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In Development this week (Volume 137, Issue 18)

Posted by on August 24th, 2010

Non-muscle myosin II translates cilia polarity In the brain, cilia on the multiciliated ependymal cells that line the brain ventricles circulate cerebrospinal fluid over the brain surface. To generate this directional fluid flow, the ependymal cell cilia and their basal bodies must be orientated in one direction. This ‘rotational’ polarity is regulated by the planar[…]

In the new issue of Development, 137 (17)…

Posted by on August 10th, 2010

The Bicoid gradient, epigenetic control of BMP signalling, haematopoietic stem cells and more…here are the highlights from the current issue of Development: The Bicoid gradient gets into shape without nuclei Morphogen gradients provide key positional information during embryogenesis but how they are established is not well understood. A gradient of the transcription factor Bicoid is[…]

Of White and Ancient Feathers

Posted by on August 9th, 2010

I’ve just come back from a lab retreat in a country house in Sussex, UK. The weather was good and we had our scientific sessions, ranging from discussions on Sonic Hedgehog signaling in the neural tube to the latest super-resolution imaging techniques, outdoors in the courtyard. However, every once in a while, we would be[…]

Of whales and lice

Posted by on August 3rd, 2010

Imagine an ordinary louse. You might be thinking of the small insects that infest the human scalp and cause intense itching. What you may not know: lice actually exist on great variety of birds and mammals. Even whales have ‘lice,’ which are not closely related to human head lice and are giant in comparison (can[…]

The Intestinal Crypt

Posted by on August 2nd, 2010

It’s not often that the introductory part of a research talk is beautiful as well as informative, but Hans Clevers achieves both by using this video about the intestinal crypt in his presentations. (Click either screenshot to see the video) The video shows how stem cells at the base of the intestinal crypt produce the[…]

Embryological Discovery in Woods Hole : Vertebrates

Posted by on July 27th, 2010

We are in our last week of the Embryology Course at Wood’s Hole now, and currently working on annelid and squid embryos. Things are still going at a frenetic pace but I’d like to take this chance to talk a little more about some of the work we did using vertebrates. The course covers many[…]

In Development this week (Volume 137, Issue 16)

Posted by on July 27th, 2010

Here are the highlights from this week’s issue of Development: Lymphatic networks follow arterial lead The vertebrate lymphatic system consists of lymphatic vessels, which collect fluid from the tissues and return it to the blood, and lymph nodes, which are involved in immune defence. Lymphatic vessels, like blood vessels, form a complex vascular network, but what guides the development of[…]

Embryological Discovery in Woods Hole

Posted by on July 14th, 2010

Three weeks ago, we joined a group of twenty-four students from around the world arriving in the small town of Woods Hole, Massachusetts. We were strangers from all sorts of backgrounds, but we were drawn together by one commonality – a deep interest in developmental biology. We are all here to participate in the Marine[…]

In Development this week (Volume 137, Issue 15)

Posted by on July 13th, 2010

Here are the research highlights from the new issue of Development… TORc1-ing about stem cell differentiation In adult tissues, the tight regulation of stem cell selfrenewal and differentiation maintains tissue homeostasis. In Drosophila ovaries, BMP signalling from the local environment maintains germline stem cells (GSCs) by repressing bam (a differentiation-promoting gene) expression. Now, on p.[…]

Digital fly embryo

Posted by on July 5th, 2010

Using light microscopy to study developmental processes in situ is a bit tricky if your samples are not transparent. In that aspect, early zebrafish development is a walk in the park compared to studying non-transparent fly embryos, or even fish in a later stage of development. But research published in Nature Methods this week comes[…]