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Lizard Tail Reformation October 11, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — charlottepierce13 @ 12:14 pm

My current event from AP Environmental Science-might as well kill two birds with one stone(although that statement is so wrong!)
1. Scientists from Arizona State university and the University of Arizona recently discovered that the regrown tail of lizards differ from the original one.  Environmental science is a branch of science involving living things and their environment so lizards lose their tails due to their environment(predators or something endangering them).  What may seem insignificant because “animals are very different from humans” could help people understand human versions of this lizard tail losing action.

2. From an anatomical and microscopic perspective, the regenerated tails have a totally different construction.  It is commonly known that certain reptiles and amphibians can lose and regrow limbs(their tails specifically), but few would think to compare the second limb to the original one.  In addition, even fewer would question the anatomical differences, they would instead just look for a visual diversion.  However, from this closer inspection, the new tails include a cartilaginous rod and elongated muscle fibers reaching the length of the tail.  Green Anole Lizards new tails were found to have had a single, long tube of cartilage rather than vertebrae.  Also, long muscles spanned the length of the new tail instead of shorter muscle fibers.  This discovery may seem pointless because humans don’t have a tail that is falling off and then regrowing but in reality, their skeleton works similarly.  The researchers hope their findings will help lead to discoveries of new therapeutic approaches to spinal cord injuries and diseases such as arthritis.  An animal’s tail is like a human’s spine, it is what controls and enables a person to move.  Discoveries through animals is very useful because we really are quite similar and what is discovered about one thing, can be used to help an understanding about the other.

3. This discovery doesn’t affect the lizards because they have been experiencing this all their lives.  Humans can take their similar body systems and learn what works and doesn’t work for lizards.  By discovering that regenerated tails are less flexible, this proves that it is a replacement restoring some function.  Unlike humans, lizards can recreate a hyaline cartilage skeleton and make new muscle.  However, scientists state that they are close to unlocking the mystery of what genes are needed to regrow the lizard tail, meaning that by supercharging these genes in human cells, it could be possible to regrow new muscle or spinal cords in the future.

4. I dislike animal testing for human benefits.  I can see the similarities between living things but don’t think it is fair that one should be thought as more important than the other.  You never hear stories about humans being tested and studied for an animals benefit but who is to say that one should be tortured for another one’s improvement.  Certain studies are unnecessary-For instance, this case wouldn’t have been done unless there was something in it for humans.  There is no real point in just talking about lizard tails falling off and regrowing but when what they undergo shows similarities to humans, the study is suddenly critical.  I’ve gotten all of my current events from this website and every one ends with how it affects or relates to humans, because that is who it is really for.  One scientists said, “The next step is understanding the molecular and cellular basis of this regeneration.  Another interesting finding is the presence of pores in the regenerated cartilage tube. While the backbone of the original lizard tail is made of many bones with regular gaps, allowing blood vessels and nerves to pass through, in the regenerated tail, only blood vessels pass through the cartilage tube pores. This observation suggests that nerves from the original tail stump grow into the regenerated tail.”  It is a never ending cycle, because as humans grow less healthy and more accident prone, scientists will work harder to find more solutions and it will never be enough, the problems will always outreach the answers.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121009092416.htm

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