Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Mathematical model may offer better understanding of embryonic development

Date:
March 9, 2010
Source:
Purdue University
Summary:
A mathematical model can predict complex signaling patterns that could help scientists determine how stem cells in an embryo later become specific tissues, knowledge that could be used to understand and treat developmental disorders and some diseases.

A mathematical model developed at Purdue University can predict complex signaling patterns that could help scientists determine how stem cells in an embryo later become specific tissues, knowledge that could be used to understand and treat developmental disorders and some diseases.

During embryonic development, proteins attach to cell receptors and start a cascade of reactions. Understanding those reactions is difficult, however, because feedback signals go back out to the proteins or other molecules along the cascade, constantly changing the reaction pattern. The outcomes of those reactions and the feedback mechanisms -- or inputs -- are known because they can be observed, but how the inputs lead to the outputs isn't understood.

"We want to understand how stem cells become tissue-specific so that we can manipulate that process to create cells that could be used to treat injuries and diseases," said David Umulis, a Purdue assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering. "Using a model approach, we can simulate these complex signaling patterns to get a better handle on the process."

Umulis created a model that predicted accurate outcomes when different feedback mechanisms were inserted. His results were published in the current issue of the journal Developmental Cell.

"Fruit fly embryos are a fantastic system to peer into early development since input/output relationships are easy to observe. You have a mutation and an output, but we don't typically know what happens in the middle," he said. "Realistic model embryos proved an additional tool that can be used to aid in that understanding. Models can link that cause and effect."

The study looked at fruit fly, or drosophila, embryos during very early development to decipher what controls the differentiation of these stem cells at their proper locations. During the process, cells take on identities that later specify tissue types in the adult organism. Before directional cues dictate development, the stem cells are capable of becoming many different tissues. Using models to analyze the dynamic signals the cells are receiving may help to better understand how to control similar cells in a laboratory setting.

Umulis said his model is a sort of template to allow researchers to test a number of hypotheses before conducting actual experiments. The information garnered from realistic 3-D models can guide the process and facilitate rapid discovery.

Umulis' next step is to count the number of molecules needed to initiate specific cell responses during embryonic development. The National Institutes of Health and Purdue University funded his work.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Purdue University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. David M. Umulis, Osamu Shimmi, Michael B. O'Connor and Hans G. Othmer. Organism-Scale Modeling of Early Drosophila Patterning via Bone Morphogenetic Proteins. Developmental Cell, 2010; 18 (2): 260 DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2010.01.006

Cite This Page:

Purdue University. "Mathematical model may offer better understanding of embryonic development." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 March 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309121546.htm>.
Purdue University. (2010, March 9). Mathematical model may offer better understanding of embryonic development. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309121546.htm
Purdue University. "Mathematical model may offer better understanding of embryonic development." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100309121546.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Stone Fruit Listeria Scare Causes Sweeping Recall

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The Wawona Packing Company has issued a voluntary recall on the stone fruit it distributes due to a possible Listeria outbreak. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die

AP (July 22, 2014) An 80-year-old agave plant, which is blooming for the first and only time at a University of Michigan conservatory, will die when it's done (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Huge Schizophrenia Study Finds Dozens Of New Genetic Causes

Newsy (July 22, 2014) The 83 new genetic markers could open dozens of new avenues for schizophrenia treatment research. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

CDC Head Concerned About a Post-Antibiotic Era

AP (July 22, 2014) Sounding alarms about the growing threat of antibiotic resistance, CDC Director Tom Frieden warned Tuesday if the global community does not confront the problem soon, the world will be living in a devastating post-antibiotic era. (July 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins