the community site for and by developmental biologists

Displaying posts in the category: Discussion [Clear Filter]

Who will regulate UK embryo research?

Posted by on October 1st, 2010

In an attempt to tighten the country’s budget, the UK government wants to cut a large number of arms-length non-governmental organisations. These “quangos” (quasi-autonomous non-governmental organizations) include regulatory bodies, advisory organs, and other committees. Until last week, there were only vague speculations as to which funds would be cut, but the news has become more[…]

Nobel Predictions

Posted by on September 23rd, 2010

Thomson Reuters has predicted who they think will walk away with the Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics, and economics. Their predictions for the prize for Physiology or Medicine include six names in four areas: – Douglas Coleman and Jeffrey Friedman, for the discovery of leptin – Ernest McCulloch and James Till, for the discovery[…]

Supplementary?

Posted by on August 19th, 2010

It seems that following on the tracks of Cell Press, which is reducing the maximum number of supplemental figures to one per manuscript figure, now J. Neuroscience is doing away with it altogether. Hooray? I agree that it is not a very good thing at times that the amount of Suppl Figs has risen (or[…]

Changes in Canadian postdoc funding

Posted by on August 17th, 2010

Some Canadian postdocs are awaiting the next academic year with bated breath: will they earn less than they did during their PhD, or twice as much as their colleagues? Canada’s 2010 research budget, announced this past spring, was full of surprises for the thousands of postdoctoral researchers in the country. To promote top-level talent, the[…]

Too many postdocs and PhD students?

Posted by on July 23rd, 2010

There was a nice piece on the Naturejobs site this week, written by postdoc Katherine Sixt. She describes how she started to realize that not every postdoc will eventually become a professor. There simply aren’t enough positions available, so postdocs should look at other careers. But as a postdoc, and even as a PhD student,[…]

Stem cells and developmental biology: old friends meet again…or did they ever part ways?

Posted by on June 30th, 2010

Ahhh the Node, my favourite part of the embryo: nice cup shape you can lie back in and get a whirly cilia massage…. OK, on with the post. So it seems that everyone is working on stem cells now. They’re all the rage. Students come through for a rotation and ask “do you work on[…]

What do students need to know about developmental biology ?

Posted by on June 29th, 2010

This is a question that I keep asking myself. I am starting work on the third edition of my textbook “Essential Developmental Biology”. Over the years the quantity of published material in developmental biology keeps rising exponentially. Papers nowadays are extremely detailed and technical compared to the way they were in the 1980s when the[…]

Changes in Wellcome Trust funding

Posted by on June 28th, 2010

Biomedical researchers in the UK are seeing some changes in the way their research is funded. The Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest charity funding agency for biomedical research, is phasing out the majority of its existing biomedical science grants and replacing them with “Investigator Awards”. The last applications for project grants, programme grants, equipment grants,[…]

The Young Embryologist Meeting, 2010. London.

Posted by on June 23rd, 2010

May 10th 2010 marked the second anniversary of a very young but promising scientific meeting, the Young Embryologist Meeting (YEM). This meeting was organised by a group of PhD students and young post-docs from London interested in developmental biology but open to everyone. Researchers at this level are just beginning to make decisions on what[…]

The world’s hottest researchers

Posted by on April 2nd, 2010

A few weeks ago, Thomson Reuters selected the world’s hottest researchers. Their measurement of “hotness” is how often an author’s recent papers were cited by other researchers during 2009. At the top of the list is Rudolf Jaenisch of MIT, who authored 14 of those “hot papers”. The top institute on the list is the[…]