Using new gene mutation technology, researchers in Cincinnati are using frogs as models for developmental timing, giving better understanding the process is humans.
Thyroid hormones peak in humans at the time of birth, it is the same in frogs at the time of metamorphosis. Since we are both vertebrates development can be easily studied in the tadpoles, in humans the study is far more difficult. Thyroid Hormone Receptors (THR) can be easily mutated by researchers and interrupts development in the frogs as development is dependent on hormones. With the process being similar in humans, developmental issues like cretinism, where height and mental growth is effected by no hormone, can be better understood by studying the hormone/receptor interaction or lack thereof. To learn more about the two papers published on this study and the science behind them please click below.