Science Podcasts

Naked Genetics episode

Fri, 13th Apr 2012

Developmental genetics - from one cell to many

Drosophila melanogaster fly (c) André Karwath (aka) via Wikipedia

This month we’re taking a trip into the world of developmental genetics, finding out how an animal grows from one cell into many millions as it develops from a fertilised egg, and discovering how it knows when it’s grown enough. We also hear about the hunt for genes involved in autism, see what sticklebacks can tell us about evolution, ponder the purpose of keeping 9,000 placentas, and ask whether we can ever genetically engineer humans to drink seawater. And the monster raving loony gene of the month is the wacky-sounding Lunatic Fringe.

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In this edition of Naked Genetics

Full Transcript

  • 01:21 - Developmental genetics - Dr David Ish-Horowicz

    For me, one of the most amazing things in biology is how a single fertilised egg cell can grow into a whole organism, whether it’s a fruit tree or fruit fly, hamster or human. To find out more about how this happens, I spoke to David Ish-Horowicz, who heads up the Developmental ...

  • 08:51 - Autism genes

    Researchers in America have looked at about 600 families who’ve got people with autism in the family, and they found three new high risk genes...

  • 10:56 - Rebuilding evolutionary trees

    A new paper in the American Journal of Human Genetics, talks about a Copernican revolution in how we view where we start comparing DNA sequences from...

  • 12:38 - Stickleback evolution

    Sequencing stickleback genomes reveals similarities in adaptation...

  • 13:54 - Children of the 90s

    A story that starts with 9,000 placentas floating in plastic buckets of formaldehyde...

  • 15:52 - Head lice vs body lice

    Scientists from the University of Illinois have found more evidence to suggest that human headlice and body lice may be the same species - something that’s hotly debated in the world of insect genetics...

  • 16:33 - Huntington's disease and cancer

    A paper from Swedish researchers in this month’s edition of the Lancet Oncology shows that people with Huntington’s disease and other similar conditions have a lower risk of developing cancer than the general population...

  • 17:08 - Birth defects

    An international team of researchers have made an important step forward in understanding how nature and nurture work together when it comes to birth defects linked to faulty genes, according to a new paper in the journal Cell...

  • 18:01 - Alzheimer's genes and brain development

    New studies published in the journal Nature Genetics have shed light on the genes involved in Alzheimer’s disease and brain development...

  • 19:12 - How do we know how big to grow? - Dr Nic Tapon

    We’ve already heard how genes control the growth of an organism from single fertilised cell. But how do we know when to stop? Why do animals reach a certain size and then stop, and how do the organs inside our bodies know when they’ve reached the right size too? As you can proba...

  • 27:43 - Could genetically engineered humans drink seawater?

    Would it be possible to genetically engineer humans to be able to drink sea water? Thanks, Chris - In France

  • 28:54 - Can radiation cause beneficial mutation?

    Mutation occurs quite naturally through mistakes made in copying your DNA. When your cells divide mutations introduce more variety into the genes of a species in terms of survival... this makes it more likely to survive and breed. (ref: AQA Science, Nelson Thornes p.112). My qu...

  • 30:29 - Gene of the month - Lunatic Fringe

    Finally, keep your hair on, because our gene of the month is the rather wackily-named Lunatic Fringe. First discovered in fruit flies, the Fringe gene is involved in forming the edges of a fly’s wings.

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