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5 November 2021 Three-dimensional rendering of sponge neuroid cells (coloured orange) and sponge digestive cells (coloured green).

More than a gut reaction

Science What can sponges tell us about the evolution of the brain? Sponges have the genes involved in neuronal function in higher animals. But if sponges don’t have brains, what is the role of these? EMBL scientists imaged the sponge digestive chamber to find out.

2021

science

5 October 2021 Illustration of a globe with colourful shapes and symbols superimposed.

A cellular atlas of an entire worm

Science EMBL scientists and colleagues have developed an interactive atlas of the entire marine worm Platynereis dumerilii in its larval stage. The PlatyBrowser resource combines high-resolution gene expression data with volume electron microscopy images.

2021

science

3 June 2021 Illustration of a rocky coastline with sailing boat, mountains, underwater organisms, bridge and factory in the background.

Living laboratories

Science Under the innovative Planetary Biology research theme, EMBL scientists aim to understand life in the context of its environment.

2021

science

31 March 2020

Artistic life sciences

Picture of the week Paola Bertucci, from the Arendt Group at EMBL Heidelberg, studies the evolution of Platynereis dumerilii – a species of annelid polychaete worm.

2020

picture-of-the-week

29 November 2019 Choanocyte chamber of sponge, with neuroid cell

Neural pathways

Science Exploring the diverse routes by which EMBL scientists are driving forward neurobiology

2019

science

24 August 2015

Awards & Honours

Lab Matters EMBL scientists regularly receive prestigious awards – meet the latest honourees.

2015

lab-matters

2 September 2010 A virtual Platynereis brain (left), created by averaging microscopy images of the brains of 36 different individuals, onto which scientists mapped gene activity (right). Perspective shows the brain as viewed from inside a Platynereis larvae, at 48 hours' old. Image credits: EMBL/R. Tomer

Brainy worms: Evolution of the cerebral cortex

Science Our cerebral cortex, or pallium, is a big part of what makes us human: art, literature and science would not exist had this most fascinating part of our brain not emerged in some less intelligent ancestor in prehistoric times. But when did this occur and what were these ancestors? Unexpectedly,…

2010

science

31 January 2010

MicroRNA: a glimpse into the past

Science The last ancestor we shared with worms, which roamed the seas around 600 million years ago, may already have had a sophisticated brain that released hormones into the blood and was connected to various sensory organs. The evidence comes not from a newly found fossil but from the study of microRNAs…

2010

science

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