Duke Study Helps Explain How Cells Divvy Up Genes During Reproduction

DURHAM, N.C. -- For centuries, scientists have watched in wonder at the microscopic world of the cell. In many ways a self-contained world, it runs much as a tiny metropolis with production plants, energy generators, and transport systems to move its products around efficiently. Now researchers are beginning to sort out just how cells get all this work done.

In a report published in the Aug. 21 issue of the journal Science, Duke cell biologist Sharyn Endow and postdoctoral fellow Kimberly Waligora said they have for the first time been able to take apart a molecular motor, put it back together, make it run in reverse, and then mutate the motor and make it run the other way.

The motor they worked on is a key component of the machinery that divides up the genetic material during a special type of cell division that makes sperm and eggs. When this machinery malfunctions, chromosomes, the carriers of genetic material, can become jumbled and the wrong number of chromosomes can end up in each egg. This can result in infertility or syndromes such as Down's, in which a child has an extra copy of chromosome 21.

The scientists hope these experimental models will give clues to why some women have multiple miscarriages, and why, as women age, more of their eggs have the wrong number of chromosomes, increasing the odds of Down's syndrome and other birth defects.

Endow discovered the motor, called Ncd (nonclaret disjunctional), in fruit flies, but similar motors operate in all animals, including people, she said.

"Our hope is that by understanding how these molecular motors operate, we will be able to identify why sometimes things go wrong in the reproductive process," Endow said. "Right now it is very difficult to do these experiments with animals more advanced than flies because they make eggs internally. That makes it difficult to observe the process. But using flies, in which the process is thought to be

Contact: Karyn Hede George
(919) 684-4148
Duke University Medical Center

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Study: Emission of smog ingredients from trees is increasing rapidly
2. Study explores gene transfer to modify underlying course of Alzheimers disease
3. Study reveals why eyes in some paintings seem to follow viewers
4. Study by Israeli scientists provides insight on DNA code
5. Study reveals first genetic step necessary for prostate cancer growth
6. Study of flu patients reveals virus outsmarting key drug
7. Study in Science reveals recreational fishing takes big bite of ocean catch
8. Study suggests cell-cycle triggers might be cancer drug targets
9. Study narrows search for genes placing men at increased risk for prostate cancer
10. Study links high carbohydrate diet to increased breast cancer risk
11. Study explains spatial orientation differences between sexes

Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/12/2015)... , Nov. 11, 2015   Growing need ... analytical tools has been paving the way for ... determination of discrete analytes in clinical, agricultural, environmental, ... being predominantly used in medical applications, however, their ... sectors due to continuous emphasis on improving product ...
(Date:11/9/2015)... Nov. 9, 2015  Synaptics Inc. (NASDAQ: SYNA ... announced broader entry into the automotive market with a ... the pace of consumer electronics human interface innovation. Synaptics, ... ideal for the automotive industry and will be implemented ... Europe , Japan , ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015 Daon, a global leader in ... released a new version of its IdentityX Platform ... North America have already installed IdentityX v4.0 ... a FIDO UAF certified server component as ... activate FIDO features. These customers include some of the ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. ... its business and prospects remain fundamentally strong and ... (zoptarelin doxorubicin) recently received DSMB recommendation to continue ... following review of the final interim efficacy and ... Primary Endpoint in men with heavily pretreated castration- ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... Malaysia , Nov. 24, 2015  Asia-Pacific ... contract research organisation (CRO) market. The trend of ... in lower margins but higher volume share for ... capacity and scale, however, margins in the CRO ... Organisation (CRO) Market ( http://www.frost.com/sublib/display-report.do?id=P86A-01-00-00-00&src=PR ), finds ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Copper is an essential micronutrient that all ... copper is also toxic to cells. With a $1.3 million award from the ... a systematic study of copper in the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (P. aeruginosa), a ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... This fall, global ... competitive events in five states to develop and pitch their BIG ideas to improve ... each state are competing for votes to win the title of SAP's Teen Innovator, ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: