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Fly Gene Discovery Gets at Root of Branching Structures

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Science  20 Dec 1996:
Vol. 274, Issue 5295, pp. 2011
DOI: 10.1126/science.274.5295.2011


A group led by Stanford University biochemist Mark Krasnow has found the signal that tells cells in embryos of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to develop into branching structures: a network of respiratory tubes called trachea that supply oxygen directly to interior tissues. The finding may hold clues to what promotes branching in mammals, a problem that has long left biologists stumped.