October 2011 Archives

The Dorsal Neural Tube: Cell Fate Decicision

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Today in class we reviewed a paper about the neural tube, and the fates of the cells that are involved. The paper was a review paper and was suggesting that the spatial and temporal information in the dorsal neural tube determines the segregation and derivatives of the neural crest tubes. There is a detailed figure in the paper(Fig 1) that shows the migration of the different cells of the neural tube, and the types of tissues they end up being incorporated in. They also have a figure about gene expression in the neural tube, and that these genes are turned off and on during different parts of delamination of the cells. Some genes are turned on early to help set the pattern and some genes are turned on late to set the fates of the cells. Overall the paper was a little difficult to understand since my knowledge of neurbiology is limited to what I've learned in class, but I find it fascinating how there are so many tiny details and all different cell types and genes have to cooperate together to form proper and functional tissue
. doe_neural_stem_cells.pdf

Neural Stem Cells

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This week in class we have been talking about the differentiation among neural cells during development. We read a paper Neural Stem Cells: From Fly to Vertebrates. Now the paper was long and covered a lot of different topic by comparing neural cells of flies to that of vertebrates. There were several questions they wanted to try and answer in this review. I was reading the paper and trying to figure out the answer to each question myself as well, I realized when it comes to neural cells there is still so much we don't know. The development and differentiation of neural cells(vertebrates and flies) is very complex and depends on a variety of extrinsic and intrinsic factors. These factors determine the lineage, proliferation, maintenance, and progeny of the cells. The overall summary of the paper was that there is minimal knowledge on neural stem cells and we only know a small fraction of information. It has become clear that vertebrates and Drosophila share many fundamental mechanisms of neurogenisis, validating a comparative approach. doe_neural_stem_cells.pdf

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