The reproductive system of this insect will be a model to understand stem cells better and make progress in their future use to treat certain human pathologies. The Andalusian Ministry of Innovation, Science and Enterprise has financed this project with 218,000 euros as part of their program of excellence.
Stem cells play an essential role in growth, as they allow the generation of different types of cells like neurones and egg cells, and the maintenance of adult tissues like blood, skin and the intestinal epithelium. In order to do so, it is necessary for stem cells to keep the potential that allows them to split almost unlimitedly and cause daughter cells that differ in different cell types.
In order to know more about stem cells, it is possible to test simple easy-to-study flies in a lab, like Drosophila melanogaster. This fly only has four chromosomes and its genome is already sequenced. Thanks to 80 years of study, we now know that many of the biological processes of Drosophila –despite the genetic simplicity of this fly- are very similar to vertebrates like mice and human beings.
This group of scientists have chosen to study fly’s ovary because, according to their leading researcher, Acaimo Gonzalez, ‘this organ is made up of just a few types of cells –including several types of stem cells- which allows us to identify stem cells unmistakably. Moreover, Drosophila allows us to make a genetic analysis of the biology of stem cells, which is essential for our research project’.
By analysing fly’s ovary, CABD’s scientists intend to show some light as to why a stem cell can split with the pass of time and remain indifferenced. Through the use of microarrays, scientists pursue to characterise those genes that are expressed in stem cells and study their function. According to Acaimo González, ‘it is essential to find out what genes are responsible for the maintenance of stem cells so that we can understand what stops stem cells from differentiating and keeps its proliferating potential unaffected’.
Ismael Gaona | alfa
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University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
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Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
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Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
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