Oocyte microtubules show their bias

submitted by: JCB
Several mRNAs are specifically transported to the anterior and posterior regions of Drosophila oocytes by microtubule-based motor proteins, but the organization of microtubules in these cells is unclear. Parton et al. reveal that oocyte microtubules are highly dynamic and display a PAR-1-dependent bias in polarity that facilitates transport of oskar mRNA to the oocyte posterior. This biosights episode presents the paper by Parton et al. from the July 11, 2011, issue of The Journal of Cell...

Ouch! Single Cell Wound Repair in Drosophila Embryos

submitted by: JCB
Individual cells must quickly repair any disruptions to their plasma membrane. Abreu-Blanco et al. describe how early Drosophila embryos remodel their membranes and cytoskeleton to seal cell surface wounds. This biosights episode presents the paper by Abreu-Blanco et al. from the May 2, 2011 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology, and includes an interview with senior author Susan Parkhurst (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA). Produced by Caitlin Sedwick and Ben Short....

Integrating the forces that fold tissues

submitted by: JCB
During gastrulation, pulsed contractions of the actomyosin cytoskeleton apically constrict a strip of cells on the ventral surface of Drosophila embryos. Martin et al. examine how these contractile forces are integrated across the tissue so that it invaginates to form the embryonic mesoderm. This biosights episode presents the paper by Martin et al. from the March 8, 2010 issue of The Journal of Cell Biology, and includes an interview with lead author Adam Martin. Produced by Eun Choi and...

DNA replication times the cell cycle and contributes to the mid-blastula transition in Drosophila embryos

submitted by: JCB
We examined the contribution of S phase in timing cell cycle progression during Drosophila embryogenesis using an approach that deletes S phase rather than arresting its progress. Injection of Drosophila Geminin, an inhibitor of replication licensing, prevented subsequent replication so that the following mitosis occurred with uninemic chromosomes, which failed to align. The effect of S phase deletion on interphase length changed with development. During the maternally regulated syncytial...
Authors: Ml Mccleland, Aw Shermoen, Ph O'farrell

Jim Knight on "What We've Been Doing/Dealing with Since Last Year"

submitted by: JGI

Jim Knight of Roche Diagnostics discusses Roche's projects at the "Sequencing, Finishing, Analysis in the Future" meeting in Santa Fe, NM on May 28, 2009.

Regulatin' Genes

submitted by: tomcfad
This parody of Jay-Z's "Money Ain't a Thang" explores the wonderful world of developmental biology. Made for Human Biology 3A at Stanford University. Lyrics (shown below) by Tom McFadden, performance by Tom and Derrick Davis, cameo by Bob Siegel, and edited by Jake Wachtel. Derrick: In the dorsal or ventral, making proteins, Top down - secreting out, regulatin’ genes. Tom: Here we go in the embryo - asymmetry. From the egg sac, holler back regulatin' genes. Jigga I don’t like...

Drosophila neurotrophins reveal a common mechanism for nervous system formation

submitted by: Alicia Hidalgo
Neurotrophic interactions occur in Drosophila, but to date no neurotrophic factor had been found. Neurotrophins are the main vertebrate secreted signalling molecules that link nervous system structure and function: they regulate neuronal survival, targeting, synaptic plasticity, memory and cognition. Here we have identified a neurotrophic factor in flies, Drosophila Neurotrophin (DNT1), structurally related to all known neurotrophins and highly conserved in insects. By investigating with...
Authors: Bangfu Zhu, Jenny a. Pennack, Peter Mcquilton, Manuel g. Forero, Kenji Mizuguchi, Ben Sutcliffe, Chun-jing Gu, Janine c. Fenton, Alicia Hidalgo

Small Regulatory RNAs May Sharpen Spatial Expression Patterns

linked profile(s): hlevine
submitted by: apryl
The precise establishment of gene expression patterns is a crucial step in development. Formation of a sharp boundary between high and low spatial expression domains requires a genetic mechanism that exhibits sensitivity, yet is robust to fluctuations, a demand that may not be easily achieved by morphogens alone. Recently, it has been demonstrated that small RNAs (and, in particular, microRNAs) play many roles in embryonic development. Whereas some RNAs are essential for embryogenesis,...
Authors: Erel Levine, Peter Mchale, Herbert Levine