Gene of the Month - Ariadne
Kat - And finally, it's time for our mythical Gene of the Month - and this time it's Ariadne. The daughter of King Minos of Crete, the ancient Greek story goes that Ariadne fell in love with Theseus, who was aiming to kill the terrible bull-headed Minotaur hiding in its Cretan labyrinth. Ariadne sneakily gave Theseus a sword to stab the beast, and a ball of string to help him find his way back out again. Away from ancient Greece, the Ariadne gene was first discovered in fruit flies, and is involved in helping nerve cell axons - the long wires of our nervous system - find their targets, just like that helpful ball of string. Flies with a faulty version of Ariadne don't usually survive, and those that do have problems with their nerves and muscles. There are also versions of Ariadne in mammals such as mice and humans, and there are hints that it might be involved in the development of the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson's.