January 12, 2015

1:26 PM | Adolescence as a risk factor for depression in autism
It has been said that you can’t understand a mind except in the context of the world it lives in. Often an inability to shift your frame of reference may […]

January 08, 2015

7:48 PM | Neurodiversity :Conflict Resolution
I am presently taking care of the medical needs of a close family member in another state. In this regard, I am sorry that I have not been able to […]
10:05 AM | International Neuroscience Doctoral Programme (INDP) at the Champalimaud Foundation in Lisbon – Portugal
Applications from independent thinkers with curiosity, creativity and drive are sought to join the Champalimaud Foundation’s International Neuroscience Doctoral Programme (INDP). The INDP aims to provide students of diverse backgrounds with a foundation to perform innovative and interdisciplinary work in basic or applied neuroscience at an international level. The Programme is hosted at the Champalimaud […]

January 07, 2015

1:07 PM | The Neurodiversity Movement: Reconciling Different Perspectives
I have been surprised at the attention received by my last blog. I was bedridden with post-flu vertigo while writing the same. The inordinate time that I had to write […]

January 06, 2015

1:17 PM | In Development this week (Vol. 142, Issue 2)
Here are the highlights from the new issue of Development:   The ‘second brain’: taking gut development up a Notch The vertebrate gastro-intestinal (GI) tract consists of a regionalized epithelial tube surrounded by mesenchyme that later differentiates into smooth muscle. During the early stages of stomach patterning in chick embryos, the primitive GI track is […]

January 05, 2015

4:02 PM | Life’s Blueprint website
Dear Colleagues, I recently published a popular book presenting the concepts of embryonic development (Life’s Blueprint: The science and art of embryo creation) at Yale University Press. In addition to the text, I tried to convey the concepts of embryonic development by presenting pairs of images, where one portrays a biological example and the other […]
1:27 PM | The Neurodiversity Movement: Lack of Trust
In the midst of a not-so rationalist society the learned elite of autistic individuals, the few, have launched a reformation movement that has been conveyed primarily through autobiographical accounts and […]
1:20 PM | The rabbit blastocyst modelling (for) vertebrate gastrulation
Form and function of animal gastrulation have been longstanding classics accompanying the rise of experimental embryology, and – as if to square the circle in the literal sense – the blastopore of Haeckel’s original ‘gastrea’ stage[1] was soon (and still is) considered analogous to the straight primitive streak of birds and mammals[2-4]. Both forms are […]

Yang, J. & Weinberg, R. (2008). Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition: At the Crossroads of Development and Tumor Metastasis, Developmental Cell, 14 (6) 818-829. DOI: 10.1016/j.devcel.2008.05.009

Coolen, M., Nicolle, D., Plouhinec, J., Gombault, A., Sauka-Spengler, T., Menuet, A., Pieau, C. & Mazan, S. (2008). Molecular Characterization of the Gastrula in the Turtle Emys orbicularis: An Evolutionary Perspective on Gastrulation, PLoS ONE, 3 (7) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002676

Bertocchini, F., Alev, C., Nakaya, Y. & Sheng, G. (2013). A little winning streak: The reptilian-eye view of gastrulation in birds, Development, Growth & Differentiation, 55 (1) 52-59. DOI: 10.1111/dgd.12014

Keller, R. (2002). Shaping the Vertebrate Body Plan by Polarized Embryonic Cell Movements, Science, 298 (5600) 1950-1954. DOI: 10.1126/science.1079478

Tada, M. & Heisenberg, C. (2012). Convergent extension: using collective cell migration and cell intercalation to shape embryos, Development, 139 (21) 3897-3904. DOI: 10.1242/dev.073007

Viebahn C, Stortz C, Mitchell SA & Blum M (2002). Low proliferative and high migratory activity in the area of Brachyury expressing mesoderm progenitor cells in the gastrulating rabbit embryo., Development (Cambridge, England), 129 (10) 2355-65. PMID:

Halacheva, V., Fuchs, M., Dönitz, J., Reupke, T., Püschel, B. & Viebahn, C. (2011). Planar cell movements and oriented cell division during early primitive streak formation in the mammalian embryo, Developmental Dynamics, 240 (8) 1905-1916. DOI: 10.1002/dvdy.22687

Habas, R., Kato, Y. & He, X. (2001). Wnt/Frizzled Activation of Rho Regulates Vertebrate Gastrulation and Requires a Novel Formin Homology Protein Daam1, Cell, 107 (7) 843-854. DOI: 10.1016/S0092-8674(01)00614-6

Stankova, V., Tsikolia, N. & Viebahn, C. (2015). Rho kinase activity controls directional cell movements during primitive streak formation in the rabbit embryo, Development, 142 (1) 92-98. DOI: 10.1242/dev.111583

Arendt, D. & Nübler-Jung, K. (1999). Rearranging gastrulation in the name of yolk: evolution of gastrulation in yolk-rich amniote eggs, Mechanisms of Development, 81 (1-2) 3-22. DOI: 10.1016/S0925-4773(98)00226-3

Voiculescu, O., Bertocchini, F., Wolpert, L., Keller, R. & Stern, C. (2007). The amniote primitive streak is defined by epithelial cell intercalation before gastrulation, Nature, 449 (7165) 1049-1052. DOI: 10.1038/nature06211

Renfree, M. (2010). Review: Marsupials: Placental Mammals with a Difference, Placenta, 31 DOI: 10.1016/j.placenta.2009.12.023

Cretekos CJ, Weatherbee SD, Chen CH, Badwaik NK, Niswander L, Behringer RR & Rasweiler JJ 4th (2005). Embryonic staging system for the short-tailed fruit bat, Carollia perspicillata, a model organism for the mammalian order Chiroptera, based upon timed pregnancies in captive-bred animals., Developmental dynamics, 233 (3) 721-38. PMID:

Osteil, P., Tapponnier, Y., Markossian, S., Godet, M., Schmaltz-Panneau, B., Jouneau, L., Cabau, C., Joly, T., Blachere, T., Gocza, E. & Bernat, A. (2013). Induced pluripotent stem cells derived from rabbits exhibit some characteristics of naive pluripotency, Biology Open, 2 (6) 613-628. DOI: 10.1242/bio.20134242

1:15 PM | Top Node posts of 2014
Happy new year everyone! The last year saw the usual varied mix of news, research, meeting and discussion posts. We had a look at our stats to find the most popular posts of 2014:     Most viewed posts: 1- The secret to getting the postdoc you want- former SDB president Martin Chalfie shares his thoughts on […]

January 02, 2015

5:59 PM | Of Mice and Milk, Mind and Memory
Among animal models, C. elegansand Drosophila melanogaster are the heavyweight champions in this domain, but when it comes to lactation, as non-mammals they are of limited use. Enter the lab rat, or mouse in this case. Mice allow researchers to systematically investigate mechanistic pathways through which mother’s milk influences offspring neurobiology, immune function, and behavior. Liu and colleagues (2013) investigated these in concert with the precision and dedication of a […]

December 31, 2014

3:00 PM | A bilingual brain is prepped for more than a second language
Bilingual and multilingual people make efficient decisions on word choices, neural exercise that may protect the aging brain.
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