affinity for eggs
it happens, the chicken has been intriguing humans since Aristotle.
chicken is a well-studied model for vertebrate development and an
important biomedical model," said Delany. "The same events
and processes occur in humans, mice and chickens, but the advantage
to studying chickens is that these events and processes happen inside
the egg so there's no maternal environment to deal with."
research career began when as a college student she participated
in a summer program at the prestigious Jackson Laboratory at Bar
Harbor, Maine. After receiving a degree in biology, she moved on
to earn both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in animal genetics at Cornell
University. Since coming to Davis in 1995, her interest in tumor
genetics has led her to search for so-called "background"
genes that may promote oncogenesis, specifically those that contribute
to the promotion of metastases.
genetics is the focus of that part of her work funded by her cancer
society grant. Working with two groups of congenic chickens, so
called because 99.9 percent of their genome is identical, Delany
has studied the gene complexes on the one chromosome that differs
between the lines to see if it is involved in promoting tumor growth
and metastases formation.
congenic lines develop primary wing-web tumors when injected with
the Rous sarcoma virus oncogene," she said. "How- ever
one line is resistant and regresses the primary tumor, while the
other genetic line of susceptible birds does not exhibit primary
tumor regression and usually forms a fatal metastases in the liver
or lung. That gives us a neat model to study."
Mary Delaney's grant from the American Cancer Society has fueled
her investigation of cell development in chick embryos.
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