eLife publishes research on stem cells, differentiation, tissue assembly and regeneration. Decisions are made by journal editors who are active researchers in the fields of developmental biology and stem cells.
Understanding the coordination of the forces generated in embryos by two processes, convergent extension and convergent thickening, is key to understanding how a hollow sphere of cells develops into an elongated embryo.
Developmental genetic and cell culture studies indicate that the Inhibitor of DNA-binding protein Extra macrochaetae (Emc), previously thought to determine where bHLH proteins can act, is itself regulated by those bHLH dimerization partners at the level of protein stability.
Blastopore closure in Xenopus is driven by two morphogenic mechanisms that have strongly context dependent effects on tissue movement and that generate tensile force across tissues: convergent extension, as expected, and, unexpectedly, convergent thickening.