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Moving proteins within living embryos using light

Posted by on February 24th, 2016

By Clare Buckley and Rachel Moore One of the things that we find most challenging about working with whole vertebrate organisms is how we can tie ourselves in knots trying to unpick the function of a single component within such an intricate and interconnected web of proteins and signalling cascades. All too often knocking out[…]

FISHing fish

Posted by on February 15th, 2016

By L. Carine Stapel and Nadine L.Vastenhouw   In developmental biology, the ability to analyze gene expression patterns is essential to address questions about gene regulation and cell fate. In our lab, we use zebrafish embryos to ask questions such as how is the onset of transcription in an embryo temporally regulated? How do cells[…]

New 3D anatomy viewer available at eMouseAtlas

Posted by on January 26th, 2016

A new 3D viewer that allows interactive visualisation of mouse embryo anatomy is now available from the eMouseAtlas website (www.emouseatlas.org/). A slice viewer allows visualisation of anatomy on arbitrary section through mouse embryos – much like a virtual microtome – whilst a 3D anatomy pop-up window allows users to visualise the delineated anatomical components in[…]

Rapid electron microscopic detection of GFP-tagged proteins in cells and whole organisms

Posted by on December 23rd, 2015

The use of green fluorescent protein (GFP) has revolutionised the study of dynamic cellular processes in cells, tissues, and whole organisms. Laboratories throughout the world have exploited the simplicity of GFP as an everyday tool to determine protein localisation in cell lines and whole organisms. Fluorescence microscopy now dominates the imaging field although the attainable[…]

Computing the worm: 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[…]