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Vertebrates, perhaps even humans, share teeth genes

The same molecular toolkit may control tooth formation in cichlid fish and humans

The small teeth lining cichlid fishes’ throats won’t make it into any baby scrapbooks, but the nubs have helped researchers figure out how vertebrates got their chompers. Research has uncovered what may be a shared toolkit of genes “common to the first tooth and all of its descendents,” a team reports online February 10 in PLoS Biology. Tooth formation is likely controlled similarly in cichlids and in humans, the study suggests.

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