Heat Mapping

The ‘Heat Mapping’ temporary tattoo was designed for the Surani lab group to represent their research as part of the Tattoo my Science project.

Heat Mapping

We are investigating how cells in the developing embryo decide what type of cell to become. We are especially looking at how the cells that later become sperm or eggs develop.

In order to understand this, we create ’heat maps’ that allow us to compare which genes are turned on or off  in different cells at different times in their development.

Design by Naoko Iris

Surani Lab Group

The human germline

We study primordial germ cells (PGCs), precursors to eggs and sperm, in the early embryo. We have established principles of early human development with a focus on human PGC (hPGC) specification. A unique epigenetic resetting follows in the germline after hPGC specification. Our work shows that SOX17 is the key regulator of human, but not mouse, germ cell fate. By developing in vitro models, and with authentic hPGCs from human embryos, we have also established how pluripotent stem cells gain competence for germ cell and somatic fates in human.

Azim Surani colour portrait

Meet Azim Surani

In this video Azim, Director of Germline and Epigenomics Research at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge, tells the story of his discovery of genomic imprinting and subsequent research that established the field of epigenetics.

An illustration showing three friends chatting about a DNA tattoo the the person in the middle has

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