the community site for and by developmental biologists

Introducing preLights: preprint highlights, selected by the biological community

Posted by on February 23rd, 2018

This editorial by Katherine Brown and Olivier Pourquié was published in Development on 22/02/18. We are excited to announce the launch of preLights (, a new service from The Company of Biologists. preLights is a community platform for selecting, highlighting and commenting on recent preprints from across the biological sciences. With this service, we aim to[…]

MRC WIMM Centre for Computational Biology Studentship

Posted by on February 23rd, 2018

Are you interested in applying mathematics, statistics or machine learning to biomedical problems? Apply now for a MRC WIMM Centre for Computational Biology Studentship, to start in October 2018.  The studentship is fully-funded for four years, including a stipend of £18,000 p.a. and all University and College fees paid. The studentship is open to applicants[…]

PhD position in Queen Mary University of London: Evolution of axis specification in annelid worms

Posted by on February 23rd, 2018

A PhD studentship is available for a project on the evolution of axis specification modes in spiral cleaving animals. The project will focus on the annelid species Owenia fusiformis, which occupies a key phylogenetic position as the sister lineage to all remaining annelids, and it has recently proven very informative for the study of animal[…]

Using human development to improve myogenesis from human pluripotent stem cells

Posted by on February 21st, 2018

A discussion of our recent paper: Hicks et al., ERBB3 and NGFR mark a distinct skeletal muscle progenitor cell in human development and hPSCs. Nature Cell Biology, January 1 2018   Approaching the problem of muscle disease with cell replacement therapy We will all be affected by a muscle wasting disease in our lifetime. The[…]

Postdoc position (Francis Crick Institute, London): Developmental origins of health and longevity

Posted by on February 20th, 2018

An exciting opportunity to be part of a pioneering biomedical research institute, dedicated to innovation and science. A postdoctoral research post in the laboratory of Dr. Alex P. Gould is now available. We are looking for a highly motivated researcher to identify the, as yet unknown, molecular mechanisms by which dietary nutrients and oxidative stress[…]

A droso4school CPD event for teachers

Posted by on February 20th, 2018

The droso4schools initiative is an educational outreach programme run by the Manchester Fly Facility, which I had the opportunity to be actively involved in during a month-long placement (see my previous blog). The aim of this programme is to re-introduce the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster into school and college biology lessons. For this, the droso4schools[…]

The people behind the papers – Marina Matsumiya & Ryoichiro Kageyama

Posted by on February 19th, 2018

Vertebrate segmentation involves the periodic formation of somites from the presomitic mesoderm, in a manner controlled by oscillating gene expression (the oscillations of the segmentation clock must be one of the marvels of nature!). While in vivo work has provided a framework for studying the process, many aspects of segmentation dynamics are obscured in the embryo. A new Techniques[…]

Genes activated in metastasis also drive the first stages of tumour growth

Posted by on February 19th, 2018

In spite of the difference between the cell functions responsible for giving rise to a tumour and for the metastasis of this same tumour, studies at IRB Barcelona using the fly Drosophila melanogaster reveal that some genes can drive both phenome na.   In cancer research, there has been a tendency to differentiate between the[…]

Emilia Favuzzi: winner of the 2018 Beddington medal

Posted by on February 17th, 2018

The Beddington Medal is the BSDB’s major commendation to promising young biologists, awarded for the best PhD thesis in Developmental Biology defended in the year previous to the award. Rosa Beddington was one of the greatest talents and inspirational leaders in the field of developmental biology. Rosa made an enormous contribution to the field in[…]

A journey towards uncovering the mechanics of embryonic polarization

Posted by on February 17th, 2018

The key results of our recent paper in Nature Cell Biology   Cell polarization defines the spatial biological specificities in a cell. During the first cell cycle of a C. elegans zygote, its symmetry is broken by local remodeling of the cortical actomyosin network. This leads to a segregation of the dedicated polarity regulators, the PAR[…]