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Aug 7, 2021

Scientists Shorten Daddy Long-Legs’ Iconic Limbs to Figure Out How They Got So Gangly

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Through a process known as RNA interference (RNAi), scientists have been able to modify the genetic make-up of the daddy long-legs arachnid so that its distinctive spindly limbs become twice as short.

This process – which uses a gene’s own DNA sequence and small fragments of RNA to turn the gene off – was applied to the Phalangium opilio species, one of the most common species of daddy long-legs in the world.

The result is effectively a daddy short-legs instead of a daddy long-legs. The team behind the work is hoping that the experiments can teach us more about how these elongated limbs evolved in the first place.

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