the community site for and by developmental biologists

Towards a mechanistic understanding of branching innovations in plant evolution.

Posted by on April 29th, 2015

Jill Harrison and Yoan Coudert.   The conquest of land by plants was one of the most significant events in our planet’s history, and was underpinned by a series of innovations in plant architecture. Amongst these, the innovation of branching stands out in allowing plants to colonize new volumes of space in the subaerial environment.[…]

BSDB/BSCB Spring meeting 2015, meeting report

Posted by on April 28th, 2015

A couple of weeks ago, the BSDB and the BSCB held their annual joint spring meeting at the University of Warwick. The spring meetings are their major annual event and a must-go for all cell and developmental biologists in the UK (and beyond). Now, before I go any further, here’s a disclaimer: I love this meeting.[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 142, Issue 9)

Posted by on April 28th, 2015

Here are the highlights from the current issue of Development:   The light at the end of the tubule Tubular structures, such as kidney tubules or blood vessels, carry out crucial functions in organisms. Their morphogenesis requires an orchestrated sequence of cellular rearrangements, the disruption of which leads to tubule dysfunction, as observed in polycystic[…]

Animal models for studying neural crest development: is the mouse different?

Posted by on April 28th, 2015

In the latest issue of Development, Elias Barriga, Paul Trainor, Marianne Bronner and Roberto Mayor have contributed a Spotlight article that discusses conserved and non-conserved aspects of neural crest development across vertebrates, and highlights potential concerns or caveats regarding the use of the mouse for the analysis of early neural crest development. The piece raises a number[…]

Discovery of an unexpected function of a protein linked to neurodegenerative diseases

Posted by on April 28th, 2015

A study done on fruit flies and published in Nature Communications reveals that the protein dDsk2, in addition to degrading proteins, also plays a key role in regulating gene expression. This protein is also present in humans and is known to be mutated in several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s. But the mechanism by which these[…]

The science of the cat in your computer: our journey into crowdfunded sequencing of LilBUB

Posted by on April 27th, 2015

About a year ago – when spending some quality afterwork time on the Internet – me and my benchmate Dario stumbled upon LilBUB. If you’re an internet cat afficionado you’ve probably seen LilBUB around. She’s extremely cute and lovable, and she’s got something of a celebrity status. But, as developmental biologists, we were also intrigued by[…]

A response to NIH-RFI on funding policies and sustainability of biomedical research

Posted by on April 24th, 2015

Currently NIH has put out a request for information (RFI) to solicit input from the scientific community regarding “Optimizing Funding Policies and Other Strategies to Improve the Impact and Sustainability of Biomedical Research”(NOT-OD-15-084). The deadline to submit a response is May 17th 2015. More information can be found at Rock Talk blog post. Response need[…]

Young Embryologist’s Network Boston – Looking for speakers

Posted by on April 23rd, 2015

The Young Embryologist’s Network is an organization in the UK – you may have seen the recent call for abstracts for the UK annual meeting – that is expanding to Boston! The aim of the first few Boston meetings is to bring together anyone with an interest in embryology and development to hear undergraduates, graduate[…]

Question of the month- CRISPR technology

Posted by on April 23rd, 2015

This week a group in China published a paper in Protein & Cell claiming to have genetically edited a human embryo using CRISPR technology. This paper is generating a lot of debate for many reasons, from the type of embryo used in the experiment, to where it was (or wasn’t) published. More broadly though, it forces us to think about[…]

(Developmental) Biology around the internet- April 2015

Posted by on April 22nd, 2015

Here is April’s round-up of some of the interesting content that we spotted around the internet!   News & Research – There is a growing number of postdocs and not enough positions in academia. What is the future of the postdoc? Meanwhile, the MRC removed the number of postdoc years from their eligibility criteria for fellowship[…]