the community site for and by developmental biologists

An interview with Ben Scheres

Posted by on December 22nd, 2010

(This interview by Kathryn Senior originally appeared in Development on December 21, 2010) Ben Scheres is an expert in plant development. He has been investigating development in Arabidopsis at Utrecht University, The Netherlands, since 1990, where his group uses the root tip as an easily accessible supply of plant stem cells. Ben agreed to be[…]

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[…]

Alternative Careers for Developmental Biologists

Posted by on December 21st, 2010

Some of the most popular posts on the Node have been those about career prospects for young scientists. The category pages for job ads and career posts are among the most visited parts of the site, but neither of them has had as many hits as the discussion titled “too many postdocs and PhD students?”[…]

Feed me!

Posted by on December 16th, 2010

With people in many countries preparing to take a few days off at the end of this month, and other countries starting their summer break, I’m sure many of you have had to deal with the stress of handling your experiments over the holidays. How do you explain to a tank of zebrafish or a[…]

Nothing beats a movie for developmental biologists

Posted by on December 16th, 2010

Webcasting is a new art that is still being perfected, but which holds great promise for scientific collaboration at both small and large scales.

A Farewell to (frog) Arms (apologies to Hemingway)

Posted by on December 15th, 2010

  The backstory to our recent Developmental Biology paper “The secreted integrin ligand nephronectin is necessary for forelimb formation in Xenopus tropicalis”  includes scenes of several members of the Zimmerman lab peering at a tank of metamorphosing transgenic frogs, scratching their heads, and agreeing that some of them “looked funny” (the frogs, not the researchers)[…]

Career development at the ASCB

Posted by on December 14th, 2010

It’s been a busy time for me at ASCB, held this year in Philadelphia. As a long standing member of the Women in Cell Biology (WICB) committee, I have been part of a community of men and women interested in issues of career development for junior scientists in the life sciences. On Saturday, we held[…]

My Hox genes were messed up

Posted by on December 13th, 2010

In Spring 2010, the Biol 460 Developmental Biology class at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calfornia, made this video about Hox genes: Set to the tune of Ke$ha’s “Tik Tok”, but with far more intelligent lyrics and a funnier video, the song refers to the Ultrabithorax mutation that causes Drosophila to grow a second pair of[…]

Evolution of development and an uncommon model organism

Posted by on December 8th, 2010

We can all articulate the importance of using model organisms to understand biology, but many of us fall short in our understanding of some of the more uncommon model organisms.  Thankfully, there are amazing biologists out there that save the day!  These researchers use some of the more atypical model organisms to understand how different[…]

Ernst Haeckel and the recapitulation of an “early” biological debate

Posted by on December 8th, 2010

Scientists don’t spend free time to think about the changes that made possible the birth of a new way to make research. For example, how we moved from a world driven by religious and philosophical beliefs to a world demanding explanations and mechanisms? Ernst Haeckel was one of the scientists who made that change possible[…]