KFU (Kazan Federal University) Extreme Biology Lab and RIKEN have uncovered new fact about chicken embryo growth, which may lead to similar discoveries about humans.
The work is a part of FANTOM and was funded by a Russian-Japanese grant provided by the Russian Science Foundation. The results were published in PLOS Biology. The third institution involved was Kumamoto University.
FANTOM (Functional Annotation of the Mammalian Genome) is an international research consortium established by Dr. Hayashizaki and his colleagues in 2000 to assign functional annotations to the full-length cDNAs that were collected during the Mouse Encyclopedia Project at RIKEN Science Center.
FANTOM has since developed and expanded over time to encompass the fields of transcriptome analysis. The object of the project is moving steadily up the layers in the system of life, progressing thus from an understanding of the ‘elements’ - the transcripts - to an understanding of the ‘system’ - the transcriptional regulatory network, in other words the ‘system’ of an individual life form.
It is important to note that this research has several promising practical aspects: as it’s impossible to test human embryos due to ethical guidelines, the project lacked data on embryonic development; as well as the opportunity to learn more about chickens' ability to hibernation.
According to the researchers, when a hen leaves its roost, embryos stop developing until the temperature reaches the norm. That is, when eggs are cooled to 16 degrees, they enter hibernation. Hibernation in chickens, of course, is not as extreme as anhydrobiosis, but this process may be easier in adaptation to human tissues and cells.
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