Monday, 30 May 2016

DNA 'tape recorder' to trace cell history

Researchers have invented a DNA "tape recorder" that can trace the family history of every cell in an organism.
The technique is being hailed as a breakthrough in understanding how the trillions of complex cells in a body are descended from a single egg.
"It has the potential to provide profound insights into how normal, diseased or damaged tissues are constructed and maintained," one UK biologist told the BBC.
The human body has around 40 trillion cells, each with a highly specialised function. Yet each can trace its history back to the same starting point - a fertilised egg.
Developmental biology is the business of unravelling how the genetic code unfolds at each cycle of cell division, how the body plan develops, and how tissues become specialised. But much of what it has revealed has depended on inference rather than a complete cell-by-cell history.

For more details on this, see BBC Science.

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle