the community site for and by developmental biologists

Educational game designer: where biology, games, and technology meet

Posted by on February 15th, 2011

When Eva approached me about contributing to this series about how one goes from a PhD in developmental biology and ends up in a non traditional academic career path, I thought it would be a great opportunity. I love my job as an educational game designer at Spongelab Interactive, so why not share the winding[…]

Stem Cells versus Progenitors

Posted by on February 13th, 2011

With so much research focusing on stem cells, I’ve been wondering lately whether researchers are overlooking other important, multipotent cell groups, specifically what are called “progenitor” cells. But then another part of me wonders whether these two groups are so very different from each other. Technically, the main difference between stem cells and progenitors is[…]

What’s new at the Node?

Posted by on February 10th, 2011

We’ve been busy – both behind the scenes and in plain view – so it’s time for another update. Contest We’re currently running our very first contest, with a prize generously donated by TipArt. If you’d like to win a chance to commission some unique science-themed art, remember to send in your images before the[…]

Embryonic stem cell origin — food for thought

Posted by on February 9th, 2011

What I love about developmental biology is the collaborative nature of the field.   The vast majority of biologists feel that by sharing ideas, data, and reagents, we can learn more than if we were all to work alone with blinders on our heads.  A recent paper in Development puts forth a hypothesis about embryonic stem[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 138, Issue 5)

Posted by on February 8th, 2011

Here are the highlights from the current issue of Development: From pluripotent to pancreatic fates A reliable method for generating insulin-producing β-cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) would provide new therapeutic options for people with diabetes. So far, no-one has developed such a method but, on p. 861, Gordon Keller and colleagues provide new[…]

MBL Embryology Course

Posted by on February 8th, 2011

Dear students, postdocs and mentors, We write to share our enthusiasm about the MBL Embryology course and to encourage graduate students and postdoctoral fellows to apply for the 2011 summer course “Embryology: Concepts and Techniques in Modern Developmental Biology” at the Marine Biological Laboratory from June 5 – July 17, 2011.  The application deadline has[…]

JSDB meeting

Posted by on February 8th, 2011

There’s still time to register for this years JSDB meeting. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended until February 10th. JSDB meetings have been held almost entirely in English in recent years and not only offer an exciting scientific program, but also a chance to discover Japan.  This year the conference will be held[…]

Reflections on Natural History

Posted by on February 7th, 2011

One of the highlights of working at RIKEN CDB is undoubtedly the arrival upon my desk of “Library News”. Within this publication lies the eclectic column written by institute deputy director Shigeru Kuratani. These bimonthly articles are lively and often illuminating insights into the field of evolutionary morphology, frequently embracing topics such as art, literature,[…]

Natural Disasters and University Disruptions

Posted by on February 6th, 2011

Natural disasters can be powerfully destructive forces. At the very least, they have a habit of interrupting our lives and work. Damage varies depending on the intensity of nature’s fury and how prepared a city (or institution) is for a particular emergency. This can also influence how challenging recovery will be, in the aftermath. The[…]

EuroStemCell: connecting scientists with European citizens

Posted by on February 3rd, 2011

I’m one of a team of science communicators, scientists, clinicians and social scientists involved in a project called EuroStemCell. It’s an EU-funded project that unites more than 90 European stem cell and regenerative medicine research laboratories in a coordinated effort to engage with the public about our science, and support others to do the same.[…]