Ghost In Your Genes
Gene Switches
Launch interactive

Gene Switches

"Ghost in Your Genes" focuses on epigenetic "switches" that turn genes "on" or "off." But not all switches are epigenetic; some are genetic. That is, other genes within the chromosome turn genes on or off. In an animal's embryonic stage, these gene switches play a predominant role in laying out the animal's basic body plan and perform other early functions; the epigenome begins to take over during the later stages of embryogenesis. In this slide show, you'll see a striking example—in that lab standard Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly—of just how powerful these embryonic gene switches can be.—Nipam Patel


Nipam Patel is a professor in the Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology and Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley and runs a research laboratory that studies the role, during embryonic development, of homeotic genes (the genetic switches described in this slide show).

Ghost In Your Genes Home | Send Feedback | Image Credits | Support NOVA

© | Created August 2007