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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[…]

Seeing the world through fresh eyes

Posted by on February 20th, 2017

There are many different structures in our eyes that work in conjunction to allow us to see. These structures are strikingly similar between different species, from zebrafish to humans. The growth of ocular tissues must be tightly controlled in order to maintain the correct eye size and shape that allow us to see. This tight[…]

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[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 144, Issue 4)

Posted by on February 14th, 2017

Here are the highlights from the new issue of Development:   A new mechanism in ESC lineage priming Histone demethylases have recognized roles in the control of gene expression during development and disease, and are typically associated with the remodelling of the chromatin environment. Jmjd2/Kdm4 H3K9-demethylases cooperate in promoting mouse embryonic stem cell (ESC) identity,[…]

Transposons in Embryo Space – TRACER maps in EMAGE

Posted by on February 9th, 2017

A recent publication in Developmental Biology by (Armit et al., 2017) describes how the TRACER dataset can be spatially compared with in situ hybridisation gene expression profiles.   The TRACER dataset of transposon-associated regulatory sensors (Chen et al., 2013) utilises Sleeping Beauty lacZ transposons that have been randomly integrated into the mouse genome Hundreds of[…]

Forgotten classics: Cut and paste embryology

Posted by on February 2nd, 2017

Hörstadius, S. 1939. The mechanics of sea urchin development, studied by operative methods. Biological Reviews 14(2):132-179. Recommended by Bob Goldstein, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill   Sven Hörstadius stands alongside the likes of Boveri, Spemann, Mangold and Driesch as a giant of experimental embryology in the first half of the twentieth century. While[…]

Diversity is a good thing: coordination of collective cell migration in angiogenesis

Posted by on February 2nd, 2017

Comment on “Asymmetric division coordinates collective cell migration in angiogenesis” Nat Cell Bio, 18 (12), 1292-1301, (2016).   Holly E. Lovegrove & Guilherme Costa Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, The University of Manchester, Manchester, Uk   Collective cell migration is involved in many biological processes. In particular it is required to build new tissues[…]

A Crumby affair: Cell ingression during gastrulation

Posted by on January 31st, 2017

Comment on “Crumbs2 promotes cell ingression during the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition at gastrulation” Ramkumar N, Omelchenko T, Silva-Gagliardi NF, McGlade CJ, Wijnholds J, Anderson KV. Nat Cell Biol. 2016 Dec;18(12):1281-1291   “It is not birth, marriage, or death, but gastrulation, which is truly the most important time in your life.” Lewis Wolpert (1986)   Aptly stated by Wolpert, gastrulation is the fundamental process[…]

Lifemap: a zoomable interface for exploring the entire Tree of Life

Posted by on January 30th, 2017

“Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” (Dobzansky, 1973). Our knowledge of the evolutionary relationships between all known organisms, the so-called Tree of Life (ToL), is crucial in all fields of biology. Many researchers in evolutionary biology are working on improving the quality and the comprehensiveness of this ToL. This implies[…]

BSDB Gurdon Summer Studentship Report (11)

Posted by on January 27th, 2017

Established  by the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB) in 2014, The Gurdon/The Company of Biologists Summer Studentship scheme provides financial support to allow highly motivated undergraduate students an opportunity to engage in practical research during their summer vacation. Each year, ten successful applicants spend eight weeks in the research laboratories of their choices, and the[…]