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developmental biology

520px 3D illustration of tissue curling
Abstractions blog

Tissue Engineers Hack Life’s Code for 3-D Folded Shapes

January 25, 2018

Mechanical tension between tethered cells cues developing tissues to fold. Researchers can now program synthetic tissue to make coils, cubes and rippling plates.

Neurons and astrocytes
Abstractions blog

The Oldest Mini-Brains Have Lifelike Young Cells

August 29, 2017

“Organoid” brain tissue models grown in a lab for two years can help scientists study a critical period of development just before and after birth.

cerebral organoid, or mini-brain
Abstractions blog

Mini-Brains Go Modular

August 9, 2017

To create a good living replica of the human brain, your best hope may be to let “organoid” components assemble it for you.

Uca vocans - fiddler crab
developmental biology

How Life Turns Asymmetric

January 31, 2017

Scientists are uncovering how our bodies — and everything within them — tell right from left.

Q&A

Debating the Evolution of Multicellularity

September 25, 2013

An interview with the developmental biologist Cassandra Extavour on the origins of multicellular organisms and the evolution of cooperation.

developmental biology

Biologists Home in on Turing Patterns

March 25, 2013

New research has prompted a resurgence of interest in the patterning mechanisms Alan Turing proposed 60 years ago.