Scientists discover new map revealing genes control the skeleton | Daily Current Affairs 2021

Scientists discover new map revealing genes control the skeleton

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The researchers from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have mapped the unique genetic profile of the skeleton’s ‘master regulator’ cells, known as Osteocytes for the first time.

  • The study published today in Nature Communications.

Key Findings of the study:

  • The researchers have outlined the genes that are switched on and off in osteocytes.
  • This will help in diagnosing bone diseases that have genetic component.
  • For the first time, the researchers have pictured the whole landscape of osteocytes.
  • They have found that majority of the genes that are active within osteocytes had no role in bones.
  • This means that they only give commands.
  • This discovery will help to understand what controls the skeleton actually.

About Osteocytes:

  • Osteocytes are the longest living bone cell, making up 90–95% of cells in bone tissue in contrast to Osteoclasts and Osteoblasts making up ~5% (40).
  • They are oblate-shaped bone cells.
  • They are found in bone tissues.
  • They live as long as the organism lives.
  • There are more than 42 billion Osteocytes in the human body.
  • The Osteocytes do not divide.
  • Their average half-life is 25 years.
  • The skeleton of the humans keeps changing structurally throughout his life.
  • Osteocytes are the most abundant cell present in bones.
  • Osteocytes form when osteoblasts become buried in the mineral matrix of bone and develop distinct features.
  • These osteocytes form a network similar to the neurons in the brain.
  • There are more than 23 trillion connections between 42 billion osteocytes.
  • This network is responsible for monitoring bone health.
  • It responds to aging.
  • They also send signals to other cells in the bone to build or break down an old bone.
  • The diseases such as osteoporosis are caused due to imbalance in these processes.

Development of Bones:

  • During Bone formation Osteoblast is left behind.
  • Osteoblasts are cells that synthesize bones.
  • The process of bone formation is still not known completely.

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