Chicken with Alligator-Like Snout

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Feathered reptile

Scientists have successfully tweaked the DNA of chickens to create embryos which could grow alligator snouts on chickens instead of beaks. The DNAs were altered so as to learn the process through which chickens evolved from reptilian ancestors.

The research was conducted by cutting a hole in the shell of the chicken egg. The team then dropped in a small gelatinous protein bead. The protein stifled the development of some molecules in the body of the chicken. The researchers simply changed the molecules controlling the physical changes in the chicken and created an embryo which has a snout that looks very close to that of an alligator.

The chickens share their genes with alligators as they descended from a common ancestor. The eggs couldn’t be hatched due to ethical reasons, but the success of this experiment can also lead to eliminating defects at birth in humans and creating species better adapted to the changing earth.

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