Andrea Ramos, Graduate Student (Barolo Laboratory), Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, University of Michigan Medical School
This image shows a developing larva of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. We engineered this larva so that, cells that are responding to a signal called Hedgehog express a green fluorescent protein. The large green dots are nuclei of the salivary glands, and the ovals with green stripes are developing legs and wings. The Hedgehog signal, which is essential for normal development and stem cell function in Drosophila, is also important in human development and disease. Studying how the Hedgehog signal controls gene expression in the fly tells us how tissues are patterned during animal development, and helps us understand how this same signal controls human development, health, and disease.