Banding Together

During a six-hour window in the development of a new fruitfly, a group of papillar cells in the animal’s rectum do something highly unusual – they form a giant super-cell with 100 nucleii. Within this giant cell, researchers in the Don Fox lab in pharmacology and cancer biology have seen the nuclei exchanging proteins that would otherwise be much too large to pass between cells. Fox says this is yet another example of the important things we can learn about our own biology by studying model organisms like fruitflies.