Using quail to study development
Professor Rusty Lansford describes how researchers examine avian systems by opening an egg and dynamically imaging developmental events under a microscope.
Itâ€™s important for us to know how cells and the organism develop because it gives a slight glimpse into how we develop. So we are using quail as a model system, in a sense, to see how we develop. Not many humans would let us look inside and see how the babies are developing inside the mom. By doing this with the quail system we can literally just open up the top of an egg and put it under a microscope and dynamically image the events that are going on. So those early events that you could never see, be it for normal development or for disease states, we can basically get a glimpse inside at cellular resolution. By cellular resolution, I mean 1â€“6 micron resolution so we are seeing where every individual cell is moving and how the whole tissue is forming.
quail, model, system, development, embryo, embryogenesis, rusty, lansford
Professor Rusty Lansford discuss the attributes that make birds a good model system - we can see developmental events that are going on in an egg that cannot be seen in a mammal in utero.
Professor Rusty Lansford explains that quail make a good model system because they are small, easy to grow in a laboratory, and develop quickly.
Professor Rusty Lansford explains that dynamic imaging is important because it allows researchers to examine active development rather than interpreting a series of snapshots.
Professor Rusty Lansford compares fluorescent microscopy, which images at the molecular level, and MRI, which images at the cellular/neural level.
Professor Rusty Lansford explains that modern imaging techniques use four dimensions - the x, y, and z spatial coordinates, as well as one other critical variable - time.
The microscopic roundworm, C. elegans, is an excellent model for understanding how cells divide, develop, and take on specialized tasks in higher (eukaryotic) organisms.
The fruit fly is easy to maintain, has large numbers of offspring, and grows quickly. The fruit fly shares with humans a number of so-called “master,” or homeotic, genes.
Mario Capecchi talks about the advantages of working with mice to study genetic disorders.
Professor David Van Vactor explains that model systems are simple organisms that allow us to study and manipulate gene function and development.