the community site for and by developmental biologists

About: Christele Gonneau


Posts by Christele Gonneau:

The small beginnings of gastruloids

Posted by on April 1st, 2015

Mouse embryonic stem cells (mESCs) are by definition cells that can self-renew (make identical copies of themselves) and specialize into any cell type of the body. Since their discovery, scientists have used them to produce various specialized cell types in culture but also to produce transgenic mouse lines. When injected into a mouse early embryo,[…]

Stem cells…now showing in 3D

Posted by on January 22nd, 2015

    Growing organs in vitro is one of the ultimate dreams of any stem cell biologist. As such, it seems obvious that some of these organs will need to be grown in 3D. This is why stem cell 3D culture systems are very fashionable among scientists. They are increasingly successful and a fair amount[…]

Seeing cells from a different angle

Posted by on December 7th, 2014

Thanks to microscopy, scientists can compete with the most talented photographers and take the most astonishing pictures! Although I have been focusing on microscopy pictures in this blog, microscopy is not the only way to make pretty pictures of cells. In recent years, the rapid progress in sequencing technology has propelled this technique to the[…]

Biology and maths partner to understand life decisions

Posted by on October 26th, 2014

Starting with the one fertilized egg that we all once were, embryonic development is made of cell divisions and most importantly of cell decisions. These first life decisions are the first steps of the development of various cell types, which will further divide, decide, specialize, organize, form specialized organs and ultimately an entire very complex[…]

The origin of blood

Posted by on September 4th, 2014

As for the origin of species, the question of the origin of blood during development has unleashed a lot of passion among the scientific community. As a matter of fact, the failure to derive blood stem cells (haematopoietic stem cells, HSCs) from pluripotent stem cells (stem cells that can generate any type of cells) has[…]

Challenging an old stem cell dogma

Posted by on August 4th, 2014

Science teachers usually say that science progresses by challenging old dogmas. In the stem cell field, there is a dogma saying that some blood stem cells in the bone marrow stay quiescent (do not divide) for long periods of time. This way, they avoid DNA damage and malignant mutations that could arise during DNA replication[…]

Goalward-bound: why biological research is like football

Posted by on July 3rd, 2014

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has mesmerised football fans all around the world over the past weeks, but besides just the fancy footwork on display, we’ve also seen some amazing athleticism. Many of the matches have taken place under scorching, highly humid conditions! Though this might not be foremost in our minds as marvel at[…]

It’s decision time!

Posted by on May 27th, 2014

Decisions, decisions…aren’t those one of our main worries? It is certainly the everyday worry of a stem cell! Understanding stem cell decisions is a central question in the field: how do stem cells manage to keep the right balance between self-renewal (make identical copies of themselves) and differentiation (produce specialized cells)? How do stem cells[…]

A simple step to reverse ageing

Posted by on May 3rd, 2014

How great would it be if we knew how to reverse ageing and turn old organs into young ones? Actually, this might not be as crazy as it sounds. As a matter of fact, a team of scientists managed to regenerate the thymus in old mice and observe what closely resembles the juvenile thymus! The[…]

Planarians…the key to regenerative medicine?

Posted by on March 31st, 2014

  Of all the animal models used in biology, the freshwater planarian flatworm is one of the most fascinating: first because roughly 10% of all planarian cells are stem cells, second because these worms can regenerate from almost any injury. This ability to regenerate entire organs (including their own heads!) makes them very popular for[…]