Long-Lost Relative Claims Orphan Gene: oskar in a Wasp
Cassandra G. Extavour*
Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America
``To us as embyrologists and men the
formation of an embryo has appeared to be
everything, the history of the germ cells a
secondary item of no particular moment.
Nature, on the other hand, reverses the
relative importance of the two, setting the
germ-cells in the place of honour, as linking
the remote past with the distant future.''
In 1902, the vertebrate embryologist
James Beard wrote these words in his
monograph on germ cells in the skate Raja
batis . Over 110 years later, germ line
specification and development are indeed
major areas of investigation in the fields of
developmental biology and evolution.