science

Study: How Insects decide to grow up?

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Likewise, human beings insects also go through puberty. Like caterpillars turns into butterflies and maggots turns into flies.

Insect Growth and development

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside discover the solution for the mystery. This finding could applied to mammals as well.

In the study, which published in an early version in journal PLOS Genetics, found that the amount of DNA in the fruit fly controls the initial production of steroid hormones, which signal the start of metamorphosis.

Moreover, it is evident from the study that the cells that produce steroid hormones keep replicating their DNA without cell division, making their nuclei huge. Researchers discovered that this amount of DNA is Steroid hormone-producing cells is a critical indicator of their juvenile development and it even determines when the insects get into metamorphosis.

“The amount of DNA like an internal timer for insect development,” Yamanaka said. “It tells the insect, ‘OK, I will grow up now.'”

Their finding explains, for the first time, why insect metamorphosis, just like human puberty, is an irreversible process. It is irreversible since DNA duplication cannot be reversed in cells. Once the cells increase the amount of DNA and start producing steroid hormones, that is the point of no return; they cannot go back to their childhood.

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