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The people behind the papers #15

Posted by on February 21st, 2017

Conjoined twins have fascinated biologists for centuries. In twins joined at the thorax, left-right patterning is disrupted, but only in one half of the right hand twins. Today’s paper, from this week’s issue of Current Biology, tackles this enigmatic phenomenon using Xenopus, and reveals that laterality in conjoined twins is determined by cilia-driven leftward flow.[…]

The people behind the papers #14

Posted by on February 15th, 2017

Embryonic stem cells express genes necessary for self-renewal, and also ‘prime’ lineage-specific genes which stay silent until differentiation; the molecular players and pathways that govern the timely gene expression are still being delineated. Today’s paper comes from the most recent issue of Development and reveals a role for the histone demethylase Jmjd2c in gene activation in stem cell[…]

The people behind the papers #13

Posted by on February 8th, 2017

Radial glial cells are multipotent progenitors in the developing vertebrate brain. At their apical interface with the ventricular cavity around which the brain forms, they bear a primary cilium, a signalling and sensory organelle crucial for proper brain development. Today’s paper, from a recent issue of Development, addresses the link between these primary cilia and brain morphogenesis.[…]

The people behind the papers #12

Posted by on February 1st, 2017

The brown alga Ectocarpus has emerged as a model system for the evolution of muticellularity. Today’s paper, from the current issue of Development, investigates the role and evolutionary history of a gene implicated in Ectocarpus development. We caught up with first author Nicolas Macaisne and supervisor J. Mark Cock of the Station Biologique de Roscoff in Brittany.     Mark, can you[…]

The people behind the papers #11

Posted by on January 25th, 2017

How does a developing embryo coordinate DNA replication with gene transcription? This fundamental question is the focus of today’s paper, recently published in eLife. We caught up with lead author Ehsan Pourkarimi and his supervisor Iestyn Whitehouse, Assistant Professor in the Sloan Kettering Institute’s Molecular Biology programme, to hear the story behind the work.     Iestyn, can you[…]

The people behind the papers #10

Posted by on January 4th, 2017

The tenth paper featured in this series comes from the first issue of Development for 2017, and uses computational modelling to investigate the importance of different cellular processes in spiral cleavage of the early embryo. We caught up with the paper’s first author Miguel Brun-Usan and Isaac Salazar-Ciudad, group leader at the University of Helsinki[…]

The people behind the papers #9

Posted by on December 16th, 2016

The neural crest is a remarkable multipotent cell population that has become a model system for how epithelial cells become mesenchymal and migrate during development. In today’s post, we feature a paper from the recent issue of The Journal of Cell Biology that investigates the role that proteolysis of cell-cell adhesion receptors plays in this process. We caught[…]

An interview with Doug Melton

Posted by on December 15th, 2016

This interview by Aidan Maartens first appeared in Development Volume 143, Issue 24.   Doug Melton is Xander University Professor at Harvard University, co-director of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. His lab investigates the development of the pancreas, and uses insights from this process to direct the production[…]

The people behind the papers #8

Posted by on December 14th, 2016

Today’s paper comes from the final issue of Development for 2016, and reveals a link between bioelectricity and reactive oxygen species during tail regeneration in Xenopus. We caught up with first author Fernando Ferreira and his advisor Min Zhao, Professor in Dermatology at UC Davis.     So Min, can you give me the brief history of your[…]

The people behind the papers #7

Posted by on November 30th, 2016

Today’s paper comes from the latest issue of Nature Neuroscience, and shows that in addition to chemical cues, mechanical signals are vital for axon pathfinding during brain development. We caught up with PI Kristian Franze from the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, and two of the paper’s four lead authors, Amelia[…]