"We know surprisingly little at the cellular and molecular level about how embryos cope with their environments, yet the embryo is the most fragile stage in the life cycle, and its survival is critical for sustaining the life of a species," said David Epel, a professor of biology at Stanford's Hopkins Marine Station. Epel is co-organizer of the AAAS session with James Clegg, a professor of biology at the University of California-Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory.
Studies of embryos under stress may shed light on a range of biological
questions, including how drug resistance evolves, which species are most likely
to be vulnerable to global climate change, and how ultraviolet light from the
sun may contribute to the apparent worldwide decline in frog populations.
Among the participants in the symposium were Clegg, who presented an overview of
the topic; Epel, who described coping strategies that embryos use to repel
toxins, and Susan Brawley of the University of Maine, who described strategies
that marine algae use for reproductive success. Susan Lindquist of the
University of Chicago and Gretchen Hofmann, of the University of New
Mexico-Albuquerque, both discussed how embryos balance the good and bad effect
of proteins that protect from heat shock. Roger Pedersen of the University of
California-San Francisco and Joseph M. Kiesecker of Yale described the influence
of DNA rep
Contact: Janet Basu