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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Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
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In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
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By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
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COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
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'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
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