Hybrid human–chicken embryos illuminate key developmental milestone

A new technique reveals the earliest stages of human development without the need for human embryos. Before a cluster of cells can develop into an embryo, it must first decide which end is up. But that process had never been observed in humans — until now. For the first time, researchers have watched human ‘organizer’
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Highlights Embryonic mesenchymal progenitors within the splenic primordium (the clustering of cells from which the spleen develops) are the precursors of virtually all spleen stromal cell subsets, including follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), marginal reticular cells (MRCs), and fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs). Spleen stromal cell subsets appear as central regulators of organ development and tissue regeneration,
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Highlights Quantum mechanics diverges from the classical description of our world when very small scales or very fast processes are involved. Unlike classical mechanics, quantum effects cannot be easily related to our everyday experience and are often counterintuitive to us. Nevertheless, the dimensions and time scales of the photosynthetic energy transfer processes puts them close
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Geographic information system software, created for mapping cities and continents, works equally well with the minuscule layers and inclusions that record a crystal’s history. Researchers on the cutting edge of geochemistry are tracing Earth’s history through the clues recorded in tiny mineral crystals. Often, they must work with the microscopic (or nanoscopic) features in rare,
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Summary The space-filling fibrin network is a major part of clots and thrombi formed in blood. Fibrin polymerization starts when fibrinogen, a plasma protein, is proteolytically converted to fibrin, which self-assembles to form double-stranded protofibrils. When reaching a critical length, these intermediate species aggregate laterally to transform into fibers arranged into branched fibrin network. We
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An international research team led by scientists at Beihang University in China and The University of Texas at Dallas has developed high-strength, super-tough sheets of carbon that can be inexpensively fabricated at low temperatures. The team made the sheets by chemically stitching together platelets of graphitic carbon, which is similar to the graphite found in the
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In a massive cleanup, 107 articles have just been retracted from the open-access cancer research journal Tumor Biology. “After a thorough investigation we have strong reason to believe that the peer review process was compromised,” writes editor-in-chief Torgny Stigbrand in the retraction notice. Peer review is one of the golden standards that help sort the wheat from pseudoscientific
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The most abundant molecule in cell membranes is the lipid phosphatidylcholine (PC, commonly known as lecithin); accordingly, the enzymes responsible for synthesizing it are essential. Research published in the May 4 issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry used computer simulations to gain insights into how one of these enzymes activates and shuts off PC production. These
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Just like any long polymer chain, DNA tends to form knots. Using technology that allows them to stretch DNA molecules and image the behavior of these knots, MIT researchers have discovered, for the first time, the factors that determine whether a knot moves along the strand or “jams” in place. “People who study polymer physics have suggested
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Around 1,500 years ago, perhaps around 450 CE, unknown raiders stormed the small, prosperous village of Sandby borg on the shore of Öland island, and slaughtered the inhabitants, leaving the bodies where they fell. Now, archaeologists in Sweden have stumbled upon this grisly mystery. With less than 7 percent of the site excavated, the research team,
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