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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02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
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In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
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The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
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The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
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