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Slimy Fish And The Origins Of Brain Development

Slimy Fish And The Origins Of Brain Development

Jessica Stoller-Conrad, Caltech Lamprey — slimy, eel-like parasitic fish with tooth-riddled, jawless sucking mouths — are rather disgusting to look at, but thanks to their important position on the vertebrate family tree, they can offer...

Latest Homeobox Stories

Notion That Hox Genes Acquire New Roles Quickly, Without Compromising Old Ones
2014-03-19 21:55:48

Indiana University Bloomington It’s difficult to identify a single evolutionary novelty in the animal kingdom that has fascinated and intrigued mankind more than the lantern of the firefly. Yet to this day, nothing has been known about the genetic foundation for the formation and evolution of this luminescent structure. But now, new work from a former Indiana University Bloomington graduate student and his IU Ph.D. advisor offers for the first time a characterization of the...

Researchers Discover Gene Responsible For Dissected Leaves
2014-02-14 13:19:31

Max Planck Institute Arabidopsis thaliana lost the RCO gene over the course of evolution and thus forms simple leaves Spinach looks nothing like parsley, and basil bears no resemblance to thyme. Each plant has a typical leaf shape that can differ even within the same family. The information about what shape leaves will be is stored in the DNA. According to researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, the hairy bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) has a...

2013-11-14 12:16:16

University of Adelaide researchers have taken a step forward in unraveling the causes of a commonly inherited intellectual disability, finding that a genetic mutation leads to a reduction in certain proteins in the brain. ARX is among the top four types of intellectual disability linked to the X-chromosome in males. So far, 115 families, including many large Australian families, have been discovered to carry an ARX (Aristaless related homeobox) mutation that gives rise to intellectual...

From Fins To Limbs - How We Got Our Fingers And Toes
2012-12-15 07:25:29

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A multidisciplinary international research project has identified the mechanism responsible for generating our fingers and toes. Dr. Maria Kmita and her colleagues at the Intitut de Recherches Cliniques de Montreal (IRCM) took part in the groundbreaking study that has revealed the importance of gene regulation in the transition from fins to limbs during evolution. The team, which also included members from CRG Barcelona, the...

2011-12-15 17:05:11

Biologists have long assumed that all jawed vertebrates possess a full complement of nearly identical genes for critical aspects of their development. But a paper in the December 16 issue of Science with Benjamin King of the Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory (MDIBL) as lead author shows that elasmobranchs, a subclass of cartilaginous fishes, lack a cluster of genes, HoxC, formerly thought to be essential for proper development. Hox genes dictate the proper patterning of tissues...

Researchers Find First Human From Primate Gene Split In Brain
2011-10-19 12:37:59

A new analysis has found that the first genes which appeared after the primate branch split are more likely to be expressed in the developing human brain. Researchers believe that evolutionary recent genes may be responsible for constructing the uniquely powerful human brain. "We found that there is a correlation between new gene origination and the evolution of the brain," senior author Manyuan Long, PhD, Professor of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago, wrote in the...

2011-10-14 09:10:38

From blue whales to earthworms, a common mechanism gives shape to living beings Why don't our arms grow from the middle of our bodies? The question isn't as trivial as it appears. Vertebrae, limbs, ribs, tailbone ... in only two days, all these elements take their place in the embryo, in the right spot and with the precision of a Swiss watch. Intrigued by the extraordinary reliability of this mechanism, biologists have long wondered how it works. Now, researchers at EPFL (Ecole...

2010-11-18 16:21:28

A multinational team effort of Regensburg's Institute of Human Genetics, Washington University in St. Louis, other partners and Genomatix elucidated a transcriptional network in photoreceptors and thereby identified a novel retinal disease gene Retinitis pigmentosa is an inherited eye disorder characterized by progressive loss of vision that in many instances leads to legal blindness at the end stage. In a ChIP-Seq based approach, the researchers identified a key regulatory role of the...

2009-10-27 14:48:34

Consortia of European scientists show new role for master patterning genes in defining number of vertebrae in spine Vertebrates have in common a skeleton made of segments, the vertebrae. During development of the embryo, each segment is added in a time dependent manner, from the head-end to the tail-end: the first segments to be added become the vertebrae of the neck, later segments become the vertebrae with ribs and the last ones the vertebra located in the tail (in the case of a mouse, for...

2009-08-13 13:55:00

Water striders, the familiar semi-aquatic bugs gliding across the lake at the cottage, have a novel body form that allows them to walk on water.  This was not always the case.  Achieving the gliding ability required the evolution of a unique arrangement of the legs, with the mid-legs greatly elongated. Scientists at the University of Toronto's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology have discovered the gene behind this evolutionary change.Called the Hox gene, Ultrabithorax,...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'