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Organ plumbing

Posted by on September 19th, 2018

Water is a fascinating substance. Its behavior sets a lot of interesting constraints on both how the surface of our world is shaped geologically and how life on said surface has adapted to optimize its use. Biology and geology, while vastly different in scale, share many commonalities that can we can learn from. Our work[…]

A day in the life of a colonial tunicate laboratory

Posted by on August 28th, 2018

Have you heard of an animal that can lose most of its body tissues and the remnant tissues aggregate to regenerate the lost parts and recovery its original form? Do you know an animal that can quickly colonize marine surfaces by asexual reproduction, just like weed would in terrestrial environments ? Do you know an[…]

Dating with cells – finding the right match

Posted by on August 23rd, 2018

It’s an age-old mystery of the heart: do opposites attract, or will like do better with like? We can now answer this pressing question, at least for Drosophila cardioblasts: cells prefer to ‘swipe right’ on a shared transcriptional profile, but the resulting relationships are stronger if there are some unattractive alternatives around to remind them[…]

The Age-Long Quest for Bone Length Regulation

Posted by on August 9th, 2018

About a decade ago I came to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to work with my mentor, Jeff Baron, to study childhood growth and to tackle one of the unsolved mysteries in biology – mechanisms for body size determination (1). Years have passed, and we probably still don’t understand what makes an elephant an[…]

The toilet paper model

Posted by on August 3rd, 2018

  In LM Escudero´s group, we like developmental biology, mathematical biology and computational biology. We try to be imaginative and get inspiration from simple things… such as a toilet paper roll. Using this tool (and some computers), we claim that we have described a novel geometrical shape… You will be wondering… how do you do[…]

Going out on a limb to study organ growth

Posted by on August 2nd, 2018

Alexandra Joyner and Alberto Roselló-Díez tell us the story behind their recent paper in PLoS Biology1.   Today we have tried a new experiment (we cannot help it). Instead of elaborating too much on the scientific aspect of our recent paper about the control of organ growth in mammals1, we decided to tell the personal[…]

Life changing experiences with Embryos

Posted by on July 18th, 2018

It’s hard to describe with words how my experience has been at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, but I’m going to give it a try… My attendance at the 2018 Embryology course at the MBL, has been possible thanks to an award I won in my home country, during the International[…]

A day in the life of a Capitella teleta lab

Posted by on July 10th, 2018

It’s undoubtedly the middle of summer here in Saint Augustine, Florida. Daily temperatures are soaring into the 90s, and we’re grateful if the humidity dips below 70%. Thankfully, the Seaver lab doesn’t have to contend with much of this heat. Instead, our members are inside, comfortable though busier than ever, mentoring summer interns, piloting new[…]

Blastoid: the backstory of the formation of blastocyst-like structure solely from stem cells.

Posted by on June 27th, 2018

In our recently published paper1, we showed that mouse stem cells self-organize into blastocyst-like structures, that we termed blastoids. Because blastoids can be generated in large numbers, can be finely manipulated, and implant in utero, they are a powerful tool to investigate the principles of pre- and post-implantation development. Here is the backstory of our[…]

The dorsal root of the matter: Using zebrafish to study the importance of movement on early brain growth

Posted by on May 8th, 2018

In our recent paper published in eLife, we found a novel form of movement-dependent neural feedback that drives early forebrain growth in zebrafish. In this article, I discuss the problems, solutions, and lucky breaks that led to our finding. I also end up giving the mighty zebrafish larvae the credit it so deserves.   A[…]