April 23, 2014

10:15 PM | Lecturer position in Developmental Biology/Reproduction in New Zealand
Applications are now invited for a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, University of Otago, New Zealand. Job details: https://otago.taleo.net/careersection/2/jobdetail.ftl?lang=en&job=1400800     Department of Anatomy: http://anatomy.otago.ac.nz/   I’m happy to answer any questions you have about working at Otago. Dr Megan Wilson meganj.wilson@otago.ac.nz @DrMegsW Developmental Biology laboratory, Department of Anatomy.
12:46 PM | Hacking life: an introduction to biohacking and transhumanism
Last Wednesday I spoke on the topics of DIYBio and Transhumanism at the weekly KAT-O Tech Talks organised by my friend Robyn. This is a collection of links and interesting videos that formed part of my presentation. You can view the presentation below – keeping scrolling for interesting links. I’ve included a bit of the […]
11:21 AM | Parchos de corteza malformada en cerebros de individuos autistas
Por ahora me gustaría hablar sobre un artículo publicado recientemente por el grupo de Courchesne (New England Journal of Medicine, marzo de 2014). El mismo ha recibido mucha atención en […]
9:00 AM | European Geosciences Union – General Assembly 2014 (Part 2)
A couple of weeks ago we outlined the ways in which we will be participating in the EGU General Assembly taking place in Vienna next week.  On our blog over the next few days we ask a few of the GfGD team who are attending to give us an outline of the sessions that caught […]

April 22, 2014

4:32 PM | Babies cry at night to prevent siblings, scientist suggests
Babies who demand to be breastfed in the night might be delaying the birth of a sibling, scientist proposes.
11:58 AM | In Development this week (Vol. 141, Issue 9)
Here are the highlights from the new issue of Development:   Hemogenic endothelium flexes some muscle Mesoangioblasts (MABs) are progenitor cells of embryonic derivation with mesodermal potential. They have been successfully used to restore skeletal muscle loss in dystrophic mice, but despite the clinical potential of these cells, their origin and role during development has […]

April 21, 2014

12:30 PM | Ludwig Wittgenstein debunks Theory of Mind in autism
Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein was born on April 26, 1889 in Vienna, Austria to an affluent family. Three of his brothers committed suicide and Wittgenstein himself considered the same. He […]
9:00 AM | GfGD Committee Updates
Joel Gill, GfGD Founder and Director, writes about recent additions and updates to the GfGD Executive Committee… Over the past few weeks we’ve been adding to and reshaping our Executive Committee, a group of excellent individuals who work with myself to coordinate our range of projects and development. Each member of the committee is in full-time education […]

April 18, 2014

9:00 AM | Friday Photo (124) – Pacaya Volcano, Guatemala
Pacaya Lava Flow Tourists and guides ignore the official closing of the National Park around Pacaya Volcano to visit the lava flow that originated that afternoon. Credit: Joel Gill, 2014

April 16, 2014

12:34 PM | La importancia de masajes en el autismo
Cuando mi primer nieto nació fue un momento de gran regocijo. Durante su embarazo mi hija tomo mucho cuido de sí misma y todo tipo de precauciones; ella se ejercito, […]
12:30 PM | Flippase recognition target: orientation matters, so why care?
FRT sites are used often (at least in Drosophila) for inducing deletions or “flipping out” of markers in transgenic constructs. When there are two FRTs sequences in tandem, after inducing flippase the DNA sequence that is between these two sites will be deleted. If two FRT sites are facing each other (or looking away), the […]
11:54 AM | What’s going on in the mind of a Skyping baby?
By studying how young children respond to video calls, scientists hope to understand the role of new technology.
10:01 AM | Travelling Fellowships- deadline approaching!
  Do you need to learn a new technique? Are you planning a collaborative visit?   Then The Company of Biologists and Development can help! We offer Travelling Fellowships of up to £2,500 to cover the costs of travel, accommodation, subsistence and visa fees. The next deadline for applications is the 30th of April! Find more information about how […]
9:00 AM | External Conference Opportunities
A number of interesting and relevant external conferences have come to our attention this week. If you’re interested in water and sanitation/hydrogeology or disaster risk reduction then these may be of interest to you! — **Hydrogeology and WASH Conference – What can hydrogeologists contribute to safe water supply and poverty reduction?** When: Thursday 5th June […]
1:32 AM | Stone Soup Eyes
Another installment from the Developmental Neurobiology Students at Reed College. Hope you enjoy! It’s not often that you get to recount the classic tale of Stone Soup when thinking about developmental biology, but that’s exactly what we did when discussing an almost classic 2011 Nature paper from Yoshiki Sasai’s group. In the story, a grumpy […]

Eiraku, M., Takata, N., Ishibashi, H., Kawada, M., Sakakura, E., Okuda, S., Sekiguchi, K., Adachi, T. & Sasai, Y. (2011). Self-organizing optic-cup morphogenesis in three-dimensional culture, Nature, 472 (7341) 51-56. DOI:

Fuhrmann, S. (2010). Eye Morphogenesis and Patterning of the Optic Vesicle, Current Topics in Developmental Biology, DOI:

Nakano, T., Ando, S., Takata, N., Kawada, M., Muguruma, K., Sekiguchi, K., Saito, K., Yonemura, S., Eiraku, M. & Sasai, Y. & (2012). Self-Formation of Optic Cups and Storable Stratified Neural Retina from Human ESCs, Cell Stem Cell, 10 (6) 771-785. DOI:


