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Preprints: biomedical science publication in the era of twitter and facebook

Posted by on October 27th, 2016

Earlier this week, I took part in a workshop on preprints – organised by Alfonso Martinez-Arias and held in Cambridge, UK. Inspired by the ASAPbio movement in the States, Alfonso felt it would be useful to bring discussion of the potential value of preprints more to the forefront in the UK. Happily, he was able to[…]


Posted by on August 31st, 2016

(or: how to avoid misleading representations of statistical data)   Recently, a kickstarter project raised more than 3000€ in one month to campaign for banning the wrong usage of bar plots in scientific journals. This demonstrates two important points: a lot of the plots in scientific journals are quite misleading, and, a growing number of[…]

Exciting news on neural stem cell niches: stunning research from Fiona Doetsch’s lab

Posted by on August 26th, 2016 Sense & Sensibility: niche signals regulate neural stem cells in an age-dependent manner paper feature by Thomas Schwarz-Romond Tissue specific stem cell niches provide lifelong support for adult stem cells. The cell-biological dissection of (adult neural) stem cell – niche interactions uncovered unexpected regulatory functions. These new results imply that stem cell niches actively[…]

Free webinar | Single-cell RNA-seq and cell heterogeneity in the central nervous system

Posted by on August 17th, 2016

Register here:  Interested in understanding RNA-seq and its application to the study of oligodendrocyte heterogeneity? Join Dr Gonçalo Castelo-Branco and Dr Amit Zeisel, of the the Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysicsat the Karolinska Institutet, as they discuss the latest developments in single cell RNA-seq. Topics covered will include Technology development, applications, and challenges Investigation of[…]

A new role of an insect steroid hormone: The link between mating and germline stem cells

Posted by on August 11th, 2016

Tomotsune Ameku, Ryusuke Niwa’s lab, University of Tsukuba, Japan.   Steroid hormones have crucial roles in regulating a broad range of biological processes in most multicellular organisms. They are produced in specialized endocrine organs and act as ligands for the nuclear receptor family of transcription factors. In mammals, sex steroid hormones, such as estrogen and[…]

The Doctor of Delayed Publications – the remarkable life of George Streisinger

Posted by on July 21st, 2016

It seemed like an ordinary morning, with the lecture on Drosophila genetics due to start at 8 o’clock. But when the professor walked in something remarkable happened: instead of starting the lecture right away, he posed an unusual question: “One of the students of this class has a publication on this topic. George Streisinger, where[…]

Research without boundaries – I remain an optimist

Posted by on July 16th, 2016

This week I attended a meeting with Paul Nurse, director of the The Francis Crick Institute, who spoke about the potential implications of the pending Brexit on scientific research at the Crick. Like many other postdocs, I never envisaged that I would be sitting in the Fletcher Hall at Mill Hill following a referendum outcome that meant the UK[…]

Deep into the developmental origins of neural tumours with Drosophila

Posted by on July 12th, 2016

Caroline Dillard and Cédric Maurange (Aix-Marseille University, CNRS, IBDM, Marseille)   Drosophila neural stem cells as a cancer model Transformation of a cell into a cancer cell is a complex process along which the cell acquires hallmarks as diverse as resistance to differentiation, infinite proliferative potential, metastasis, resistance to cell death, genome instability (Hanahan and[…]

Replicating spinal cord development with microfluidics

Posted by on July 5th, 2016

Unraveling Development Embryonic development is a complex and regulated spatiotemporal ensemble of signaling cues that control cell differentiation. Most of what we now know comes from experimenting directly on embryos. This provides biological realism, but involves a sea of uncontrolled/unobserved variables that sometimes obscures the basic underlying mechanisms. More recently, in vitro models, based on[…]

“People in this country have had enough of experts”

Posted by on July 2nd, 2016

I woke up this morning to a Facebook reminder of where I was 5 years ago. I was in Lille, France, on a 2 month sabbatical at Université Lille 1 from my PhD at the University of Cambridge, UK. It was supported by an EU collaborative grant to promote scientific interaction between member states.  […]