15 November 2023

Why time is of the essence in development

EMBLetc EMBL developmental biologists – with help from other disciplines – pursue the significance of time, timing, and transitions in organisms during their development


4 August 2022 An illustration provides representation of fingers hovering over a cell phone

Zooming in to get the full picture

Science, Science & Technology EMBL and UW researchers plus additional collaborators have constructed a complete map of fruit fly embryonic development using machine learning. This research is foundational to better understanding overall embryo development in other species, including humans.



25 February 2022 Three colourful overlapping circles arranged in a row, a fruit-fly embryo being visible within each. Small circles within the embryos represent cell lineages.

Converging lenses on embryo development

Science, Science & Technology Researchers from the Furlong group at EMBL have come up with a way to observe the development of fruit-fly embryos simultaneously at the genetic and cellular levels, generating a high-resolution and integrated view of how different cell lineages form.



16 June 2020 Composite image of fly larvae organs making up a flower

From fly to flower

Picture of the week, Science & Technology In this composite image, visual artist Mona Kakanj assembled three different biological structures in fly larvae into a flower. The original images were taken as part of a research project by Parisa Kakanj in Maria Leptin’s group.



15 May 2020 Cell division

Tracing the origins of cells

Science, Science & Technology Researchers from the Sharpe group at EMBL Barcelona have published a method to track the developmental history of a cell using the gene editing tool CRISPR–Cas9, but without the need to create transgenic organisms.



11 February 2020

Breathe in, breathe out

Picture of the week, Science & Technology This image shows the tracheal system of a live fruit fly larva. Daniel Rios from the Leptin Group and Dimitri Kromm from the Hufnagel Group used this advanced microscope to investigate the dynamics of tracheal cells during development.



12 February 2016 Cells formed circles where blinking happened in a wave, rolling outwards from the centre. IMAGE: EMBL/C.Tsiairis

In sync

Science, Science & Technology What do cells in an embryo have in common with schools of fish, swarms of fireflies, and applauding audiences?




Cell control in a flash

Science From using light to control brain activity to illuminating fruit fly development and mice’s sense of touch



23 October 2014

Chamber of secrets

Science Like sports teams, cells can huddle to communicate in secret and organise group behaviour



17 October 2014 Five-armed starfish

Superstars of science

Science From anemones to starfish, sea creatures are helping understand development, evolution and more.



6 August 2014

Clarity in the cold

Science How fruit flies beat the cold, plus the value of precisely controlled experiments and detailed analysis



19 December 2012

Sync to grow

Science, Science & Technology Gene expression wave in the lower part of the future vertebrae column of a mammalian embryo. As the wave goes forward, new pre-vertebrae are formed and the future vertebrae column elongates. (Image and video credit: Nature) In a nutshell: The size of pre-vertebrae in a mammalian embryo is…



10 December 2009 These microscopy images demonstrate the effects of Notch signalling on the hearts of newborn mice (top) and of adult mice after a heart attack (bottom). In a normal neonatal heart (top left), the two major heart chambers (ventricles) are clearly separated by tissue (septum). But when Notch signalling was inactivated in an embryo’s heart muscle cells, the septum between the ventricles of the newborn mouse’s heart was incomplete (asterisk). The same defect commonly occurs in humans with congenital heart disease, often leading to circulatory distress. In the images of adult hearts (bottom), healthy tissue is shown in red and damaged tissue in blue. Normally (bottom left), a heart attack causes extensive tissue damage to the left ventricle (right-hand cavity), but mice in which Notch was re-activated after the heart attack had reduced tissue damage (bottom right) and improved cardiac function. Image credit: EMBL

From fruit fly wings to heart failure. Why Not(ch)?

Science Almost a century after it was discovered in fruit flies with notches in their wings, the Notch signalling pathway may come to play an important role in the recovery from heart attacks. In a study published today in Circulation Research, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)…



3 September 2006

Lost in the labyrinth

Science Blood cells have limited lifespans, which means that they must be continually replaced by calling up reserves and turning these into the blood cell types needed by the body. Claus Nerlov and his colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) unit in Monterotondo, Italy, in…



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