Zebrafish Limbs

Zebrafish embryosFor Monday Jeff Tomkins writes “Did Scientists Make Fish Grow Hands?” The subject is a recent Developmental Cell paper called Hoxd13 Contribution to the Evolution of Vertebrate Appendages, which describes and experiment on zebrafish that induced them to grow what look more like limbs than fins, by promoting the expression of the Hoxd gene. This plugs a gap in our knowledge of how land animals evolved from fish – though, obviously, Tomkins disagrees.

A recent news story featured a variety of science writers repeating the meme “Fish grow ‘hands’ in genetic experiment.” These sensationalized stories attempted to describe a new genetics research study published in the journal Developmental Cell. The primary results of the study actually produced data that refuted the accompanying evolutionary hype.

Reference to memetics from a creationist cracks me up, but I suppose it’s now part of the general lexicon. Continue reading