Science Interviews


Thu, 13th Aug 2015

Gene of the Month - Lava lamp

Kat Arney

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Mysterious methylation

Kat - And finally, hereís our Gene of the Month, and this time itís Lava lamp. Named after the popular and somewhat hypnotic 1960s decorative lighting fixture, Lava lamp was first identified in fruit flies in the year 2000 when researchers were looking for genes involved in helping cells to split in two as they divide in the early embryo. Like the coloured bubbles in the novelty lamp, the Lava lamp protein is located in blobby pockets, known as vesicles, in a special part of the cell called the Golgi body. 

Lava lamp seems to interact with another fly gene called Lrrk - a molecular cousin of a gene involved in human Parkinsonís disease - and might be implicated in the development of the disease, as Golgi bodies are important for proper nerve structure and function. 


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