Uses In Physiology And Developmental Biology

Harrison's earliest work was designed to examine the physiology of a nerve outside the living organism, and similar uses have been made of insect cells and tissue. By removing the tissue or cells from the insect, it is possible to delineate how individual compounds affect them. Some of the most useful work has been with ecdysone, the insect molting hormone. In 1972 Anne-Marie Courgeon showed that exposing a cell line from Drosophila melanogaster to P-ecdysone (a particular form of ecdysone now known as 20-hydroxyedysone) caused rounded cells to change to aggregates of highly elongated cells. Lynn and

Hung found that a cell line from a small wasp can undergo a similar morphogenesis with the added feature that the elongated cells are highly contractile, like muscle cells (Fig. 2).

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