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Turning lemons into lemonade…sick planarians reveal link between microbiome and regeneration

Posted by on September 30th, 2016

Commentary on Pathogenic shifts in endogenous microbiota impede tissue regeneration via distinct activation of TAK1/MKK/p38 in eLife 2016; 5: e16793 DOI: During our research as biologists we endure numerous problems, failures, and setbacks in our efforts to advance scientific knowledge. But sometimes the very problems we encounter are opportunities in disguise. This was my[…]

New Technology in Medicine

Posted by on September 22nd, 2016

Technology is quickly changing many parts of medicine, giving people more power to take charge of their health care. Taking isotope labeled peptides as an example, stable isotope labeled peptides have been widely applied in the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and mass spectrometry (MS). The combination of SIL peptides with NMR spectroscopy allow for[…]

Where does blood come from in the first place and how is it made?

Posted by on September 14th, 2016

Commentary on Transforming Growth Factor β Drives Hemogenic Endothelium Programming and the Transition to Hematopoietic Stem Cells in Developmental Cell, Volume 38, Issue 4, p358–370, 22 August 2016   Each of us has around 6 pints of blood. The blood contains a number of different types of cells, including oxygen-transporting red blood cells, disease-protecting white[…]

In Development this week – Special Issue on Plant Development

Posted by on September 13th, 2016

The current issue of Development – our ‘Special Issue on Plant Development’ – contains a collection of review- and research-based articles focusing on plant development.   Below, you can find details of the review-based articles in this Special Issue:   Plant development: a Special Issue Ottoline Leyser introduces this Special Issue focusing on plant developmental biology,[…]

Postdoctoral position in mammalian retinal development, University of California, Davis

Posted by on September 10th, 2016

A postdoctoral position is available in the laboratory of Nadean Brown to study the role of bHLH transcription factors and Notch signaling during prenatal optic nerve head formation. Highly motivated and creative applicants are encouraged to apply. A Ph.D. in the life sciences is required. Strongest consideration will be given to applicants with formal backgrounds[…]

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[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 143, Issue 17)

Posted by on August 30th, 2016

Here are the highlights from the current issue of Development:   Coordinating neuronal specification and differentiation Neurogenesis – the process of making new neurons – is indispensable for normal development and for adult homeostasis and repair. Many of the signalling and transcriptional events that regulate the specification and differentiation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) into[…]

Tackling Differentiated Stem Cell Production

Posted by on August 26th, 2016

This post was originally posted on, Europe’s stem cell hub.   by Julia Turan Part of the fascinating potential of stem cells is their ability to provide replacement cells and tissues to treat diseases. In order to do this most effectively, scientists need to be able to create differentiated cells quickly and accurately. However, making[…]

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[…]

How mechanical signals orchestrate stem cell fate

Posted by on August 23rd, 2016

Controlling differentiation using biophysical cues from development Embryonic stem cells have the potential to become any cell type in the adult organism, but coaxing them to a specific fate continues to be a challenge for researchers. While many of the soluble signals involved in patterning the early embryo are well-established, only recently have tools been[…]