Orchestrating development in the fly embryo

Most multicellular organisms on Earth—including you—begin as a single fertilized egg and then undergo a complex choreography of cellular growth to become a functioning adult composed of countless cells. Understanding ...

Turtle embryos play a role in determining their own sex

In certain turtle species, the temperature of the egg determines whether the offspring is female or male. But now, new research shows that the embryos have some say in their own sexual destiny: they can move around inside ...

Growing embryonic tissues on a chip

It's no surprise that using human embryos for biological and medical research comes with many ethical concerns. Correct though it is to proceed with caution in these matters, the fact is that much science would benefit from ...

Tracking life's first step: Two molecules 'awaken' brand new genome

Within hours after fertilization, a unique genome forms from chromosomes contributed by the egg and sperm. However, this new genome is initially inactive and must be "awakened" to begin the transcription of its DNA and start ...

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