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Matching neurons to limbs: an evolutionary perspective on motor system development

Posted by on February 24th, 2017

Comment on “Divergent Hox Coding and Evasion of Retinoid Signaling Specifies Motor Neurons Innervating Digit Muscles” Neuron 93, 1–14, February 22, 2017. Alana I. Mendelsohn, Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University Jeremy S. Dasen, Department of Neuroscience, NYU Thomas M. Jessell, Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University[…]

Uncovering Non-canonical Roles of E-cadherin Beyond Cell Adhesion

Posted by on February 14th, 2017

Broad perspective Successful division was an essential criterion for establishing the cell as the basic unit of life on earth. Later, cell-cell adhesion made possible the evolution of multicellular life forms. These two fundamental cellular processes co-function throughout the life of an organism, during development, wound healing and tissue regeneration. In epithelial tissues this results[…]

Can you handle the tooth?

Posted by on January 23rd, 2017

Reflections on “Sox2+ progenitors in sharks link taste development with the evolution of regenerative teeth from denticles”, PNAS 113(51), 14769-14774, 2016.   Despite an overwhelming amount of carefully curated data, such as the International Shark Attack File, which indicates that your chances of being bitten by a shark are vanishingly small, humans have had a long and often[…]

A day in the life of a mayfly lab

Posted by on January 5th, 2017

I am Isabel Almudi, a postdoctoral researcher in Fernando Casares’ lab, at the Andalusian Centre for Developmental Biology (CABD) in Seville, Spain. In the lab we are focused on studying the control of organ size and identity during development and evolution.     The lab uses the development of insect eyes to investigate the mechanisms[…]

Paris – Cambridge – Paris: a Megakaryocyte story

Posted by on November 14th, 2016

The first news came as a shock: so the British Railways are not always perfectly on time? For an Italian, that was a massive cultural shock. The second one was even more surprising: English weather is not that bad; actually, it is better than Parisian weather. But still, I was unable, on the train from Paris to Cambridge, to stop thinking about how[…]

A Day in the Life of a Coral Lab

Posted by on November 8th, 2016

Hi, I’m Yuuri Yasuoka, a postdoc in the Marine Genomics Unit at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST). Okinawa is a subtropical Japanese island surrounded by beautiful coral reefs (Figure 1). Why do we study coral here? OIST is the best place in Japan to study coral, with the good access[…]

A Tale of Trunks or Zen and the art of doing a PhD

Posted by on September 1st, 2016

The story of this paper is also the story of my PhD. It begins as most papers and PhDs do: with a distinct and often unrelated starting project or plan. It is great to have a plan. But time and luck and data bend and twist the plan; until it finally breaks and you end[…]

A day in the life of a ctenophore lab

Posted by on September 1st, 2016

Who are we? Hi, my name is Ruairi Kavanagh and I’m a Master’s student at Plymouth University. For my dissertation I am based in The Marine Biological Association (MBA). I am carrying out my research in the recently established Burkhardt Lab. Our lab’s research is focused on tracing the origin and evolution of synaptic proteins,[…]

A day in the life of a sponge lab (yes, there are labs devoted to these animals!)

Posted by on August 24th, 2016

Forget about those large amounts of bottles containing thousands of flies, those huge piles of boxes containing different lineages of mice or large tanks filled with happy-hopping frogs. Also, forget about transgenic, mutant, knockout litters… what I am going to tell you is the routine of an emergent lab working (or, better, trying to) with[…]

MBL Embryology Course 2016

Posted by on August 1st, 2016

“My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast as that.” L. Carroll ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’   We write this while we finish the last experiments for the final Show n’ Tell on[…]