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Artificial intelligence approaches to planarian regeneration and beyond

Posted by on October 30th, 2015

Pattern formation and regulation emerges from cellular activity determined by specific biophysical and genetic rules. A major challenge for developmental biology, biomedicine, and synthetic bioengineering is this highly indirect (Lobo et al., 2014b) relationship between the rules that govern processes at the lower scales, and the anatomical outcomes observed at the macroscopic scale. It is[…]

Fly like a fish?

Posted by on October 26th, 2015

Zebrafish is a common model organism in many fields of science. The study by Sundvik et al. 2015 in Scientific Reports tests the safety of acoustic levitation of an intact organism using zebrafish embryos (Figure 1). Acoustic levitation has over the last few decades been developed to provide a wall- and contactless environment to transfer[…]

Live-cell analysis of plant embryogenesis: Live-cell imaging, optical manipulation, and micro-engineering technologies

Posted by on October 16th, 2015

In multicellular animals and plants, the single-celled zygote develops into the embryo. In the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, the zygote divides asymmetrically to form a small cytoplasmic apical cell, which is the precursor of the proembryo, and a large vacuolated basal cell, which develops into the extra-embryonic suspensor (Figure 1). Communication between the intra-embryo (proembryo[…]

EmbryoMaker: a general modeling framework to simulate developing systems and perform experiments in silico.

Posted by on October 4th, 2015

One of the main challenges of Developmental Biology is to understand the complex developmental mechanisms giving rise to different organs or whole organisms. In most cases, these involve the interplay between cell-cell signalling and cell and tissue movements driven by one or several cell behaviours (such as cell proliferation, cell migration, etc.). Cell signalling will[…]

Enabling research with human embryonic and fetal tissue resources

Posted by on September 24th, 2015

This Spotlight article was written by Dianne Gerrelli, Steven Lisgo, Andrew J. Copp and Susan Lindsay, and was first published in Development.   Congenital anomalies are a significant burden on human health. Understanding the developmental origins of such anomalies is key to developing potential therapies. The Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR), based in London and Newcastle, UK, was established to provide embryonic[…]

A technique dating back to 1935 is recovered for cancer research in flies

Posted by on September 15th, 2015

A study conducted by ICREA researcher Cayetano González, at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), and published in Nature Protocols describes a forgotten technique used in the fly Drosophila melanogaster dating back 80 years. This method allows the transplantation of tissue from larvae to adult flies, thus allowing research into tumour growth and[…]

Talking about Science using Comics: A Stem Cell example

Posted by on August 28th, 2015

  “A Stem Cell Adventure” is a comic book about stem cell research, and resulted from a project on science outreach carried out by several researchers at the Center for Neuroscience and Cell Biology of the University of Coimbra, Portugal (, and funded by the COMPETE Program and the Portuguese science communication agency (Ciência Viva).[…]

Useful databases and resources for developmental biologists

Posted by on August 20th, 2015

As you may have noticed, as part of our recent redesign we created a new Resources section on the site, which you can access via the menu bar. Within this section we have created three pages with links to websites that you may find useful:   – Societies: links to national and international developmental biology societies – Databases[…]

European Advanced School for Mouse Phenogenomics – pushing the boundaries of mouse genetics

Posted by on July 24th, 2015

The laboratory mouse has been a popular model in mammalian biology for obvious reasons and it has contributed to a number of landmark discoveries in biomedical research. Despite this, few courses and summer schools – which train future leaders in this field – focus on mouse genetics. Phenomin, a large-scale French national infrastructure for biology[…]

99 (imaging) problems

Posted by on July 17th, 2015

  Last week, the SDB hosted what may well have been its highest annual meeting – at 8000 feet – in Snowbird, Utah. The atmosphere was fantastic, the talks were phenomenal, and the scenery was just obscene. It was an all-around great meeting, topped with a choir of singing PIs after the conference dinner. Couldn’t get better. If you missed[…]