Now, I was actually going to take this time to talk about the goings on in our Dev bio lab. Myself and other students were to cut up worms for nematode cultures last Monday. It was not the most pleasant experience, but anything for science! After clearing out the drawer of last year's worms (delightful!) and storing our petri dishes, we were free to go for the week, aside from the occasional visit to check up on the cultures. In fact, being the good student I am, I stopped by three days later to check up on them. The image below is how they looked after three days. The sight of them was more pleasant than the smell, trust me! Hopefully, they are in good shape for tomorrow's analysis.
The source of this induction effect is the anchor cell of the nematode. It is a source of an graded inductive signal which initiates the differentiation of adjacent cells. The specific induction pathway include many genes that encode common proteins such a EGF which is found all over the animal kingdom and ras/raf which mediate growth and differentiation. Ras/raf are involved in human cancer as well.
The next week or so we will be focusing on the examination of the nematodes and after that: flies!
So that is it. Auf Wiedersehen!