the genes