Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Danio Diaries

Since I probably shouldn't be blogging about my own benchtop misadventures research even though it's rather tempting, how about someone else's instead? Ergo, tomorrow morning Keith Cheng is giving Grand Rounds, speaking on "From Cancer Genetics to Surprise Insights into Human Pigmentation from Zebrafish." From the condensed descriptions of what they do:

In order to discover new vertebrate genes that control tissue differentiation, we have performed a screen for histological mutants using larval array technology developed in our laboratory. Both organ-specific and multi-organ mutations were found, including
one with cytological phenotypes highly reminiscent of cancer. We expect the mutations to affect key decision points in processes including cell polarity, cell proliferation, and cell-cell interaction.

Oooh, tissue differentiation! Most interesting, no? Dr. Cheng's most recent Big Splash is the identification of the gene causing the golden mutation in zebrafish, the putative cation exchanger slc24a5. Should be a good talk all around!

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