embryonic development

1 May 2024 Alt Text: An artistic representation of gut microbes and sperm cells

Father’s gut microbes affect the next generation

Science & Technology Scientists from EMBL Rome and EMBL Heidelberg found that disrupting the gut microbiome of male mice increases the risk of disease in their offspring. Their findings suggest that a father’s pre-conception environment can have lifelong effects on offspring.



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.



28 February 2013

DNA’s twisted communication

Science, Science & Technology During embryo development, genes are dynamically, and very precisely, switched on and off to confer different properties to different cells and build a well-proportioned and healthy animal. Fgf8 is one of the key genes in this process, controlling in particular the growth of the limbs and…



2 February 2012 Fruit fly embryo showing the cells that will become the gut and heart

Collective action

Science, Science & Technology If you wanted to draw your family tree, you could start by searching for people who share your surname. Cells, of course, don’t have surnames, but scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have found that genetic switches called enhancers, and the…



25 June 2009 The microscope image of the dorsal closure of a fly embryo shows alternating stripes of epithelial cells with aligned microtubule bundles (green) and epithelial cells treated with a microtubule-destroying drug (blue). Labelled in red is the protein actin that lines the border of cells, particularly the amnioserosa cells occupying the eye-shaped opening.

Uncovering how cells cover gaps

Science Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, came a step closer to understanding how cells close gaps not only during embryonic development but also during wound healing. Their study, published this week in the journal Cell, uncovers a fundamental…



15 September 2007

A molecule that protects from neuronal disorders

Science Many neuronal disorders, including epilepsy, schizophrenia and lissencephaly ─ a form of mental retardation ─ result from abnormal migration of nerve cells during the development of the brain. Researchers from the Mouse Biology Unit of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Italy,…



25 August 2006

A wandering eye

Science Eyes are among the earliest recognisable structures in an embryo; they start off as bulges on the sides of tube-shaped tissue that will eventually become the brain. Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have now discovered that cells are programmed to make…



25 August 2006

A switch between life and death

Science Cells in an embryo divide at an amazing rate to build a whole body, but this growth needs to be controlled. Otherwise the result may be defects in embryonic development or cancer in adults. Controlling growth requires that some cells divide while others die; their fates are determined by signals…



25 January 2005

How do cells travel through our bodies?

Science, Science & Technology One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues. This behavior is essential to the formation of an embryo and other processes, but it must be tightly controlled. A disturbance can lead to the spread of cancer cells or diseases like Spina…



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