Gene of the Month - Pax6
Kat - And finally it's time for our gene of the month, and in keeping with our theme of vision it's Pax6. Known as PAX6 in humans and eyeless in fruit flies - but found in a wide range of different animals including mammals, insects and fish - the gene is a 'master controller' telling a developing embryo exactly where to grow an eye. Impressively, the Pax6 gene from mice can be put into fruit flies, and can direct them to grow fruit fly eyes. And as might be expected, any faults in such an important gene lead to major problems with eye development, so researchers are studying the gene in detail to gain insights into why some children are born blind.