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Organelle Assembly in Vivo: The Love-Hate Relationship of Thermodynamic and Active Processes

Posted by on March 6th, 2017

Comment on ”Independent active and thermodynamic processes govern nucleolus assembly in vivo”, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114 (6), 1335-1340, (2017). Hanieh Falahati, Lewis–Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University. Eric Wieschaus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University.   The whole universe is moving toward disorder; this is the[…]

Question of the month- interdisciplinary research

Posted by on July 29th, 2015

Developmental biology is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary, as biologists team up with physicists and mathematicians to address new and classical problems in the field from a new perspective. But should we all be pursuing such an approach or is there still room for ‘pure’ developmental biology approaches? Should we incorporate more physics/mathematics modules in the training of[…]

Between Genetics and Physics

Posted by on July 15th, 2015

The predominant approach to studying development is based on genetics. In fact, some have gone so far as to argue that many researchers approach the whole problem of development as “the interplay of cell-cell signaling and transcriptional regulation” (Gerhart 2015). However, in recent years there has been increasing recognition of approaches to understanding development that[…]

Nuclear sponges in embryonic stem cells

Posted by on June 17th, 2014

Once upon a time, physicists got curious about the cytoskeleton. They characterised the cytoskeleton – using tools of soft matter, statistical and polymer physics – as a mesoscale material whose physical properties govern its dynamics. They showed that the cytoskeleton is an interconnected scaffold that, depending on the time scale, can behave like a shape-morphing[…]

Wave at the frogs – they’re waving at you

Posted by on July 26th, 2013

  Perhaps, like me, you’ve been microinjecting Xenopus embryos for so long that you start seeing strange things – maybe that they’re waving at you.  But perhaps that’s not so crazy as it sounds.  In a letter to Nature this week (you can also view this talk), Jeremy Chang and James Ferrell Jr. from Stanford discuss the evidence[…]

Basic Scientist – Assistant, Associate, or Professor

Posted by on January 18th, 2012

        BASIC SCIENTIST ASSISTANT, ASSOCIATE, or PROFESSOR DEPARTMENT OF OTOLARYNGOLOGY / HEAD AND NECK SURGERY STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE     Faculty Position in the University Tenure Line- Basic Sciences Stanford SOM     The Department of OHNS ( is recruiting for a basic science tenure-track faculty position.  The successful candidate[…]

SciArt image exhibition on “The Physics of Life”

Posted by on July 14th, 2011

  Last May the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência (Oeiras, Portugal) hosted the EMBO Workshop on Biophysical Mechanisms of Development (EMBO BMD 2011). As one of the organizers my main mission was to put together a Science and Art contest and exhibition, related with the workshop theme, which we entitled “The Physics of Life”. We were particularly interested in work[…]

The Third USNCB Symposium on Frontiers in Biomechanics: Mechanics of Development

Posted by on March 8th, 2011

The Third USNCB Symposium on Frontiers in Biomechanics: Mechanics of Development June 21, 2011, Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, PA In the fields of tissue engineering, synthetic biology, and regenerative medicine, much can be learned by studying how nature creates tissues and organs in the embryo. Accordingly, the last decade has seen rapidly expanding interest among[…]

Making life out of noise: “Stochasticity in cell and developmental processes”. Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK, 17-20 October, 2010. Organized by The Company of Biologists.

Posted by on October 28th, 2010

I always travel with my suitcase packed with genes. Airports, planes and trains offer me the only instances where I find two hours solid of work, and they (genes) are then my best companions. However, in my discipline – developmental biology – it seems lately that, by simply analysing more genes, we are not getting[…]