During embryonic development, proteins attach to cell receptors and start a cascade of reactions. Understanding those reactions is difficult, however, because feedback signals go back out to the proteins or other molecules along the cascade, constantly changing the reaction pattern. The outcomes of those reactions and the feedback mechanisms - or inputs - are known because they can be observed, but how the inputs lead to the outputs isn't understood.
"We want to understand how stem cells become tissue-specific so that we can manipulate that process to create cells that could be used to treat injuries and diseases," said David Umulis, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering. "Using a model approach, we can simulate these complex signaling patterns to get a better handle on the process."
Umulis created a model that predicted accurate outcomes when different feedback mechanisms were inserted. His results were published in the current issue of the journal Developmental Cell.
"Fruit fly embryos are a fantastic system to peer into early development since input/output relationships are easy to observe. You have a mutation and an output, but we don't typically know what happens in the middle," he said. "Realistic model embryos proved an additional tool that can be used to aid in that understanding. Models can link that cause and effect."
The study looked at fruit fly, or drosophila, embryos during very early development to decipher what controls the differentiation of these stem cells at their proper locations. During the process, cells take on identities that later specify tissue types in the adult organism. Before directional cues dictate development, the stem cells are capable of becoming many different tissues. Using models to analyze the dynamic signals the cells are receiving may help to better understand how to control similar cells in a laboratory setting.
Umulis said his model is a sort of template to allow researchers to test a number of hypotheses before conducting actual experiments. The information garnered from realistic 3-D models can guide the process and facilitate rapid discovery.
Umulis' next step is to count the number of molecules needed to initiate specific cell responses during embryonic development. The National Institutes of Health and Purdue University funded his work.Writer: Brian Wallheimer, 765-496-2050, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Wallheimer | EurekAlert!
At last, butterflies get a bigger, better evolutionary tree
16.02.2018 | Florida Museum of Natural History
New treatment strategies for chronic kidney disease from the animal kingdom
16.02.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
Let’s say the armrest is broken in your vintage car. As things stand, you would need a lot of luck and persistence to find the right spare part. But in the world of Industrie 4.0 and production with batch sizes of one, you can simply scan the armrest and print it out. This is made possible by the first ever 3D scanner capable of working autonomously and in real time. The autonomous scanning system will be on display at the Hannover Messe Preview on February 6 and at the Hannover Messe proper from April 23 to 27, 2018 (Hall 6, Booth A30).
Part of the charm of vintage cars is that they stopped making them long ago, so it is special when you do see one out on the roads. If something breaks or...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
16.02.2018 | Information Technology
16.02.2018 | Health and Medicine
16.02.2018 | Physics and Astronomy