Let them eat cake!

To satisfy everyone’s taste buds, Nadine spoiled us with five different cakes.

Happy birthday Nadine! May the upcoming year be as sweet as these five cakes combined!

 

Paper in Development about the loss of mesendodermal competence

We celebrated with cake and champagne the new paper from our lab published in Development.

The study, led by our former postdoc Pavel, determines the time during zebrafish development when the prospective ectoderm becomes unable to respond to mesendoderm-inducing Nodal signals. By activating the Nodal pathway with several different strategies, we showed that reduced expression of the Nodal coreceptor Oep causes loss of mesendodermal competence.

The champagne bottle was nicely decorated by Sabrina with the in situ hybridization protocol that was used in the paper.

Ksenia: ✓ TAC

Freues neues Jahr! Happy New Year!

 

Congrats to Ksenia for passing her first Thesis Advisory Committee (TAC) Meeting!

With full support from her committee members, Ksenia is ready to push her PhD projects forward into 2018.

Microenvironment preprint on bioRxiv

The manuscript for Lennart’s postdoc project “Transcription establishes microenvironments that organize euchromatin” is now up on bioRxiv.

We investigated how the process of accessing the information contained in DNA leads to its three-dimensional organization. By a combination of STED super-resolution imaging (thank you Alf Honigmann and lab!), Fab-based live imaging (thank you Yuko, and Hiroshi Kimura’s lab!), and physical modeling (thanks Vasily Zaburdaev and lab, and Frank Jülicher!), we concluded that the process is similar to the organization in a microemulsion. With the exception that ours contains not a conventional, but a catalytically active amphiphile.

Oh, and the twitter action’s here…

Welcome Predocs 2017!

In the month of November, Ksenia and 29 other PhD students from the International Max Planck Research School for Cell, Developmental and Systems Biology (IMPRS-CellDevoSys) took part in their month-long Predoc course. Each week, students attended lectures and practicals in the field of Chemistry, Biophysics, Biology, and Computational Biology with the research groups at CBG, CSBD, and PKS. This was an opportunity for students to learn about the ongoing research and techniques used by each group. Many students also took part in a scientific writing course.

While enriching their scientific knowledge, students also had to exercise their creative minds. At the end, all the predocs put together a very entertaining Special Friday Seminar for the CBG-CSBD community – “Lessons Learned: Special Report on the 2017 Predoc Course”.

New friendships were formed and curious minds were nourished, as the students familiarized with their new home for the next 3-4 years. We hope they will form a supportive group for one another throughout their PhD.

  

Be our guest: Haruka Oda

Yet another exciting exchange for both the Vastenhouw and Kimura lab!

It was our pleasure to host Haruka Oda, a postdoctoral fellow from the lab of Dr. Hiroshi Kimura (Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan). During her short visit, Haruka monitored the early embryo stages of zebrafish and collected them for western blot analyses on her favourite proteins. A very pleasant week both in and outside the lab, including feasting on St. Martin’s goose, exploring Dresden, and catching a glimpse of the city’s Christmas markets.

    

 

 

The One with the Goose

The legend goes that St. Martin once gave a homeless person half his coat, and saved them from the cold. With this good deed, the Church officials wanted to honour St. Martin by ordaining him as the next bishop. Being a modest man, he hid in a goose pen to avoid the Church officials. Well, the cackling of the geese betrayed him and the goose became the symbol of St. Martin’s day.

The lab celebrated the German tradition of Martinsgans (St. Martin’s goose) over a festive meal: roasted goose, Knudeln (German dumplings), Wurst (sausage), Flammkuchen (flame cake, German flatbread), and Kartoffeltasche (potato bag).

We also welcomed our guest for the week, Dr. Haruka Oda, a postdoctoral fellow from the lab of Dr. Hiroshi Kimura at Tokyo Institute of Technology.

Book chapter on how to smFISH in zebrafish embryos

Interested in detecting single transcripts from zebrafish embryos? or applying smFISH to your research?

Carine’s chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology is out!

The chapter provides a detailed protocol: from setting up the embryos to cryosection, to smFISH, to image analysis.

You’ll also find a description of the pipeline for membrane segmentation and transcription detection.

Visit Book Chapter at Methods in Molecular Biology