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Advent calendar round-up

Posted by on December 25th, 2012

If you have been following along with the advent calendar we’ve had in the sidebar for the past couple of weeks, you will have seen twenty-four papers - all selected by readers of the Node.

We’ve seen a diverse selection of papers, all describing recent work in developmental and stem cell biology. The people who suggested the papers wrote a brief description of the work, and why they chose it. Those little recommendations added an extra dimension to what otherwise would just have been a list of papers.

For example, on December 16 we featured a paper on pigmentation patterns in cats. Heather Etchevers, who selected the paper, wrote: “this paper was justifiably published in a general science journal because to some extent, everyone has asked themselves the question of how the leopard got its pattern of spots.” On December 24, Tohru Yano excitedly described a paper on limb development: “This paper shows us crazy results of extra fins/limbs at the same position!” And near the start of the month, on December 5, Bob Goldstein wrote “an important step forward, and beautiful!” about a recent paper on neural tube closure imaging.

We got a lot of great feedback about the advent calendar, but of course it was all down to your select not papers. So a big thank-you to everyone - from grad students to professors - whose suggestions were included. In order of appearance on the calendar: Nishal Patel. Tohru Yano, Rachael Inglis, Mary Todd Bergman, Bob Goldstein, Eva Amsen, Nik Papageorgiou, Katherine Brown, Heather Etchevers, Claire Cox, Barry Thompson, Heather Buschman, Andrew Renault, Seema Grewal, Benoit Bruneau, the Raff Lab, and Joanna Asprer.

Another round of special thanks goes to the journals who temporally freed access to papers so that our advent picks were available to everyone on their respective days. Thank you very much to Developmental Dynamics, Cell, Science Translational Medicine, Current Biology, Developmental Cell, Science, Genes & Development, Nature, and Development.

If you missed any of the entries, you can find the archive here. Some of the papers are no longer free to access, though.

Finally, the complete list of all the papers we’ve featured these past weeks:

December 1:
Thurman R.E., Rynes E., Humbert R., Vierstra J., Maurano M.T., Haugen E., Sheffield N.C., Stergachis A.B., Wang H. & Vernot B. & (2012). The accessible chromatin landscape of the human genome, Nature, 489 (7414) 75-82. DOI:

December 2:
Unhavaithaya Y. & Orr-Weaver T.L. (2012). Polyploidization of glia in neural development links tissue growth to blood-brain barrier integrity, Genes & Development, 26 (1) 31-36. DOI:

December 3:
Tschopp P., Christen A.J. & Duboule D. (2012). Bimodal control of Hoxd gene transcription in the spinal cord defines two regulatory subclusters, Development, 139 (5) 929-939. DOI:

December 4:
Reynolds N., Latos P., Hynes-Allen A., Loos R., Leaford D., O’Shaughnessy A., Mosaku O., Signolet J., Brennecke P. & Kalkan T. & (2012). NuRD Suppresses Pluripotency Gene Expression to Promote Transcriptional Heterogeneity and Lineage Commitment, Cell Stem Cell, 10 (5) 583-594. DOI:

December 5;
Massarwa R. & Niswander L. (2012). In toto live imaging of mouse morphogenesis and new insights into neural tube closure, Development, 140 (1) 226-236. DOI:

December 6:
Salbreux G., Barthel L.K., Raymond P.A. & Lubensky D.K. (2012). Coupling mechanical deformations and planar cell polarity to create regular patterns in the zebrafish retina., PLoS computational biology, PMID:

December 7:
Stone M., Rao K., Gheres K., Kim S., Tao J., La Rochelle C., Folker C., Sherwood N. & Rolls M. (2012). Normal Spastin Gene Dosage Is Specifically Required for Axon Regeneration, Cell Reports, 2 (5) 1340-1350. DOI:

December 8:
Schoenebeck J.J., Hutchinson S.A., Byers A., Beale H.C., Carrington B., Faden D.L., Rimbault M., Decker B., Kidd J.M. & Sood R. & (2012). Variation of BMP3 contributes to dog breed skull diversity., PLoS genetics, PMID:

December 9:
Scherptong R.W.C., Jongbloed M.R.M., Wisse L.J., Vicente-Steijn R., Bartelings M.M., Poelmann R.E., Schalij M.J. & Gittenberger-De Groot A.C. (2012). Morphogenesis of outflow tract rotation during cardiac development: The pulmonary push concept, Developmental Dynamics, 241 (9) 1413-1422. DOI:

