Science: Why do cats have streaks and spots on their coat?

Science: Why do cats have streaks and spots on their coat?

Scientists revealed that a theory from 70 years ago that interpreted patterns found in nature is valid to understand why cats have spots or stripes on their coats. The curious thing is that even though the theory was already there, for a long time the reason remained a puzzle.

Although biologists had identified follicle cells in which hair grows as a source of black, brown, yellow, and red pigments, which are the fur of colored cats, they did not know “when and where the color model The process of making it happened. ” , He has declared Gregory BarshA geneticist at the Hudson-Alpha Institute of Biotechnology, Alabama, USA for journal science.

However, some clues were later found. Alan Turing, a pioneer of computer science, suggested in 1952 that molecules that inhibit and activate each other could form periodic patterns in nature if diffused through tissues at different rates. As he explains Elizabeth Penis in Science.

Thirty years later, other scientists have applied their theory to develop a hypothesis about how I Color pattern During development in the forest. They found that active molecules give a cell color, but also produce inhibitors, which spread faster than activation and can inhibit pigment production. Denis explains that in 2019, it proved to be true in the flowers of thought Dracula Simia, Also known as Monkey Orchid.

Despite the progress, scientists had not yet discovered the key and did not know how fur color evolved in mammals, until Bersh’s team found the answer in two known proteins in 2020: the molecules Wnt and DKK4. .

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The team found that Wnt and DKK4 molecules act as activators and inhibitors, respectively, in cats. On dark skin, they are present in approximately equal amounts. In paleo regions, as predicted by tensi theory, in paleo regions, the fast-growing DKK4 protein is likely shut down by Wnt, which inhibits pigment production and thus streaks.

The simple interactions between molecules can explain the diversity of coat color patterns in mammals, “an example of the economics of nature. He suggests that designing the same molecule and pathway to different structures and different scales Can be reused. Complex elements of vertebrate anatomy, “he told Science Dennis hayden, A developmental biologist at Roslin Institute, Scotland.


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