When teeth grow on the body

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The body of some catfish is completely covered with teeth that regenerate. Carlos Rivera-Rivera and Juan Montoya-Burgos discovered that these extra-oral teeth always grown on a bone, regardless of its type, which suggests a role for bone in the induction of dental tissue. These results, published on October 18, 2017 in Proceedings of the Royal Society, help to elucidate the mechanisms allowing the formation and regeneration of teeth in all vertebrates.

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An architect gene is involved in the assimilation of breast milk

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The team of Denis Duboule has discovered that specific mutations in the Hoxd3 gene induce defective breast milk assimilation and important, often lethal, growth retardation in newborn mice. This work, published on October 16, 2017 in PNAS, suggests that this genetic defect probably contributes to certain types of intestinal insufficiency in premature infants.

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HLA-B molecular variation and its links with malaria in Africa

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The group of Alicia Sanchez-Mazas identified two HLA-B alleles as candidates to Plasmodium falciparum malaria protection in Africa. Their study, published on October 16th, 2017 in Molecular Ecology, suggested that these alleles, which share close peptide-binding profiles, became beneficial at the onset of this disease. Pathogen-driven selection in the form of soft selective sweep thus likely contributed to shape the HLA-B genetic landscape of Africa.

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