A team at IRB Barcelona identifies an essential protein for embryonic viability during the first cell divisions in the fly Drosophila.
This protein, called dBigH1, which is a variant of histone 1, could also be associated with fertility issues.
A zygote is the first cell of a new individual that comes about as the result of the fusion of an ovule with a spermatozoid. The DNA of the zygote holds all the information required to generate an adult organism. However, in the first stages of life, during the so-called embryogenesis, the genome of this zygote is repressed and does not exert any activity.