Saturday, April 20, 2024

C. elegans may be a model organism for studying telomere biology

    Telomeres, the ends of the double-stranded DNA chromosomes, require proteins for protection. In mammals, shelterin is known to do this important job. Scientists at the University of Michigan have found that the proteins TEBP-1 and TEBP-2 protect the telomeres found in the common roundworm, C. elegans. In order to do their job, these proteins must find a way to bind to each other, and then bind to the chromosome. The worm has "myb-containing domains" known as MCD 1, 2, and 3, which are the three segments of the single proteins TEBP-1 and TEBP-2. The scientists had found that only MCD3 binds DNA to link the proteins to the telomeres while MCD1 and MCD2 bind together molecules of TEBP-1 and TEBP-2. 

    Something mentioned in the article as how before this study, scientists had a lot of trouble trying to find out more of C. elegans due to their tunnel vision. Generally, scientists tend to compare everything to mammals, which can lead to closed-minded thinking. The article reads, "the C. elegans examples shows us that there are multiple ways to solve the end protection problems and some of them might be quite different from how humans do it. But as long as they are effective, they are selected for in evolution" (Science Daily). I thought that was an interesting part to read about in the paper because I think its important to point out errors in perspective or the habit of not thinking open minded. I think in a science setting it is important to keep an open mind because science has proven hundreds of interesting, surprising things before. I also thought it was interesting to read about how one of the lead researchers thinks this roundworm is a model organism for this kind of research. I think its interesting how the roundworm added so much information about chromosome ends and telomeres considering how microscopic the actual animal is. Overall, I thought it was interesting to see how different our DNA works compared to a roundworm and how scientists come about this information.,organism%20for%20studying%20telomere%20biology. 

1 comment:

  1. Interesting thing about C. elegans if I'm not mistaken is that it was the first animal to have its genome sequenced. This animal has had quite the history being organism that scientists want to research. I'm just curious to know why it's been selected for all this research.