Search Perform an advanced search query SOFTPEDIA
Updated one minute ago
HomeSubmit a program for being reviewedVisit the Softpedia storeAdvertise on our websiteGet help on surfing our websitesSend us your feedbackGet information about our XML/RSS backend and how to use itBrowse the news archiveVisit our discussion forumVizitati forumul in limba romana
Latest news Daily Gadget Softpedia Opinions News Categories

Laser to Activate Genes
Category: SOFTPEDIA NEWS :: Science :: Nano-Biotechnology

This allows to study genes in "non model" species
By: Stefan Anitei, Science Editor

Researchers at University of Buffalo have developed an innovative method for studying the function of certain genes even in the absence of the genome sequencing in "non-model" organisms.

The researchers used lasers to turn on fluorescent marker genes in very precise pattern but otherwise the butterflies were unaffected. Exploring functional genetics in "model" organisms - like the fruit fly or the mouse - is much easier, as the amount of research made on them provides highly sophisticated and efficient tools.

Discovering how genes work in other organisms is particularly difficult as the regulatory code of such organisms is still poorly understood. “With this research, we have developed a tool to test gene function in
an animal where these kinds of tools were not available before,” said Diane Ramos, a doctoral candidate in the UB Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences. “We hope to inspire other researchers working in non-model organisms to use these kinds of techniques to answer fundamental questions about what genes do, which will allow interesting comparisons between species.”

The method consists in introducing a heat-sensitive fragment of regulatory DNA into the genome of butterflies, along with the genes aimed to be activated at precise loci and times during wing development. "As the laser heats up specific cells on the butterfly wing, genes that sit next to this regulatory sequence get turned on, allowing for specific clusters of cells on the wing to fluoresce," said Antonia Monteiro, assistant professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University.

The team wants to apply the method to the genes involved in encoding the intricate patterns on butterfly wings. "We want to be able to turn on or shut down specific genes on the developing butterfly wing in order to test their function in coloring the wing," said Monteiro. This method could be applied to assessing color patterns of other insects, fish, birds or plants. "Now they may be able to attempt to use a laser beam to direct gene expression to particular clusters of cells," she said.

The method was first used in a transgenic strain of the butterfly species Bicyclus anynana (photo) containing the GFP reporter gene, a common jellyfish marker gene, attached to a Drosophila heat shock promoter, which reacted similarly to heat in butterflies.


A Supergene Controls Butterfly's Wing Color Pattern

A Gene That Turns Your Girl into a Boy

Just One Gene Makes the Difference Between Pygmy Dogs and Huge Ones

Insect Brain Changed as They Evolved to More Social

Dictatorship and Not Voluntary Altruism Characterizes Insect Colonies

21st of November 2006, 16:37 GMT | Copyright (c) 2006 Softpedia | Contact:

Rating: | 0 vote(s) so far | Cast your vote:

Read by 197 user(s) | Add comment | Link to this news
Subscribe to news | Print article | Send to friend
TODAY'S HEADLINES: Subway Air Triggers Cancer  Why Is Laughter Contagious?  A Two-Faced Calf!  Sea Snakes Must Drink Fresh Water  Via Romana in Holland  Did Dinosaurs Use Stones for Digestion?  Mistletoe, Not As Holly As People Tend to Think  Sword Swallowing, a Risky Job  
Today's News | Yesterday's News | View News Archive

Laser to Activate Genes - USER OPINIONS

We are sorry, there are no opinions available for this article.

SHARE YOUR OPINION ABOUT Laser to Activate Genes

Only registered and logged in users can post comments.
Click here to login, or register.


If you have some comments or you want to send us some information you can send us an email directly to .
You can use the form below for the same purpose.
Your full name: (at least 3 characters)
Your email address: (at least 5 characters)
Message subject: (at least 5 characters)
Message text:
(at least 10 characters)

Hello, Guest

Login if you have a account.

Otherwise, register for one.

Ads by Google
Top Antivirus Downloads
Compare 2006 AntiVirus Reviews. Clean/Optimize PC! Free Downloads.
visit site >
Dvd Burning Software
The biggest source of free information on Dvd Burning Software
visit site >
Optical Design Software
Paraxia-Plus for design of laser based systems, nice GUI, powerful
visit site >
Free Bible CD
Bible Software Library on 1 incredible CD - Free!
visit site >
Gps Software
The Top Rated Websites for Gps Software
visit site >
Orchid software
Registrations, Awards, Photos Genealogy, Progeny, Cultivation
visit site >
2001 - 2006 Softpedia. All rights reserved.
Softpedia™ and Softpedia™ logo are registered trademarks of SoftNews NET SRL.
Copyright Information | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Contact Softpedia | Update your software | Archive