The team is using functional genomic tools to study the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans), the first animal species whose genome was completely sequenced and a model organism to study how embryos develop. The study appearing in Current Biology was performed by NYU's Fabio Piano, an assistant professor, and Anita Fernandez, a post-doctoral researcher, at the Center for Comparative Functional Genomics.
Biologists can draw connections between genes based on systematically accumulated experimental evidence. Network diagrams that illustrate such connections show that most genes fall into highly interconnected groups called modules. These modules are often enriched for genes that share the same role. In order to determine the functions of genes whose role is unknown, researchers examine genes in the same module whose function has already been discovered. This approach has proven useful for learning about the roles of unknown genes.
Unlike most genes in the network, mel-28 had connections to two distinct modules. Piano and Fernandez tested the idea that mel-28 plays important roles in both chromosome segregation and nuclear envelope function. Part of this undertaking included examining the protein MEL-28, which the gene mel-28 encodes.
By fusing mel-28 to a gene-encoding GFP, a fluorescent marker, and expressing this fusion in early embryos, they visualized the movement of MEL-28 during cell division in living embryos. Consistent with the idea that MEL-28 had function in chromosome segregation and the nuclear envelope, the MEL-28-GFP fusion was observed to shuttle between the nuclear periphery and the chromosomes during cell division. Additional functional tests showed that mel-28 was essential to both the integrity of the nuclear envelope and to proper chromosome segregation. This study served as a validation of network modeling as a means to identify genes that coordinate multiple functions.
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“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
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.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
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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