the community site for and by developmental biologists

CRISPR babies: a view from the centre of the storm

Posted by on February 8th, 2019

This article by Robin Lovell-Badge, published this week in Development, gives a front-row view of the CRISPR babies scandal from last year. When the story broke, we collated reactions from the field – be sure to check them out too.  Towards the end of November 2018, news broke that the Chinese researcher He Jiankui had[…]

Plant stem cells strive towards equality

Posted by on February 8th, 2019

By George Bassel and Iain Johnston Multicellular organs consist of collections of cells which come together to achieve what individual cells cannot. The establishment of order in complex tissues has long been a subject of interest, dating back to the origins of microscopy itself. Previous studies have proposed rules which predict when a cell will[…]

The people behind the papers – Masanori Kawaguchi, Kota Sugiyama and Yoshiyuki Seki

Posted by on February 8th, 2019

This interview, the 57th in our series, was recently published in Development The molecular regulation of pluripotency has been most intensively studied in early mammalian development, but whether the transcriptional networks revealed in mouse and man also regulate pluripotency in other deuterostomes has remained unclear. A paper in this issue of Development now addresses the evolution of pluripotency[…]

Funded places for early-career researchers at a Company of Biologists Workshop in July

Posted by on February 7th, 2019

This summer, the Company of Biologists, the not-for-profit publisher of Development, is running a Workshop on ‘New frontiers in the brain: unexpected roles of the choroid plexus-cerebrospinal fluid system in health and disease‘, organised by Fiona Doetsch and Maria K. Lehtinen. It will cover various bases, many of which intersect with developmental biology: 1. Choroid[…]

Hox genes: the key to decipher limb position – the story behind the paper

Posted by on February 6th, 2019

In our recent paper published in Current Biology, we unravel the direct and early role for Hox genes in the regulation and natural variation of the forelimb position in birds. Here I will share with you the story behind this paper. I have always been fascinated by the question of how, from a single cell,[…]

Improving the visibility of developmental biology: time for induction and specification

Posted by on February 6th, 2019

This Spotlight article by Len Zon originally appeared in Development as part of our ‘Advocating developmental biology‘ campaign. We’d love to hear what you think about Len’s ideas. Developmental biology is a prominent field that has captured the imagination of many scientists. Over the years, research in the area has seen a steady number of[…]

EmbryoPhenomics: An open-source technological platform

Posted by on February 5th, 2019

Tills O, Spicer JI, Grimmer A, Marini S, Jie VW, Tully E, Rundle SD. 2018. A high-throughput and open-source platform for embryo phenomics. PLOS Biology, 16:1-19. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.3000074 Background A seasoned graduate student gave me some valuable advice at the outset of my PhD. She told me to FIND A BETTER WAY!  We were both working on[…]

Experimenting with non-anonymous peer review

Posted by on February 3rd, 2019

Last year, I started to experiment with signing my reports for peer review of manuscripts, inspired by other people on twitter (@kaymtye, @AndrewPlested who in turn were inspired by Leslie Voshall). This year, the experiment is a bit different. I will only review for journals that allow non-anonymous peer-review. Why? That was the question raised[…]

January in preprints

Posted by on February 1st, 2019

Welcome to our monthly trawl for developmental biology (and related) preprints.  January was notable for the number of preprints on Xenopus development, plus a trio on Piezo channels, two on ctenophores, and a preprint on preprints that has also been preLighted (very meta). The preprints were hosted on bioRxiv, PeerJ, and arXiv. Let us know if we missed anything, and use[…]

What makes preprints popular?

Posted by on January 31st, 2019

A team of preLights selectors respond to a meta-analysis of bioRxiv preprints. Gautam Dey, Zhang-He Goh, Lars Hubatsch, Maiko Kitaoka, Robert Mahen, Máté Palfy, Connor Rosen and Samantha Seah* *all authors contributed equally; cross-posted from here.   The growing adoption of preprints over the last five years in the biological sciences has driven discussion within[…]