the community site for and by developmental biologists

Crocodile heads teach us a cracking lesson

Posted by on March 3rd, 2013

  I recently came across a study by Milinkovitch and colleagues on the development of crocodile head scales. I think it highlights how nature sometimes chooses unusual ways to approach development, so I thought I would share a short summary here!   Scales, feathers and hairs are evolutionary adaptations to terrestrial life, fulfilling functions such[…]

Making sense of Wnt signaling

Posted by on March 3rd, 2013

Did it ever occur to you that to enjoy music from Antonio Vivaldi to Lil Wayne, we use only about 22,000 sensory hair cells in our ears? Because hair cells are mechanosensors translating sounds to neural impulses, their irreversible degeneration causes hearing loss. Unlike amphibians and birds, we as mammals cannot spontaneously regenerate hair cells[…]