Wednesday, January 09, 2008

I can see again, blind cavefish grow eyes

In a first, blind cavefish grow eyes. How did this magic occcur after perhaps one million years in darkness? Sight was restored in hybrids of two different but closely related blind cavefish.

Scientists hybridized separate lineages of cavefish with different genetic losses that cause blindness. What this means is that most of the genes for sight were retained in the blind fish, and hybrids contained a complete set of genes for vision.

Amazing, what looks like miraculous evolution (eyes for eyeless fish) turns out to be fairly simply and scientifically understandable. No miracles or divine intervention required.

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