Researchers at New York University and the medical schools at Harvard and Yale universities have identified new genes necessary for embryonic development, according to findings published in the latest issue of Genome Research. This discovery is an important step toward a complete mapping of which parts of the genome are required for embryonic development. The new findings also probe into how genetic networks are built and how they could evolve.
The team, headed by biologists at NYU, is studying the genome of the Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the first animal species whose genome was completely sequenced and a model organism to study how embryos develop. Using RNA interference (RNAi), a method for identifying the function of genes, the researchers almost double previous estimates of how many genes are required to make an embryo. Their study focused on the genes expressed by the mother and imparted to the egg, ready to be used during the earliest stages after fertilization. They discovered over 150 additional genes required to make an embryo beyond what was previously known, leading them to conclude that many more genes will be found in the future. The researchers estimate that at least 2,600 genes are required for embryonic development in C. elegans, of which about 70% are currently known.
The majority of genes required for embryogenesis in C. elegans have counterparts in humans whose roles are often unknown. For example, human counterparts of four of the newly identified genes are known to be associated somehow with disease, and mutations in two of these are associated with tumors. The C. elegans study suggests specific cellular roles for these genes, thus providing important clues to how these genes work in humans.
James Devitt | EurekAlert!
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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“.
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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.
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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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