Gene gives mice and chipmunks their pinstripes

Biologists identify new molecular pathway behind mammalian fur patterns

an african striped mouse

ARTIST IN RODENTS  African striped mice (one shown munching on a thorn tree) evolved a new trick for an old protein. The protein ALX3, which helps direct development of bones and cartilage in the face, also paints light stripes down the rodents’ backs, a new study suggests. Chipmunks independently evolved the same pinstriping method.

Elaine Kruer

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