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!
Immune Defense Without Collateral Damage
23.01.2017 | Universität Basel
The interactome of infected neural cells reveals new therapeutic targets for Zika
23.01.2017 | D'Or Institute for Research and Education
For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.
According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine
23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.01.2017 | Process Engineering