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Platynereis dumerilii

Artistic life sciences

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

By Mathias Jäger

Picture of the week

PlatyBrowser

Finding your way around Platynereis dumerilii

EMBL researchers combine multiple datasets to develop expandable atlas of an entire animal

By Marius Bruer

Science

The evolution of the eye

Model organisms are species that are studied extensively to understand particular biological phenomena and processes, with the expectation that discoveries made in the model organism will provide insight into the workings of other organisms. The small marine ringed worm Platynereis dumerilii gained…

By Patrick Mueller

Picture of the week

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

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,…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Uncovering secrets of life in the ocean

The best-selling novel The swarm captured the imagination of countless readers with the fascination of marine life. But it also showed how little we understand life in the depth of the ocean. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the Max Planck Institute (MPI)…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Modern brains have an ancient core

Hormones control growth, metabolism, reproduction and many other important biological processes. In humans, and all other vertebrates, the chemical signals are produced by specialised brain centres such as the hypothalamus and secreted into the blood stream that distributes them around the body.…

By Guest author(s)

Science

The earliest animals had human-like genes

Species evolve at very different rates, and the evolutionary line that produced humans seems to be among the slowest. The result, according to a new study by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory [EMBL], is that our species has retained characteristics of a very ancient ancestor…

By Guest author(s)

Science

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