Matt Scott, Geneticist: How Genes Build Bodies

Length: 
4:48

Matt Scott investigates how genes gave rise to new body plans. His model is the fruit fly and the genes that control how the body is built. Geneticists, like Scott, often look at mutations to find their answers. Scott shows us a mutant fly. Mutant flies led to the discovery of Hox genes, regulatory genes that tell an embryo how to build the basic form of an animal. Scott is excited about the realization that similar genes build similar structures in very different animals.

Next Generation Science Standards for this Video

Hox genes specify the location of body parts in the fruit fly.

The fact that similar genes are found in very different animals means that those animals have a common ancestor.

Matt Scott finds genetic evidence to explain how body plans are built.

Matt Scott raises fruit flies, sequences their genes, and labels specific genes during development.

Matt Scott raises fruit flies, sequences their genes, and labels specific genes during development.

Hox genes direct certain aspects of the cellular differentiation of most multicellular animals.

Scientist in this video

One of the most exciting discoveries over the last couple of decades in developmental biology and genetics, has been the recognition that similar genes make similar structures in very different organisms.- -Matt Scott, 2001