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Resources for Developmental Biologists

Posted by on July 16th, 2015

At last week’s SDB Meeting in Utah, I attended the ‘Imaging Workshop’, which was designed to give attendees an overview of some of the imaging-based resources available to the community, and then to facilitate a free discussion among participants about the challenges – and their potential solutions – in the developmental biology imaging field. Several[…]

Between Genetics and Physics

Posted by on July 15th, 2015

The predominant approach to studying development is based on genetics. In fact, some have gone so far as to argue that many researchers approach the whole problem of development as “the interplay of cell-cell signaling and transcriptional regulation” (Gerhart 2015). However, in recent years there has been increasing recognition of approaches to understanding development that[…]

MorphoGraphX: A platform for quantifying morphogenesis in 4D

Posted by on June 15th, 2015

Quantifying shape, growth and gene expression at the cellular level are key to understanding morphogenesis, i.e. how organs are shaped. Many image processing tools have been developed towards this goal that operate on either 2D or 3D images. 2D tools are fast, easy to use, and typically involve datasets of modest size. However organs and[…]

The atlas of mouse development eHistology resource

Posted by on May 27th, 2015

This Spotlight article was written by Elizabeth Graham, Julie Moss, Nick Burton, Chris Armit, Lorna Richardson and Richard Baldock, and was first published in Development.   The Atlas of Mouse Development by Professor Mathew Kaufman is an essential text for understanding mouse developmental anatomy. This definitive and authoritative atlas is still in production and is essential for any biologist[…]

An illustrated anatomical ontology of the developing mouse lower urogenital tract

Posted by on May 25th, 2015

Georgas et al. have presented a comprehensive update to the anatomical ontology of the murine urogenital system. These updates pertain to the lower urinary tract, genital tubercle and associated reproductive structures, covering stage E10.5 through to adult. The updates have been based on recently published insights into the cellular and gross anatomy of these structures,[…]

Report on GUDMAP Outreach at ISN World Congress of Nephrology (ISN WCN)

Posted by on March 30th, 2015

Report on GUDMAP Outreach at ISN World Congress of Nephrology (ISN WCN) March 13-17, 2015 Cape Town, South Africa Author: Chris Armit Date: 23rd March 2015 Introduction The International Society of Nephrology (ISN) holds biennial meetings throughout the world, and this was the first ISN WCN to be held in Africa. There was attention brought[…]

Why we need amateur-professional collaborations

Posted by on March 9th, 2015

Could we simultaneously make it easier for professional scientists to do research on tight budgets, and improve public understanding of science, by facilitating professional-amateur collaborations? Not that long ago, amateur scientists such as Darwin, Wallace, and Mendel laid the foundations of modern biology. Today, a few button clicks gives access to vast troves of knowledge,[…]

Outreach activity: The Disgustovision Show, a most gruesome microscopy circuit

Posted by on March 2nd, 2015

How do you build a fruit fly circus? First, you’ll need a glass tank. Its size will obviously depend on how many fruit flies you want to perform – or on what tank is hanging around in the department. You’ll also need a small circus tent, circus benches made from fresh apple slices, a sand arena,[…]

Life’s Blueprint website

Posted by on January 5th, 2015

Dear Colleagues, I recently published a popular book presenting the concepts of embryonic development (Life’s Blueprint: The science and art of embryo creation) at Yale University Press. In addition to the text, I tried to convey the concepts of embryonic development by presenting pairs of images, where one portrays a biological example and the other[…]

Why Not Publish Your Antibody Validation Data

Posted by on December 15th, 2014

Antibodies are frequently used in developmental biology labs, but their validation is crucial to provide the information needed in order to reliably interpret the results of experiments. Antibody validation is also important to help scientists chose antibodies that will be suitable for their experiments, yet the results of these validations rarely get published. To try[…]