Germline - Immortality through Totipotency

R. Lehmann, E. Heard, J. Rossant

EMBL Heidelberg, Germany

Saturday 13 October - Tuesday 16 October 2012

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  • Late registration is possible until Sunday 23 September 2012

Why You Should Attend

  • Summary
    What does immortality mean at the molecular, cellular, transgenerational and evolutionary level?

    Most organisms have a defined lifespan, however life of a species continues and evolves via germline from generation to generation. Recent studies show that tissue stem cells share molecular and developmental signatures with the germline and that even fully differentiated, postmitotic cells can be reprogrammed to regain totipotency.

    This EMBO | EMBL Symposium will go beyond a description of the phenomena involving stem cell behaviour, programming and reprogramming. It will bring together researchers from different disciplines, who will address fundamental questions of totipotency as they relate to evolution, development and tissue specialization.

  • Questions to be discussed include:

    • how a need for germline specification arose during the evolution of multicellularity from single cells to colonies with specialized cell types;

    • how the fertilized egg cell loses totipotency during formation of a multicelluar organism;

    • how chromatin-based mechanisms influence totipotency both at the cellular and transgenerational level; and

    • how the decision toward meiosis is achieved and regulated.

  • Topics

    • From single cells to multicellularity

    • Keeping it all together: chromosomes and chromatin

    • Programming and reprogramming

    • Conservative vs progressive divisions (mitosis and meiosis)

    • Context matters