Research aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying embryo development has taken a step forward thanks to collaborative work between biologists specialized in the study of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) and scientists specialized in the design of mathematical models that simulate the functioning of biological systems. Specifically, a study of wing formation in Drosophila, led by the researchers Marco Miln, from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), and Javier Buceta, from the Centre for Research in Theoretical Chemistry (CeRQT), both located within the Barcelona Science Park (PCB), has led to the discovery of a new genetic function involved in this process, and furthers our understanding of the internal laws which regulate it. The article will be published on 11 July in the journal PLoS One.
The development of a living being is based on general laws written into the genetic code of each cell and which enable them to develop a specialist function, modifying the way they divide, their form and their behaviour. These changes are coordinated through a series of instructions that must be correctly interpreted within the cell, and this means that the information must pass along a pathway of signalling molecules. These pathways have been conserved across evolution, and therefore studies using models such as the fruit fly provide information about these same processes in humans and other animals.
The Developmental Biology of Drosophila Group from the IRB Barcelona, led by Marco Miln, studies the signals that guide wing development in Drosophila. The wings are generated from a set of cells grouped into different segments or compartments that never mix with one another, and which enable the symmetrical construction of the dorsal and ventral parts starting from a given limit or border. This process of subdivision into compartments also takes place during the formation of the vertebrate central nervous system, and the g
Contact: Sonia Armengou
Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB)