Navigation Links
One big biology question solved

An Australian research team has solved one of biology's most fundamental questions ?why males produce sperm and females produce eggs. The finding is a breakthrough that could lead to improved infertility treatment, cancer therapy and pest management.

The team, led by Dr Josephine Bowles and Professor Peter Koopman from the Institute for Molecular Bioscience at The University of Queensland, has discovered that derivatives of Vitamin A trigger the beginning of egg and sperm production, a process known as meiosis.

The cells that eventually turn into either eggs or sperm ?known as germ cells ?are identical in male and female embryos.

"Whether a germ cell develops into an egg or a sperm depends on the time at which meiosis begins," Professor Koopman said.

"In females, meiosis begins before birth and eggs are produced, whereas in males, meiosis begins after birth and the result is sperm."

Professor Koopman and his team found that retinoic acid, a derivative of Vitamin A, causes germ cells in female embryos to begin meiosis, leading to the production of eggs.

They also discovered an enzyme present in male embryos that wipes out retinoic acid and so suppresses meiosis until after birth, resulting in sperm production.

"This is an extremely important process that nobody has been able to figure out until now," Professor Koopman said.

"It is textbook science and it should provide the basis for a number of practical applications."

Knowledge of what triggers and suppresses meiosis may allow researchers to improve fertility, for example in the case of an infertile couple wanting a baby, or suppress it, in the case of pest management.

Professor Koopman also suggested that an inappropriate retinoid signal might give the wrong instructions to germ cells, which could lead to the formation of germ cell tumours.

"Our research has suggested a possible cause for these common testicular canc ers, opening up avenues of investigation which will hopefully one day lead to a cure," Professor Koopman said.

The findings of the team will be published in one of the world's top scientific journals Science and will be available in its online version, SciencExpress, from today (Friday 31March).


'"/>

Source:Research Australia


Related biology news :

1. Molecular biology fills gaps in knowledge of bat evolution
2. Inexpensive, mass-produced genes core of synthetic biology advances at UH
3. Agilent Technologies releases automated literature search tool for biology researchers
4. Insight into DNAs weakest links may yield clues to cancer biology
5. Science study holds implications for gene therapy and stem cell biology
6. Agilent Technologies introduces advanced zebrafish, mouse microarrays for stem cell and developmental biology research
7. AACR Favors full spectrum of stem cell research biology
8. Breakthrough in micro-device fabrication combines biology and synthetic chemistry
9. Regenerating worms help elucidate stem cell biology
10. Scientists map one of biologys critical light-sensing structures
11. Largest computational biology simulation mimics life’s most essential nanomachine
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market ... Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast ... from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, ... security technology company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. ... to its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate ... ... NXT-ID, we look forward to their guidance and benefiting from ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... 2017 KEY FINDINGS The global ... a CAGR of 25.76% during the forecast period of ... factor for the growth of the stem cell market. ... MARKET INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is ... geography. The stem cell market of the product is ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Sonic Manufacturing Technologies is proud to be ... solar system on its roof top. “We will be independent of the grid ... stated. The company’s proud history of social responsibility and participation in the preservation ...
(Date:7/14/2017)... ... July 13, 2017 , ... ... verification test kit has received US FDA 510 (k) clearance for use on ... matrix, evaluates D-Dimer. Each VALIDATE® D-Dimer kit, prepared using the CLSI EP06-A “equal ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... ... Thousands of pilots from across the country will visit the AMA’s International ... to Muncie to compete in various categories of model flying competition. Each pilot comes ... championships. , RC Pylon (July 14-21): One of the most fun competitions to watch! ...
(Date:7/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... In’Tech Medical SAS ( http://www.intech-medical.com ), the ... of a major transaction with Eurazeo PME. The reputable French private equity comes ... In’Tech Medical’s service offerings while leveraging the company’s manufacturing expertise and global footprint. ...
Breaking Biology Technology: