Boundary Zone

This pink line of cells belongs to a fruit fly, marking the boundary between its small and large intestines. Duke cell biologist Don Fox and postdoc Jessica Sawyer are studying how cells in this zone protect the border between these two organs as the fly develops, and what happens when the border breaks down. Normally the pink boundary zone helps keep neighboring cells from dividing, but damage to the area results in tumor-like growths that invade across the organ boundary.

House Hunters

Liver cells are versatile workhorses, synthesizing key proteins while clearing toxins from the body. But these homebodies rarely survive outside the liver, making them challenging to study. Asli Unal, a graduate student in Jennifer West’s lab, is building synthetic homes for picky liver cells.


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