Support cells in the fruit fly brain moonlight as undertakers
Sometimes telling your neighbor “Eat me,” is a good thing. That is if you happen to be a dead or dying cell whose carcass needs disposal.
Researchers led by Ulrike Gaul, a Drosophila geneticist at Rockefeller, dubbed the newly discovered protein Six-Microns-Under, or SIMU, in honor of an HBO series called Six Feet Under about a family that runs a funeral home.
“We had to take some poetic license because cells in the fly
are often less than six microns in diameter, but it was too good a name to pass