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What Illustrators See that a Camera Can’t

Posted by on August 29th, 2017

Illustrator Natalya Zahn on the role of observation and visual interpretation in her work creating an addendum to Nieuwkoop and Faber’s classic Normal Table of Xenopus laevis   As an artist of science and nature subjects, I’m often asked what makes the work I do better than a photograph. It makes perfect sense to imagine that a[…]

Biocurator position at Xenbase

Posted by on August 9th, 2017

Curator position at Xenbase, the Xenopus Model Organism database Xenbase (www.xenbase.org) is the Xenopus bioinformatics and genomics resource. Xenopus is a major model for fundamental cell and developmental biology and a model for human disease. Xenbase is a totally free, and globally accessible database, used by Xenopus researchers worldwide, and is funded by the National[…]

An interview with Jim Smith

Posted by on August 3rd, 2017

To interview Jim Smith I took a train to London and visited the Francis Crick Institute for the first time. The building had opened in 2016 and, by the time I visited, most if not all of the labs had settled in. Architecturally it was quite stunning, especially looking down from one of the higher[…]

An interview with John Gurdon

Posted by on May 4th, 2017

On a bright, cold morning at the beginning of March, I went back to the institute I once worked in to interview the man after whom the place was named. Greeting me at the entrance, John Gurdon apologised for being a little late and asked if it was alright to delay the interview for five minutes[…]

Interview with Beddington medal winner Elena Scarpa

Posted by on April 21st, 2016

Every year, the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB) awards the Beddington Medal to the best PhD thesis in developmental biology. The 2016 award went to Elena Scarpa, who did her PhD with Roberto Mayor at University College London (UCL). We caught up with Elena at the BSCB/BSDB Spring meeting, and we asked her about[…]

2016 CSHL Xenopus Course (last few spots!) Deadline Feb 21

Posted by on February 12th, 2016

In order to encourage applicants to the 2016 Xenopus Course at Cold Spring Harbor, we able to offer substantial support to offset course costs thanks to support from the NICHD, Helmsley Charitable Trust, and HHMI to eligible candidates. We are particularly interested in scientists with an interdisciplinary or non-traditional background, or scientists new to Xenopus.[…]

The Hippo effector YAP in retinal stem cells

Posted by on October 7th, 2015

Xenopus represents a prime model for dissecting in vivo the signalling network that controls retinal stem cell behaviour. Its retina indeed retains a reservoir of active neural stem cells in a peripheral region, the ciliary marginal zone (CMZ), that sustains continuous eye growth throughout life. To identify regulatory mechanisms underlying retinal stem cell activity in[…]

Gap junctions: versatile mediators of long-range developmental signals

Posted by on August 13th, 2015

My lab works on developmental bioelectricity, studying how cells communicate via endogenous gradients of plasma membrane resting potential (Vmem) in order to coordinate their activity during pattern regulation (Levin, 2013; Levin, 2014b; Tseng and Levin, 2013). It is well-known that resting potential is an important regulatory parameter for individual cells’ proliferation, differentiation, and oncogenic potential[…]

16th International Xenopus Conference 28 August – 1 September, 2016

Posted by on August 13th, 2015

  First Announcement The 16th International Xenopus Conference Sunday 28 August – Thursday 1 September, 2016 Venue: Orthodox Academy of Crete, Chania Please join us for the 16th International Xenopus Conference to be held 28 August – 1 September 2016 at the Orthodox Academy of Crete. This conference has been held biennially since 1984 and brings together[…]

Nerves read the electrical topography of their microenvironment in making growth decisions

Posted by on June 29th, 2015

A really interesting recent paper on bioartificial limbs underscored the prospect of transplantation for problems in regenerative medicine. One key issue facing transplant technology is establishing appropriate innervation to the host. What factors control the amount of nerve emanating from an organ graft and the paths that this innervation takes? Alongside the familiar diffusible signaling[…]