“Dr. Ma's team probed how a gene transcription regulatory protein called Bicoid turns on another gene, known as Hunchback.”
“Bicoid (UID#3936) on October 29th, 2009 at 2: 14 pm”
“Bicoid (UID#3936) on September 15th, 2009 at 10: 26 am”
“Bicoid is also a transcription factor, or gene that regulates the activity of other genes.”
“An example of this mechanism has been discovered by studying the maternal control of the expression pattern of the gap gene hunchback by the morphogen Bicoid”
“Bicoid is the transcription factor determining the anterior pattern, it is distributed in a concentration gradient with its maximum at the anterior pole of the egg and controls the transcription of several target genes in a concentration dependent manner.”
“This restriction applies in particular to the processes requiring diffusion in a syncytial embryo, as in the case of the formation of the Bicoid gradient.”
“We then test the method on real data about the diffusion of the morphogen Bicoid in Drosophila melanogaster.”
“In the end, they discovered the numerical key to the puzzle: If a cell nucleus senses a 10 percent higher concentration of Bicoid than its neighbor does, that cell knows it will be closer to the fly's head.”
“The Bicoid then diffuses through the gloppy liquid inside the egg, its concentration falling off with distance, until there is nearly none at the tail end.”
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