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Lineage Tracking Essay

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The ability to trace cell lineages holds a massive amount of beneficial information for the medical community, biologists, and genetists. John Sulston started this revolution with his 1980s research over an embryo of Caenorhabditis elegans. Sulston traced the cell lineage of this organism from fertilization until multicellular development. In his observations, he recorded the development of 671 cells and the death of 111 cells. Understanding the history of where the cells come from has the promise to lead to innovative technologies which have the possibility to change the future of medicine. Several methods by many different researchers were used to approach this innovate ideology of cell lineage tracking. Researchers such as Ehud Shapiro…show more content…
Discovering the cell lineage in humans could allow for basic understanding of how embryonic cells and embryonic mutated cells are distributed towards development of which parts of the body. Cancer is defined as genetic mutations which occur following birth, yet with Stratton’s research what if the mutations found at the embryonic level within the breast cancer patients contributed to the cancer after all. The scientific community knows in order for cancer to arise a very large series of mutations must occur, so what if the mutation has slowly been accumulating since the embryonic level? If somehow, we could trace those mutations from the embryonic level to the grown organism I think we could possibly have a better understanding of cancer. Geneticist, Jay Shedure, approached cell lineage tracing with the vision to follow mutated embryonic cells through their development. Shedure utilized the CRISPR-Cas9 as part of his methods to follow mutations he induced in zebrafish. CRISPR uses the Cas9 enzyme to modify specific DNA sequences with the help of an RNA molecule which finds the desired sequence of DNA to be edited. Shedure used CRISPR-Cas9 to insert mutations in specific regions of two zebrafish embryonic genomes and then sequenced the same regions in an adult zebrafish. With the embryonic mutated genomes and the sequenced regions in the adult zebrafish, a lineage was created. Unanticipated results
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