New Genetic Understanding of How Retinas Develop
New research studies at UCSB are contributing to the basic biological understanding of how retinas develop.
“These studies individually demonstrate the genetic determinants of nerve cell number,” said Benjamin E. Reese, senior author and professor with the Neuroscience Research Institute and the department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. “Together, they show that different nerve cell types are modulated independent of one another.”
Irene Whitney, graduate student and first author of both articles, and Mary Raven, staff scientist and co-author, have been able to identify genomic loci where polymorphic genes must contribute to such natural variation. They also identified a promising candidate gene at a locus on chromosome 13, a transcription factor gene called Islet-1.
Efforts to use genetic engineering and stem cell biology to repair diseased retinas depend upon a fuller appreciation of the developmental biology of the retina, explained Reese.Read the full announcement