the community site for and by developmental biologists

Message from SDB President Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado

Posted by on February 25th, 2020

The following message by Society for Developmental Biology President, Alejandro Sánchez Alvarado (Stowers Institute for Medical Research), was originally posted on the Society for Developmental Biology website February 24, 2020. Dear Members and Friends of the Society for Developmental Biology, We are living in interesting times. Technological advances are moving at neck-breaking speed: artificial intelligence,[…]

Growing a body, one tiny tug at a time

Posted by on February 24th, 2020

From Knowable Magazine’s Special Report: Building Bodies. For an introduction to the series see Eva Emerson and Rosie Mestel’s Node post. For decades, genetics and biochemistry have formed the bedrock of developmental biology. But it turns out that physical forces — the way cells push, pull and squeeze each other — play a huge role,[…]

The people behind the papers – Madeleine Linneberg-Agerholm, Yan Fung Wong and Josh Brickman

Posted by on February 20th, 2020

This interview, the 75th in our series, was recently published in Development.  Our understanding of lineage decisions in early human development has been greatly aided by embryonic stem cell lines, which avoid many of the practical and ethical difficulties of in vivo material. A new paper in Development exploits naïve human embryonic stem cells to generate in vitro models for the extra-embryonic[…]

Bent into shape: The rules of tree form

Posted by on February 17th, 2020

From Knowable Magazine’s Special Report: Building Bodies. For an introduction to the series see Eva Emerson and Rosie Mestel’s Node post. How do trees find their sense of direction as they grow? Researchers are getting to the root — and the branches — of how the grandest of plants develop. By Rachel Ehrenberg   There’s[…]

Creating pancreatic cells in the laboratory to cure people with diabetes

Posted by on February 13th, 2020

New research by the Serup group shows how the Notch signalling pathway works when the pancreas forms as the fetus develops. This discovery may lead to new opportunities to cure people with diabetes and understand how pancreatic cancer develops. By Kristian Sjøgren for sciencenews.dk  Imagine doctors in the near future being able to cultivate stem cells[…]

Building Bodies

Posted by on February 13th, 2020

Dear developmental biologists, As editor-in-chief and executive editor of Knowable Magazine from Annual Reviews, we’re grateful for the invitation to write a post here at The Node about a special report on developmental biology — “Building Bodies” — that Knowable just published. We hope that the articles, written in accessible language, will intrigue and be[…]

Genetics Unzipped – How to argue with a racist

Posted by on February 13th, 2020

Adam Rutherford tells us how to argue with a racist, hunting for ghosts in the genome, and recreating the discovery of the double helix in Lego.

Preventing cellular mixing with programmed cell death

Posted by on February 12th, 2020

By Lisandro Maya-Ramos and Takashi Mikawa Bilaterality, the property of having two symmetrical sides, is widely conserved among animals. It is estimated that 99% of all animal species are bilaterians, with the remaining 1% composed by sponges and radial animals, which lack or have radial symmetry respectively (1).  Although bilaterality is widespread among animals, little[…]

January in preprints

Posted by on February 3rd, 2020

Welcome to our monthly trawl for developmental biology (and related) preprints.  This month’s trawl includes a veritable farm, with developmental studies of potatoes, beetroot, tomato, maize, wheat, pigs, cows and goats, plus many of the usual suspects. They were hosted on bioRxiv and arXiv. Let us know if we missed anything. Use these links to get to[…]

Genetics Unzipped – Fish, facts and fiction – from Haeckel’s embryos to Tiktaalik

Posted by on January 30th, 2020

We’re discovering our inner fish: finding out whether we really do go through a fishy phase in the womb, and looking at the legacy of Tiktaalik, the first fish to walk on land.