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Turning back the clock of neural progenitor cells: a simple recipe to generate de novo retinal ganglion cells

Posted by on August 12th, 2019

Press release for a new Development paper on reprogramming in the retina. Scientists at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Germany, discovered that a single transcription factor drives retinal progenitor cells to reacquire the potency to generate Retinal ganglion cells. The[…]

Regenerating human retinal ganglion cells in the dish to inform glaucoma treatment

Posted by on July 4th, 2019

You can also read the Research Highlight for this press released article. The capacity of the human central nervous system to regenerate after injury or illness is limited, and the resulting functional impairments carry a vast societal and personal burden. In glaucoma, degeneration of retinal ganglion cells (RGCs) – the axons of which form the[…]

Drinking alcohol even at conception damages placenta development

Posted by on June 10th, 2019

Press release from Development. You can also read the Research Highlight for this article. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy has been linked to poor growth of the placenta, causing conditions such as fetal growth restriction and low birth weight. Although most women cease drinking once they know they are pregnant, the effect of alcohol during the[…]

How the snail’s shell got its coil

Posted by on May 14th, 2019

Researchers from the Tokyo University of Science, Japan, have used CRISPR gene editing technology to make snails with shells that coil the ‘wrong’ way, providing insights into the fundamental basis of left-right asymmetry in animals. These findings were recently published in Development. If you look at a snail’s shell, the chances are it will coil[…]

New research uncovers how hot fish change sex

Posted by on April 23rd, 2019

Press release from Development. You can also read the Research Highlight for this article. Researchers have identified the hormone that causes sex reversal of medaka fish growing in high temperatures. This study from the Instituto Tecnologico de Chascomus (INTECH) in Argentina is the first to report that the brain is involved in the masculinization of[…]

Surprise findings turn up the temperature on the study of vernalization

Posted by on February 15th, 2019

Press Release from the John Innes Centre (link) New evidence has emerged about the agriculturally important process of vernalization in a development that could help farmers deal with financially damaging weather fluctuations.     Vernalization is the process by which plants require prolonged exposure to cold temperature before they transition from the vegetative state to[…]

Uncovering the early origins of Huntington’s disease

Posted by on January 29th, 2018

With new findings, scientists may be poised to break a long impasse in research on Huntington’s disease, a fatal hereditary disorder for which there is currently no treatment.     One in 10,000 Americans suffer from the disease, and most begin to show symptoms in middle age as they develop jerky movements—and as these patients[…]