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    ABSTRACT: The limbs are a significant evolutionary innovation that enabled vertebrates to diversify and colonise new environments. Tetrapods have two pairs of limbs, forelimbs in the upper body and hindlimbs in the lower body. The morphologies of the forelimbs and hindlimbs are distinct, reflecting their specific locomotory functions although they share many common signaling networks that regulate their development. The paired appendages in vertebrates form at fixed positions along the rostral-caudal axis and this occurs as a consequence of earlier subdivision of the lateral plate mesoderm (LPM) into regions with distinct limb forming potential. In this review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms that confer a broad region of the flank with limb-forming potential and its subsequent refinement into distinct forelimb-forming, hindlimb-forming and interlimb territories.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Seminars in Cell and Developmental Biology
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    ABSTRACT: The cell membrane is a highly complex designed material with remarkable physicochemical properties; comprised mainly of lipid moieties, it is capable of self-assembling, changing morphology, housing a range of distinct proteins, and withstanding electrical, chemical and mechanical perturbations. All of these fundamental cellular functions occurring within a 5nm thick film is an astonishing feat of engineering, made possible due to the interplay of a variety of intermolecular forces. Elucidating how the interactions within the chemically distinct partners influence the nanomechanical properties of the membrane is essential to gain a comprehensive understanding of a wide-variety of both force-triggered and force-sensing mechanisms that dictate essential cellular processes.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Current opinion in chemical biology
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    ABSTRACT: Over the last twenty years super-resolution fluorescence microscopy has gone from proof-of-concept experiments to commercial systems being available in many labs, improving the resolution achievable by up to a factor of 10 or more. There are three major approaches to super-resolution, stimulated emission depletion microscopy, structured illumination microscopy, and localisation microscopy, which have all produced stunning images of cellular structures. A major current challenge is optimising performance of each technique so that the same sort of data can be routinely taken in live cells. There are several major challenges, particularly phototoxicity and the speed with which images of whole cells, or groups of cells, can be acquired. In this review we discuss the various approaches which can be successfully used in live cells, the tradeoffs in resolution, speed, and ease of implementation which one must make for each approach, and the quality of results that one might expect from each technique. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Developmental Biology
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