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
Cryo-electron microscopy achieves unprecedented resolution using new computational methods
24.03.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
How cheetahs stay fit and healthy
24.03.2017 | Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
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24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy