Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

P(acman) takes a bite out of deciphering Drosophila DNA

01.12.2006
P(acman) – a new method of introducing DNA into the genome of fruit flies or Drosophila – promises to transform the ability of scientists to study the structure and function of virtually all the fly’s genes, and the method may be applicable to other frequently studied organisms such as mice, said its Baylor College of Medicine developers in an article in the current issue of the journal Science.

“P(acman) overcomes a key limitation of currently available methods because it allows you to study large chunks of DNA in vivo,” said Dr. Hugo Bellen, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the program in developmental biology. He is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. The new technique allows researchers to study large genes and even gene complexes in the fruit fly, which was not possible before.

P/phiC31 artificial chromosome for manipulation, or P(acman), combines three recently developed technologies: a specially designed bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) that allows maintenance of large pieces of DNA in bacteria, recombineering that allows the manipulation of large pieces of DNA that can then be inserted into the genome of the fly at a specific site using phiC31-mediated transgenesis.

It is a new technique with far-reaching promise, said Bellen.

... more about:
»Bellen »DNA »acman »technique

P(acman) overcomes certain obstacles that have hampered research. It allows the cloning of large pieces of DNA to be used to transform the genome, and it permits that DNA to be inserted into specific places in the genome. Bellen credits the report’s first author, Koen J.T. Venken, a graduate student in the BCM Program in Developmental Biology, with putting the technologies together to come up with a new methodology in the field.

Current technology has certain problems for researchers seeking to understand the structure and function of genes, said Bellen. Often, when scientists breed flies that lack a particular gene and then try to put that gene back into the fly, it inserts itself randomly into the genetic blueprint.

In some cases, it makes too much protein, and in others, too little. In other instances, it may disrupt the message from another gene.

“You are really comparing apples and oranges when you do this,” said Bellen. The technique is also limited to small DNA chunks.

“Koen set out to develop a new transgenesis system using the three techniques,” said Bellen.

The bacterial artificial chromosome, or BAC, he used allows the scientist to maintain large chunks of DNA in the bacteria, but it is present in only one or few copies. However, the bacteria can be induced to produce many copies of the DNA when needed.

Koen then integrated a technique called “recombineering” into the strategy, which facilitates the scientist to clone large chunks of DNA and subsequently allows them to make specific mutations anywhere he or she wants in the gene.

The third technique allows the researcher to pinpoint where he or she wants to the mutant gene to go in the genetic blueprint of the fly, eliminating the apples-and-oranges problem. This third technique – phiC31 – works also in mouse and human cells, implying that this new technique could be used in those cells as well.

Ross Tomlin | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.bcm.edu

Further reports about: Bellen DNA acman technique

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'
23.01.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Researchers identify a protein that keeps metastatic breast cancer cells dormant
23.01.2018 | Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Optical Nanoscope Allows Imaging of Quantum Dots

Physicists have developed a technique based on optical microscopy that can be used to create images of atoms on the nanoscale. In particular, the new method allows the imaging of quantum dots in a semiconductor chip. Together with colleagues from the University of Bochum, scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute reported the findings in the journal Nature Photonics.

Microscopes allow us to see structures that are otherwise invisible to the human eye. However, conventional optical microscopes cannot be used to image...

Im Focus: Artificial agent designs quantum experiments

On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.

We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rutgers scientists discover 'Legos of life'

23.01.2018 | Life Sciences

Seabed mining could destroy ecosystems

23.01.2018 | Earth Sciences

Transportable laser

23.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>