New insights into cellular ‘bridges’ shed light on development, disease

Most cells in the bodies of living things duplicate their contents and physically separate into new cells through the process of cell division. But across many species, germ cells, those that become eggs or sperm, don’t fully separate. They remain interconnected through small bridges called ring canals and cluster together. In a new study, researchers uncover how it is that germ cells in fruit flies form these ring canals, a finding that they say will provide new insights into a widely shared feature of development and into diseases in which cell division is disrupted.