The Case of the Missing Gene, Exhibit C

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Submitted by Eric Williams in the Leonard Guarente Laboratory at MIT

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Eric Williams
Glenn Laboratory for the Science of Aging
MIT Department of Biology
Fluorescent Microscopy

"These are balls of embryonic stem cells which are in the process of becoming other cell types, such as neurons, heart, and muscle. The green cells are missing a gene, Sirtuin1. The red cells have all the genes. The blue color is present in all of the cells and is staining the cells' nuclei. I mixed these two types of embryonic stem cells together and differentiate them into embryoid bodies.

This image indicates that embryonic stem cells lacking Sirtuin1 do not differentiate in the same way as wild type embryonic stem cells. Therefore, Sirtuin1 likely plays some role in the process of pluripotency or differentiation. I am currently trying to determine what this role is."