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Summary: Jim Smith looks back on the life and work of his PhD mentor and friend Lewis Wolpert, whose pioneering work on embryonic patterning and popular science writing has left a legacy that extends beyond the developmental biology field.


Summary: This Review looks at BMP morphogen gradient patterning in diverse developmental contexts including in Tribolium, Drosophila, Xenopus and zebrafish early embryos, as well as the Drosophila wing imaginal disc and germarium.

Summary: A review of the developmental origin of smooth muscle cells within different tissues and the instructive roles of smooth muscle in development.

Summary: This Review discusses principles of self-organization that govern the initiation, maintenance and directionality of efficient migration in single and collective cells, independently of external regulators.


Summary: Blocking full H3K27 methylation during early embryoid body differentiation yields cells that cannot stably maintain a differentiated phenotype.

Summary: Zebrafish dazl is required for incomplete cytokinesis to generate germline cysts during cystogenesis, for differentiation of PGCs into germline stem cells and meiotic cells, and for fertility.


Highlighted Article: Dlg contains a positively charged polybasic domain that electrostatically binds plasma membrane phosphoinositides, which is crucial for Dlg to regulate both polarity and tumorigenesis.


Summary: Zebrafish single-cell transcriptomics and genetic mutant analyses reveal enrichment of Alx genes in frontonasal neural crest cells and involvement of alx3 in skeletal cell morphology and differentiation timing affecting neurocranium shape.

Summary: This study investigates the process of early T cell development, and how adult hematopoiesis is regulated by distinct mechanisms that include crosstalk between gene activation, extrinsic cell signaling and epigenetic landscaping.

Summary: We provide evidence that nearly half of highly expressed GPCRs either enhance or attenuate Hedgehog responsiveness in Drosophila, suggesting that crosstalk between these signalling pathways is a widespread phenomenon.

Highlighted Article: Targeted activation of Igf1r signaling in the retinal stem cell niche increases retina size through expanding the progenitor but not stem cell population.

Summary: Generation of maternal zygotic npc2 mutant zebrafish to uncover the role of Npc2 and intracellular cholesterol trafficking during embryonic development.

Summary: Cortical spindle positioning in mammalian oocytes relies on the interplay between actin and the microtubule spindle. Myosin-X, an obvious candidate for linking these two cytoskeletal elements, is dispensable in mouse oocytes.

Summary: This study reveals a previously unknown role of MFN2 upon interaction with nuage-proteins and MSY2 that controls the fate of many spermatogenic cell mRNAs.

Summary: Axin function is required in the early sea urchin embryo to regulate nuclear β-catenin levels and prevent ectopic cell fates in multipotent early blastomeres, and to ensure correct anterior-posterior axis patterning.


Summary: A single-plasmid approach using self-cleaving ribozymes enables delivery of CRISPR components via electroporation and can be integrated into viral delivery systems for long-term tracking of mutant cells.

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