Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have discovered a molecular “switch” that guides the development of the eye in a fish called medaka. The interaction of two proteins determines whether cells divide or specialize at a key moment as the eye forms. Researchers are keenly interested in such switches because the decision to replicate or differentiate is crucial to many processes, from the proper growth of embryos to the development of cancer. The story appears in this week’s edition of Nature (February 19, 2004).
“The discovery of this novel protein-protein connection is a major step forward in understanding a basic biological process such as the tight control and delicate balance between cell proliferation and cell differentiation,” notes PhD student Filippo Del Bene.
At any one time, the body’s cells choose between one of two paths: either divide to produce exact copies of themselves (called “proliferation”) or to take on very specialized shapes and functions such as liver, brain or retinal cells (called “differentiation”). Building a fish – or a human – involves perfect timing in switching back and forth between the two processes. If cells specialize too early, organs won’t grow. If tissue continues to divide after it has specialized, tumors may form.
Trista Dawson | alfa
TU Bergakademie Freiberg researches virus inhibitors from the sea
27.03.2020 | Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg
The Venus flytrap effect: new study shows progress in immune proteins research
27.03.2020 | Jacobs University Bremen gGmbH
Together with their colleagues from the University of Würzburg, physicists from the group of Professor Alexander Szameit at the University of Rostock have devised a “funnel” for photons. Their discovery was recently published in the renowned journal Science and holds great promise for novel ultra-sensitive detectors as well as innovative applications in telecommunications and information processing.
The quantum-optical properties of light and its interaction with matter has fascinated the Rostock professor Alexander Szameit since College.
Researchers at the University of Zurich show that different stem cell populations are innervated in distinct ways. Innervation may therefore be crucial for proper tissue regeneration. They also demonstrate that cancer stem cells likewise establish contacts with nerves. Targeting tumour innervation could thus lead to new cancer therapies.
Stem cells can generate a variety of specific tissues and are increasingly used for clinical applications such as the replacement of bone or cartilage....
An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications
With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...
Researchers at Graz University of Technology have developed a framework by which wireless devices with different radio technologies will be able to communicate directly with each other.
Whether networked vehicles that warn of traffic jams in real time, household appliances that can be operated remotely, "wearables" that monitor physical...
Terahertz waves are becoming ever more important in science and technology. They enable us to unravel the properties of future materials, test the quality of...
26.03.2020 | Event News
23.03.2020 | Event News
03.03.2020 | Event News
27.03.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences
27.03.2020 | Life Sciences