Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Halloween gene proves that some scientist do have a sense of humor

Google Scholar is a lot of fun - you should check it out when you get a chance.  So, as the Halloween person that i am, I typed in Halloween, and look what I found:

The halloween genes are a set of genes identified in Drosophila melanogaster that influence embryonic development. All of the genes code for cytochrome P450 enzymes in the ecdysteroidogenic pathway (biosynthesis of ecdysone from cholesterol). Ecdysteroids such as 20-hydroxyecdysone and ecdysone influence many of the morphological, physiological, biochemical changes that occur during molting in insects.[1]
Steroid hormones control many aspects of reproduction, development, and homeostasis in higher organisms.[2] In arthropods, steroid hormones play equal or even more vital developmental roles, especially in controlling the patterns of gene expression between developmental stages.[1]

First elaborated by research groups led by Wieschaus and Nüsslein-Volhard in the early 1980s, the name was coined to collectively name a series of Drosophila embryonic lethal mutations associated with defective exoskeleton formation. Early research showed that when one of the Halloween genes was mutated, fly embryos would die before the exoskeleton was created.[3] Mutants in the halloween gene series include the spook, spookier, phantom (or phm), disembodied (or dib), shadow (or sad), and shade genes.

Of course these are genes that mutated and kill..... I think they watched a few slasher movies. 

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