the community site for and by developmental biologists

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[…]

Zebrafish transgenes go ubiquitous

Posted by on December 7th, 2010

The Node’s staff has kindly asked me to write a little “behind the scenes” on our zebrafish paper released today in Development, “Ubiquitous transgene expression and Cre-based recombination driven by the ubiquitin promoter in zebrafish” (http://dev.biologists.org/content/138/1/169). The spark to pursue the project were the first conversations I had in spring 2008 with senior postdocs in[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 138, Issue 1)

Posted by on December 7th, 2010

The first issue of 2011 is out now…here are the highlights: Geminin control of lineage commitment The transition between pluripotency and multi-lineage commitment during early embryogenesis must be closely regulated to ensure correct spatial and temporal patterning of the embryo. But what regulates this crucial transition? According to Kristen Kroll and co-workers, part of the[…]

Echinoderm development on film

Posted by on December 6th, 2010

“I also here salute the echinoderms as a noble group especially designed to puzzle the zoologist.” Libbie Hyman, 1955 Echinoderms are fascinating creatures. They have extensive regenerative capabilities, a mutable connective tissue that dynamically (and deliberately) changes its stiffness, and a complex system of hydraulic canals involved in the circulation of internal fluids and locomotion.[…]

Keeping up with the Node

Posted by on December 6th, 2010

Like more than 500 million people in the world, the Node is now on Facebook . Our foray into Facebook was slightly overshadowed by the British royal family doing exactly the same thing a few weeks earlier, but we can guarantee you that our page will contain far more developmental biology. We’re using our Facebook[…]