Assistant Professor of Biology Rhea Datta recently published a paper in the journal Development. Titled "Multi-level regulation of even-skipped stripes by the ubiquitous factor Zelda," the paper examines how particular, short, DNA sequences are regulated so that gene expression can be precisely controlled during embryonic development.
Activating and expressing the right gene, in the right tissue, at the right time is critical so that embryos can form properly. Errors during this process can result in severe congenital defects or even lethality.
In this paper, Datta and her collaborators examine the role of an epigenetic modifier protein called Zelda in regulating a gene called eve. "Eve controls how segments form along the body, ensuring that structures like the head, leg, or wing form correctly. The regulation of eve has long served as a paradigm for scientists trying to unravel the mysteries of how embryos construct themselves, and it is exciting that we have been able to contribute a piece to this puzzle," Datta said. *
Datta is the senior and corresponding author on this paper, and common practice in molecular biology is for this author to appear last on the manuscript.