By Paul Gerald Layague Sanchez
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.
– Charles Darwin
I spent the summer of 2018 at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, US as a student in the Embryology Course. Here, I will reflect on what was a very transformative experience, and while doing so, I would like to share my insights on the beauty and wonder of diversity in developmental biology.
Prior to coming to Woods Hole, my understanding of developmental biology was limited. I studied biochemistry as an undergrad in the Philippines and trained as a chemist. I was not formally exposed to developmental biology research until recently, when I started my PhD in Alexander Aulehla’s Lab at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in 2016. The desire to broaden my knowledge of underlying principles, mechanisms, and processes in animal development prompted me to attend the Embryology Course this year.
During the Embryology Course, I was introduced to at least a hundred different animal species, spanning both classical and emerging models of development. I worked on organisms beyond what I imagined. Read more …
Photo caption: An Embryology course “Outdoor Sweat Box” (question and answer session) with Susan Strome of University of California, Santa Cruz. Photo credit: David Sherwood