April 14, 2014

7:54 PM | The Trouble with Epigenetics, Part 3 – over-fitting the noise
The idea of transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of acquired behaviors is in the news again, this time thanks to a new paper in Nature Neuroscience (who seem to have a liking for this sort of thing). The paper is provocatively titled:  “Implication of sperm RNAs in transgenerational inheritance of the effects of early trauma in mice”. The abstract claims that:“We found that traumatic stress in early life altered mouse microRNA (miRNA) expression, and […]
12:03 PM | Chronic stress and autism
Many years ago Robert Sapolsky wrote a book entitled: “Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers”. The basic idea of the book was that acute stressors (e.g., a lion attacking a zebra) […]
10:04 AM | Interview with Beddington Medal winner William Razzell
Each year, the British Society for Developmental Biology (BSDB) awards the Beddington Medal to the best PhD thesis in developmental biology. This year’s award went to William Razzell, who completed his PhD in Paul Martin’s lab at the University of Bristol. At the BSDB Spring Meeting last month, Will presented his thesis studies of wound […]

Razzell, W., Wood, W. & Martin, P. (2014). Recapitulation of morphogenetic cell shape changes enables wound re-epithelialisation, Development, DOI:

8:00 AM | Guest Blog: Groundwater Quality Management in Rural Uttar Pradesh, India
Donald John MacAllister, serves on the Executive Committee of Geology for Global Development. He is currently leading the Hazard Factsheet project. Donald John is a PhD student at Imperial College London and is researching the application of self-potential monitoring to seawater intrusion problems in coastal aquifers. He has a BSc in Geophysics from the University […]

April 13, 2014

9:00 PM | (Developmental) Biology around the internet- April 2014
Here is our monthly round-up of some of the interesting content that we spotted around the internet:   News & Research: - This year’s Waddington Medal was awarded by the British Society for Developmental Biology to Prof Phil Ingham! - Are you a budding science writer? The Wellcome Trust launched their 2014 Science Writing Competition, and are […]

April 11, 2014

10:02 AM | What’s your favourite gene?
I recently took part in the ‘I’m a scientist, get me out of here!’ outreach event. As soon as the school children found out I was a developmental geneticist and worked out what I did, one question I was repeatedly asked was: “what’s your favourite gene and why?” so for a bit of fun, I […]
9:00 AM | Friday Photo (123) – St. Joseph Cathedral (Antigua, Guatemala)
   Ruins of St. Joseph Cathedral (Antigua, Guatemala) This Cathedral was destroyed in the significant 1773 earthquake. Part of the Cathedral has been rebuilt, and the ruins are now opened for tourists to visit. Credit: Joel Gill, 2014

April 10, 2014

10:54 AM | Outreach competition- the winners
Science outreach often involves using metaphors, where a real life object or situation is used to explain a complex scientific concept. Last December we launched an outreach competition, and we asked the Node readers to submit pairs of images: a photograph of a real life scene and an image of the scientific concept that it helps […]
9:17 AM | New science-to-policy Centre of Excellence unveiled
A new centre of Excellence was launched in Stellenbosch last week focussing on Science and Research Policy. I wrote an article about it for SciBraai: http://scibraai.co.za/new-science-to-policy-centre-of-excellence-unveiled/Filed under: News, Published Articles

April 09, 2014

2:38 PM | Cellular Architectures at the Nuit Blanche 2013 in Paris
The “Nuit Blanche” in Paris. A city wide exposition of contemporary arts from dusk till dawn. Performances, light shows, dance, installations. Along the Canal Saint-Martin the visitors stroll from one exhibition to the next or sit down and take a break, chatting and drinking. A bit further up Boulevard Avenue Richerand the south-west entrance to […]
2:00 PM | Regenerating the aged thymus
The latest issue of Development includes a paper by Clare Blackburn and colleagues at the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine, University of Edinburgh, showing that the aged mouse thymus can be regenerated in vivo by the upregulation of a single transcription factor, FOXN1. This work has generated quite a lot of interest in […]

Bredenkamp, N., Nowell, C. & Blackburn, C. (2014). Regeneration of the aged thymus by a single transcription factor, Development, 141 (8) 1627-1637. DOI:

1:47 PM | Autism related efforts in China
I am coming back from China after a whirlwind tour of several cities. My first stop was in Shanghai where I spent three days in a workshop discussing Transcranial Magnetic […]
11:16 AM | Identified a new possible target to combat muscle wasting
The pathological atrophy of skeletal muscle is a serious biomedical problem for which no effective treatment is currently available. Those most affected populations are the elderly diagnosed with sarcopenia and patients with cancer, AIDS, and other infectious diseases that develop cachexia. A study by scientists at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB), headed by […]

Sala D, Ivanova S, Plana N, Ribas V, Duran J, Bach D, Turkseven S, Laville M, Vidal H, Karczewska-Kupczewska M & Kowalska I (2014). Autophagy-regulating TP53INP2 mediates muscle wasting and is repressed in diabetes., The Journal of clinical investigation, PMID:


April 08, 2014

3:52 PM | Scheduled Node maintenance- 9th of April
We will be doing some maintenance work on the Node on Wednesday the 9th of April, and unfortunately there will be no access to the site during that period. You can expect the Node to be down from 7 p.m. (British Summer time) for approximately 4 hours. We are sorry for the disruption, especially for […]
11:55 AM | 6th Young Embryologist Annual Meeting
6th Young Embryologist Annual Meeting Friday 27th June 2014 JZ Young LT, Anatomy Building, University College London Registation and abstract submission now open The 6th Young Embryologist Meeting aims to bring together developmental biologists from across the UK and abroad to discuss their work at a leading UK institution by presenting a talk or a […]
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