The Hox genes (also known as homeotic genes) play a crucial role in the development of animals, being involved in the determination of segment identity along the body axis. These genes were discovered in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster 90 years ago and have been found later in all animals, including humans. The Hox genes are arranged in the fly genome in a striking manner: they are clustered and their order is the same as that of the body segments they act upon. This organization is conserved in the genome of most animals where the Hox genes are arranged in a similar way as in the fly genome. Its conservation during hundreds of millions of years suggested that this organization must have an important effect on the function of Hox genes, although the cause of their clustering is still controversial.
A research group of the Department of Genetics and Microbiology of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (Spain), led by Professor Alfredo Ruiz, with the colaboration of the Molecular Biology Center Severo Ochoa (Madrid, Spain), The University of Cambridge (UK), and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (USA) has found that the Hox gene complex has been rearranged differently in several Drosophila species. The function of Hox genes seems to be conserved despite the rearrangements. Thus Hox gene clustering in the Drosophila genome seems to be the result of evolutionary history more than that of functional necessity. The research will appear in this week’s issue of the scientific journal Genome Research.
The scientists analyzed the genome region where the Hox genes are located in three Drosophila species, D. buzzatii, D. melanogaster and D. pseudobscura. These species possess differents organizations of the Hox gene complex as a result of the splits of the original complex present in the ancestor during the last 60 millions years. They also observed that the dispersion of Hox genes does not affect their expression and consequently their function. Therefore, at least in the fruit fly, the clustering of Hox genes is not necessary for their proper function.
Octavi López Coronado | alfa
Novel mechanisms of action discovered for the skin cancer medication Imiquimod
21.10.2016 | Technische Universität München
Second research flight into zero gravity
21.10.2016 | Universität Zürich
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.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
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.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
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.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
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.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'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...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences