Your organs have minds of their own when it comes to growth. Different regions of our organs would increase or decrease in size at different rates as the overall body size changes, says a new study published in the Biology Letters.
The growth of organs is not a uniform process: parts thereof will change in size at different rates with respect to the overall body size (termed differential scaling), according to the new study led by scientists from the University of Sussex.
The world of science has been attempting to understand how do organs grow into the adequate size in our bodies. So have the team of researchers from Sussex University. They worked on the insect compound eye to investigate the process.
The team took measurements of the eye surfaces of 66 small and big large wood ants to generate eye ‘heat maps’. Their observations from there showed that changes in the ants’ body size were associated with increasing or decreasing size in particular areas making up their eyes; the growth process of each would happen at varying rates.
This study demonstrates for the first time that the different areas and cells of our organs have more diverse ways of responding to the change in our body size. It thus appears that organs have little ‘minds’ of their own.
Study author Craig Perl describes their findings as the foundation for prospective research to look into the influence of scaling in the evolution of organs, specially that several species display variations in the size and shape of their organs which might potentially be the product of differential scaling.
The aim of this body of research would be to gain a greater understanding in the workings of organs to assist animals with too small or too big organs in maintaining good health.