Maternal signals regulate embryo development in plants

While pregnancy in humans and seed development in plants look very different, parallels exist—not least that the embryo develops in close connection with the mother. In animals, a whole network of signals from the mother ...

Not junk: 'Jumping gene' is critical for early embryo

A so-called "jumping gene" that researchers long considered either genetic junk or a pernicious parasite is actually a critical regulator of the first stages of embryonic development, according to a new study in mice led ...

Researchers glimpse elusive stem cell in the early embryo

Stem cell researchers at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital have, for the first time, profiled a highly elusive kind of stem cell in the early embryo—a cell so fleeting that it makes its entrance and ...

The misleading evidence that fooled scientists for decades

There are surprisingly few proven facts in science. Instead, scientists often talk about how much evidence there is for their theories. The more evidence, the stronger the theory and the more accepted it becomes.

A first look at the earliest decisions that shape a human embryo

The factors that shape the destiny of a cell, like that of a fully formed person, remain something of a mystery. Why, for example, does one stem cell in a human embryo become a neuron rather than a muscle cell? And why does ...

Why birds don't have teeth

Why did birds lose their teeth? Was it so they would be lighter in the air? Or are pointy beaks better for worm-eating than the jagged jaws of dinosaur ancestors?

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