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  • News

    In a first, mouse eggs grown from skin cells

    For the first time, researchers have grown eggs entirely in a lab dish.

    Skin-producing cells called fibroblasts from the tip of an adult mouse’s tail have been reprogrammed to make eggs, Japanese researchers report online October 17 in Nature. Those eggs were fertilized and grew into six healthy mice. The accomplishment could make it possible to study the formation of gametes — eggs and...

    10/17/2016 - 11:00 Cells, Development
  • News

    Scientists find clue to why mitochondrial DNA comes only from mom

    Scientists have found a clue to why one type of DNA is passed down to children by their mothers — but not their fathers.

    DNA inside energy-producing organelles called mitochondria is destroyed in a dad’s sperm shortly after it fertilizes an egg, researchers report online June 23 in Science. A protein called CPS-6 cuts apart the mitochondrial DNA in the male sperm so that the DNA can’t...

    06/23/2016 - 14:00 Cells, Development, Genetics
  • News in Brief

    Coral larvae feed on their baby fat

    For corals, baby fat is food. Coral mothers send their offspring into the world with a balanced meal of fat and algae, but baby corals mainly chew the fat, new research finds.

    Adult corals of the species Pocillopora damicornis get most of their nutrition from symbiotic algae that live inside them, providing metabolic energy by photosynthesis. But coral larvae, researchers report online...

    03/25/2016 - 14:00 Oceans, Animals, Development
  • Science Ticker

    CDC issues travel guidelines for pregnant women

    Pregnant women should consider postponing travel to much of Latin America and the Caribbean. That’s the advice issued January 15 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    The goal is to prevent women from catching Zika virus, a mysterious mosquito-borne virus that has spread rapidly across Brazil in the last nine months. The number of infected people could be...

    01/15/2016 - 20:48 Health, Development
  • News in Brief

    Playful pups conceived via in vitro fertilization for the first time

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    Test tube puppies have arrived.

    For the first time, a dog has given birth to a litter of puppies conceived by in vitro fertilization, scientists report December 9 in PLOS ONE.

    The success could make it easier for wildlife conservationists to help such endangered species as the African painted dog or the Ethiopian wolf, says study coauthor Alexander Travis, a...

    12/09/2015 - 14:00 Animals, Development
  • News

    Old stem cell barriers fade away

    Breaking down barriers usually sounds like a good thing, but not for aging stem cells.

    When young brain stem cells split in two, they can wall off damaged proteins in one daughter cell, leaving the other spry and ready to divide again, researchers report in the Sept. 18 Science. With age, the barrier sequestering the damaged proteins breaks down, spilling cellular garbage into both cells...

    09/17/2015 - 14:00 Cells, Development
  • News

    Small number of genes trigger embryo development

    In the first days after an egg is fertilized, throwing a few key genetic switches revs up human embryo development, two new studies suggest.

    That ignition pattern differs from the one that fires up early mouse embryos, the research finds.

    One study, to be published online September 11 in Nature Communications, found that a much smaller number of genes than previously believed serve...

    09/08/2015 - 17:00 Development, Genetics
  • Science Ticker

    Source of liver’s ability to regenerate found

    Scientists have identified the stem cells behind the liver’s legendary ability to replenish its tissue.

    Stem cells not only bolster their own numbers but also become other kinds of cells through a process called differentiation, thereby keeping an organ populated as mature cells die off. The stem cells underpinning this process in the liver had never been identified.

    To trace the...

    08/06/2015 - 10:38 Cells, Development
  • News

    Mutation-disease link masked in zebrafish

    Zebrafish can find a way to compensate for a mutated gene, but artificial methods of inactivating the same gene are not so readily overcome, a new study suggests.

    These findings, reported July 13 in Nature, add fuel to a technical debate among researchers about how to tell what a gene does in an organism.

    An organism’s alternate strategy to compensate for a mutated gene can mask...

    07/13/2015 - 11:00 Genetics, Development
  • Science Visualized

    Twisty chains of proteins keep cells oriented

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    Fibers composed of a protein called actin are responsible for human cells’ ability to tell right from left, researchers report in the April Nature Cell Biology. These twisty fibers (below, in yellow; cell’s nucleus in magenta) are part of a cell’s internal scaffolding known as the cytoskeleton. Among other functions, the fibers help cells migrate from one part of a...

    06/16/2015 - 08:00 Cells, Development