Quanta leap

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Don
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Quanta leap

Post: # 67734Post Don
Fri Apr 27, 2018 3:10 pm

Quanta magazine has a story about three developmental biology papers that came out in Sciene magazine yesterday. Way down the page is this:

"The newly revealed plasticity of the developing cells can be dizzying, but the Harvard researchers also hope to find general patterns in their data that will reduce some of that complexity. Klein and his colleagues made a surprising discovery: Of the genes for proteins common to both the zebra fish and frogs they studied, only 30 percent were expressed in similar patterns with statistical significance. The animals expressed the rest in completely different ways, which suggested that the genes had adapted in their expression programs over the course of evolution.The conservation of the proteins at the sequence level seems to have no connection to the conservation of their expression in evolution."

“It came as a real shock,” Klein said."

Indeed.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/cell-by- ... -20180426/

This issue of Quanta seems to be packed with pretty interesting stuff. There is story about extracellular vesicular RNA titled 'RNA’s Secret Life Outside the Cell' about bits of RNA that roam freely among cells that is relevant to our ongoing discussions, and one on micro-brains that's just spooky, for instance.

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Karl K
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Re: Quanta leap

Post: # 67735Post Karl K
Fri Apr 27, 2018 9:00 pm

Interesting stuff. But I wonder.
"Many biologists, for example, believed that embryonic cells always followed branching paths toward maturity that committed them irrevocably to certain fates."

Really? I thought this sort of thinking went out when the Roux-Weismann theory was disproven and demoted to a "hypothesis".

Otherwise this is all a fascinating subject. I was trying to find a paper I read several years ago, but can't find it anywhere. Not in my database and not online. As I recall, it involved a strain of earless mice. The mutation disrupted a single protein. So, the researchers searched through a database of proteins, and found a similar gene/protein in Drosophila. The fruit fly gene was spliced into the mouse genome and - Voila! - the next generation of mice had ears.

Obviously, whatever this gene does in fruit flies has nothing to do with ears.

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