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It’s alive! But what is it?

Posted by on July 5th, 2018

Iain Martyn & Tatiane Kanno share their experiences of the discovery of the human organizer   “It’s alive!”     Iain’s first impressions   “Hybrid human chicken embryos: HALF HUMAN – HALF CHICKEN abomination created in US lab” was my favourite headline reporting on our work1.  While the headline and accompanying article managed to miss the[…]

The people behind the papers – Sabrina Jan, Tinke Vormer, Sjoerd Repping & Ans MM van Pelt

Posted by on October 18th, 2017

During spermatogenesis, progenitor cells must undergo tightly regulated changes to produce functional gametes. However, the genetic control of this process in humans has eluded researchers. This week we feature a paper published in the latest issue of Development that describes the changing genetic expression of cell during spermatogenesis. The co-first authors Sabrina Jan and Tinke[…]

A New Way To Look At Human Development

Posted by on March 29th, 2017

  Throughout history, the desire of scientists to understand physiology and disease by thoroughly studying anatomical features, has always faced an intractable limitation: they cannot simply see through the tissue! Dissection has therefore been the modus operandi of anatomists: from Galen’s pioneering studies, to modern day biologists who routinely section tissues to label structures for[…]

The 3D atlas of human development

Posted by on November 28th, 2016

“It’s fair to say that we currently know more about the moon than about our own embryonic development. The current textbooks all show the same kind of images based on a few embryonic specimens from the 1930s. Some of those are not even human embryos. New version of these books keep using those images, often[…]

Editorial- Closing the circle: from organoids back to development

Posted by on March 15th, 2016

This editorial was written by Melissa Little and first appeared in Development.   Organogenesis is an inherently fascinating developmental process. It requires the creation of complex form and function from a collection of distinct cell types, all of which come together without a template. To achieve this, cells within the developing organ undergo differentiation, migration,[…]

From Stem Cells to Human Development- applications open!

Posted by on February 24th, 2016

  In 2014, Development organised a very successful meeting on how the use of stem cell technologies can inform our understanding of human development (you can read about it here or watch the movie below). The next edition of this meeting will take place in the USA this September and applications are now open! The deadline for[…]

Does (brain) size matter?

Posted by on October 30th, 2015

Chris Puhl and Rebecca McIntosh   As a part of a team of students from the MRC Centre for Developmental Neurobiology, Kings College London we commissioned and edited an issue of The Biochemical Society’s magazine, The Biochemist. The issue is entitled ‘What makes us human’ and is a discussion of the evolutionary steps that lead to[…]

Enabling research with human embryonic and fetal tissue resources

Posted by on September 24th, 2015

This Spotlight article was written by Dianne Gerrelli, Steven Lisgo, Andrew J. Copp and Susan Lindsay, and was first published in Development.   Congenital anomalies are a significant burden on human health. Understanding the developmental origins of such anomalies is key to developing potential therapies. The Human Developmental Biology Resource (HDBR), based in London and Newcastle, UK, was established to provide embryonic[…]

In Development this week (Vol. 142, Issue 18)

Posted by on September 22nd, 2015

Here are the highlights from the current issue of Development – our Special Issue on “Human Development”. This Special Issue brings together a collection of Reviews and Research Articles that directly address a broad range of topics in human developmental biology: from the earliest stages of human development to cellular ageing and degeneration, and from basic[…]

An interview with Austin Smith

Posted by on July 2nd, 2015

This interview was first published in Development.   Austin Smith is a stem cell and developmental biologist, who has dedicated his career to the study of pluripotency, stem cell renewal and differentiation. He is currently the Director of the Wellcome Trust MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute at the University of Cambridge, UK. We met him there[…]