Reconstructing life at its beginning, cell by cell

After 13 rapid divisions a fertilized fly egg consists of about 6,000 cells. They all look alike under the microscope. However, each cell of a Drosophila melanogaster embryo already knows by then whether it is destined to ...

The eyes have it

Our bodies, with all their different features and variations, are the result of well-orchestrated processes that dictate what and how cells develop into the organs and tissues that comprise our anatomy. Much of the information ...

Repetitive elements shape embryonic chromatin landscape

Retrotransposons are repetitive elements that form almost half of the mammalian genome. Even though they are so common, they have previously been considered to be fairly insignificant. Together with colleagues from the USA, ...

Mechanism that impairs production of bovine embryos is revealed

A longstanding obstacle to the market for bovine embryos is lipid accumulation in oocytes. Researchers have now described a hitherto unknown mechanism of lipid accumulation in oocytes that limits the success of in vitro production ...

Molecule increases pregnancy rate and number of offspring in cattle

Researchers at Inprenha Biotecnologia, a company based in Jaboticabal, São Paulo State, Brazil, working in partnership with colleagues at the University of São Paulo's Ribeirão Preto School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCFRP-USP), ...

Opinion: Human genome editing—we should all have a say

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, a reproductive biologist at Oregon Health and Science University, is nothing if not a pioneer. In 2007, his team published proof-of-principle research in primates showing it was possible to derive stem ...

Embryos rapidly outgrow mother's genetic kick-start

Attaining independence from one's parents is an enduring theme in the lives of many organisms. Birds must fly the nest, just as mammals must wean off their mother's milk.

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