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Drosophila melanogaster is a well-established model organism used to understand the molecular mechanisms of many human diseases. This is because 75% of human disease-causing genes are found in the fly in a similar form. By manipulating genes, causes of varying genetic disorders can be determined in flies, thus providing more information for treatment in humans. For example, it is known that Grip84 plays a role in brain size and development in fruit flies; if the gene is mutated, microcephaly (neurodevelopmental condition resulting in smaller than average brain size and developmental disorders) may occur. However, the results of a complete gene knockout/deletion of Grip84 have not been investigated. The CRISPR-Cas9 system helps with researching genes because it can disrupt, delete, and edit targeted gene(s) and genetic elements. Using CRISPR and observing brain/head growth in fruit flies, I will determine what role Grip84 plays in brain development and how it potentially influences the development of microcephaly by inducing Grip84’s loss of function in fruit flies. Due to lack of time and contamination, data could not be collected on Grip84. However, new techniques were developed in collecting Fruitfly embryos.
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Chernyak, Katherine, "Lord of the Fruitflies: Setting up the CRISPR-Cas9 System to Induce Microcephaly in Drosophila Melanogaster" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 12.
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