December 10:
Shi Y., Kirwan P., Smith J., MacLean G., Orkin S.H. & Livesey F.J. (2012). A Human Stem Cell Model of Early Alzheimer’s Disease Pathology in Down Syndrome, Science Translational Medicine, 4 (124) 124ra29-124ra29. DOI:

December 11:
Zhou S., Lo W.C., Suhalim J., Digman M., Gratton E., Nie Q. & Lander A. (2012). Free Extracellular Diffusion Creates the Dpp Morphogen Gradient of the Drosophila Wing Disc, Current Biology, 22 (8) 668-675. DOI:

December 12:
Weber G., Bjerke M. & DeSimone D. (2012). A Mechanoresponsive Cadherin-Keratin Complex Directs Polarized Protrusive Behavior and Collective Cell Migration, Developmental Cell, 22 (1) 104-115. DOI:

December 13:
Hayashi K., Ogushi S., Kurimoto K., Shimamoto S., Ohta H. & Saitou M. (2012). Offspring from Oocytes Derived from in Vitro Primordial Germ Cell-like Cells in Mice, Science, 338 (6109) 971-975. DOI:

December 14:
Colas A.R., McKeithan W.L., Cunningham T.J., Bushway P.J., Garmire L.X., Duester G., Subramaniam S. & Mercola M. (2012). Whole-genome microRNA screening identifies let-7 and mir-18 as regulators of germ layer formation during early embryogenesis, Genes & Development, 26 (23) 2567-2579. DOI:

December 15:
Haskel-Ittah M., Ben-Zvi D., Branski-Arieli M., Schejter E., Shilo B.Z. & Barkai N. (2012). Self-Organized Shuttling: Generating Sharp Dorsoventral Polarity in the Early Drosophila Embryo, Cell, 150 (5) 1016-1028. DOI:

December 16:
Kaelin C.B., Xu X., Hong L.Z., David V.A., McGowan K.A., Schmidt-Kuntzel A., Roelke M.E., Pino J., Pontius J. & Cooper G.M. & (2012). Specifying and Sustaining Pigmentation Patterns in Domestic and Wild Cats, Science, 337 (6101) 1536-1541. DOI:

December 17:
Chen H., Xu Z., Mei C., Yu D. & Small S. (2012). A System of Repressor Gradients Spatially Organizes the Boundaries of Bicoid-Dependent Target Genes, Cell, 149 (3) 618-629. DOI:

December 18:
Yoshiba S., Shiratori H., Kuo I.Y., Kawasumi A., Shinohara K., Nonaka S., Asai Y., Sasaki G., Belo J.A. & Sasaki H. & (2012). Cilia at the Node of Mouse Embryos Sense Fluid Flow for Left-Right Determination via Pkd2, Science, 338 (6104) 226-231. DOI:

December 19:
Hödl M. & Basler K. (2012). Transcription in the Absence of Histone H3.2 and H3K4 Methylation, Current Biology, 22 (23) 2253-2257. DOI:

December 20:
Zhao T., Graham O.S., Raposo A. & St Johnston D. (2012). Growing Microtubules Push the Oocyte Nucleus to Polarize the Drosophila Dorsal-Ventral Axis, Science, 336 (6084) 999-1003. DOI:

December 21:
Lefebvre J.L., Kostadinov D., Chen W.V., Maniatis T. & Sanes J.R. (2012). Protocadherins mediate dendritic self-avoidance in the mammalian nervous system, Nature, 488 (7412) 517-521. DOI:

December 22:
Guichard P., Desfosses A., Maheshwari A., Hachet V., Dietrich C., Brune A., Ishikawa T., Sachse C. & Gonczy P. (2012). Cartwheel Architecture of Trichonympha Basal Body, Science, 337 (6094) 553-553. DOI:

December 23:
Charrier C., Joshi K., Coutinho-Budd J., Kim J.E., Lambert N., de Marchena J., Jin W.L., Vanderhaeghen P., Ghosh A. & Sassa T. & (2012). Inhibition of SRGAP2 Function by Its Human-Specific Paralogs Induces Neoteny during Spine Maturation, Cell, 149 (4) 923-935. DOI:

December 24:
Christen B., Rodrigues A.M.C., Monasterio M.B., Roig C.F. & Belmonte J.C.I. (2012). Transient downregulation of Bmp signalling induces extra limbs in vertebrates, Development, 139 (14) 2557-2565. DOI:
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