the community site for and by developmental biologists

Some tips for reading the Node

Posted by on July 14th, 2010

The Node has been officially live for almost four weeks now, and we’ve seen visitor numbers and registrations go steadily up. As with most websites, there are far more silent readers than people who are actively writing, so here are a few tips on keeping up to date with the Node: If you don’t want[…]

In Development this week (Volume 137, Issue 15)

Posted by on July 13th, 2010

Here are the research highlights from the new issue of Development… TORc1-ing about stem cell differentiation In adult tissues, the tight regulation of stem cell selfrenewal and differentiation maintains tissue homeostasis. In Drosophila ovaries, BMP signalling from the local environment maintains germline stem cells (GSCs) by repressing bam (a differentiation-promoting gene) expression. Now, on p.[…]

BSDB-BSCB Meeting Report Part III

Posted by on July 10th, 2010

Here is the final part of my meeting report on the BSDB-BSCB Spring Conference this April in Warwick. In the first part, I covered some of the talks on transcriptional regulation, and in part two I gave a brief overview on recent attempts to decipher large-scale transcription factor networks. In this final part I will[…]

Protocol: Rehydrating embryos once fixed and dehydrated…

Posted by on July 9th, 2010

Does anyone know a protocol for rehydrating embryos once stored in methanol?  I’m working with Xenopus laevis embryos which have been fixed using formaldehyde.  Some lab wisdom passed down is “wash into a 50:50 solution of 1xPBS and methanol; then into 1xPBS; then into methanol again (which we’re a bit confused by); then into 50:50[…]

The Node Launch Party

Posted by on July 6th, 2010

Yes, we’ve been live for a few weeks, but you’re not truly and fully launched as a website these days without a proper launch party, so we had ours last night in Cambridge (UK). The Gurdon Institute was kind enough to open their doors to us, and we invited all of their labs as well[…]

Digital fly embryo

Posted by on July 5th, 2010

Using light microscopy to study developmental processes in situ is a bit tricky if your samples are not transparent. In that aspect, early zebrafish development is a walk in the park compared to studying non-transparent fly embryos, or even fish in a later stage of development. But research published in Nature Methods this week comes[…]

ISSCR meeting

Posted by on July 1st, 2010

Almost four thousand people attended the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) meeting in San Francisco in June. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, about a quarter of the attendees were from California, but other participants traveled from Australia, Europe, and Asia to attend the meeting. There were far too many talks to summarize[…]

Stem cells and developmental biology: old friends meet again…or did they ever part ways?

Posted by on June 30th, 2010

Ahhh the Node, my favourite part of the embryo: nice cup shape you can lie back in and get a whirly cilia massage…. OK, on with the post. So it seems that everyone is working on stem cells now. They’re all the rage. Students come through for a rotation and ask “do you work on[…]

What do students need to know about developmental biology ?

Posted by on June 29th, 2010

This is a question that I keep asking myself. I am starting work on the third edition of my textbook “Essential Developmental Biology”. Over the years the quantity of published material in developmental biology keeps rising exponentially. Papers nowadays are extremely detailed and technical compared to the way they were in the 1980s when the[…]

Lindau Nobel Laureates Meeting

Posted by on June 29th, 2010

Have you ever met a Nobel Laureate? 650 lucky young researchers are currently spending the week with 59 previous Nobel Prize winners from the fields of physiology or medicine, physics and chemistry. Each year, a group of Nobel Laureates meet in Lindau, a German town (and island) at Lake Constance, close to the Swiss and[…]