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In Development this week (Vol. 138, Issue 4)

Posted by on January 26th, 2011

Here are the research highlights from the current issue of Development: New moves in haematopoiesis: rumba and samba Vertebrate haematopoiesis relies on a pool of haemetopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) that can self-renew and differentiate into all haematopoietic lineages. But what are the molecular mechanisms that regulate this process? Here, Zilong Wen and co-workers (p. 619)[…]

Just because it looks like a duct, doesn’t mean it is the duct

Posted by on January 25th, 2011

The Node’s staff has kindly given me the opportunity to write a background piece, placing into context the results of our studies described in the paper, “Sox9+ ductal cells are multipotent progenitors throughout development but do not produce new endocrine cells in the normal or injured adult pancreas” (released today in Development; http://dev.biologists.org/lookup/doi/10.1242/dev.056499). For many[…]

RNAi in the Nucleus ~ It’s no longer limited to the cytoplasm

Posted by on January 18th, 2011

Hot off the press from the holidays is an article from PNAS that’s worth a gander if you’re into RNAi. We know RNAi associated with epigenetics is possible in the nucleus (Somehow, siRNAs could trigger the methylation and silencing of genes in the nucleus.) However, one soy bean group was able to provide evidence for[…]

Arrested Development in Plant miRNA Mutants

Posted by on January 11th, 2011

Animals and Plants have hundreds of miRNAs with diverse roles in gene regulation. In humans, each miRNA family can control up to several hundred genes (or 500 to be exact, in humans). A loss of function in one, can lead to array of developmental defects. Similarly in plants, an miRNA mutant can have a variety of phenotypes. However, interestingly, many miRNAs only have one target, which is frequently a transcription factor that in turn, controls many genes itself. It’s really like a house of cards.

modENCODE

Posted by on January 6th, 2011

The modENCODE project (model organism encyclopedia of DNA elements) is a collaborative effort to identify all sequence-based functional elements of Drosophila and C. elegans. The project has now produced almost a thousand data sets with information about transcription, epigenetics, replication and gene regulation across different developmental stages and multiple cell lines. Just before the holidays,[…]

Intestinal stem cell regeneration

Posted by on January 5th, 2011

Cancer and stem cells are two very loaded biology concepts, and more frequently can be found in the same discussion.  Stem cells within tumors are able to divide and provide the various differentiated cell types that a tumor requires to thrive.  And, identifying how a normal stem cell divides, or stops dividing, can help further[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 138, Issue 3)

Posted by on January 4th, 2011

Here are the research highlights from the new issue of Development: Wnt/PCP signalling, microtubules and gastrulation During vertebrate gastrulation, convergence and extension (C&E) movements shape the germ layers to form the anterioposteriorly elongated body axis of vertebrate embryos. Non-canonical Wnt/planar cell polarity (Wnt/PCP) signalling regulates C&E by polarising the morphology and behaviour of cells, which[…]

Celebrating NYE with Bioluminescence

Posted by on December 31st, 2010

Let me take you on a Bioluminescent journey across many kingdoms. If you’re not well acquainted with the term, it’s the ability of living things to chemically produce light. It’s also a natural widespread feature to many organisms, from jellyfish to algae, fireflies to fungi. In recent years, it’s become a standard molecular biological tool for[…]

GFP, YFP and RFP = Christmas Themes!

Posted by on December 22nd, 2010

The other beauty of Fluorescent Reporter Gene Systems is its unbearable likeness to holiday colours.

In Development this week (Vol. 138, Issue 2)

Posted by on December 21st, 2010

Boning up on stem cell Igf2-P2 function The insulin-like growth factor (IGF)/insulin signalling pathway regulates cell proliferation, differentiation, aging and life span. During embryonic development, transcription of the mouse and human Igf2 gene is tightly regulated by four alternative promoters whose specific roles are unclear. Now, Sylvie Nathalie Hardouin and colleagues reveal that the transcriptional[…]