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What’s Left is Right? Symmetry Breaking in Embryonic Development

What’s Left is Right? Symmetry Breaking in Embryonic Development
place:new ANKA seminar room, building 348, 2nd floor
Affiliation:Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology and Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, USA
Inviting person:Ralf Hofmann, KIT-IPS
Speaker:Gary McDowell
Time:11:00 a.m.


Whilst humans and other vertebrates appear outwardly symmetrical, internal features such as the heart, viscera and brain exhibit left-right asymmetries. Errors of left­right patterning present an important class of human birth defects, including congenital heart defects arising from dextrocardia.  Considerable controversy exists about the nature and evolutionary conservation of the molecular mechanisms that allow embryos to reliably orient the left­right axis. Recent work has shown that mutations in the cytoskeletal protein tubulin that alter asymmetry in plants also affect very early steps of left­right patterning in nematode and frog embryos, as well as chirality of human cells in culture. Our data sheds new light, and asks new questions, about the role of the cytoskeleton in cell chirality an embryo laterality.