• Marta Morey


Adaptation is the mechanism that organisms use to adjust to changes in their environment. We are all, more or less, experiencing this process during the on-going COVID19 pandemic. As university teachers, we have had to adjust course syllabus, teaching methodologies and class dynamics, almost literally on the go. Students, have also had to adapt and embrace all these changes in an effort to achieve the academic requirements of this course.

The Developmental Biology course at the University of Barcelona is compulsory in the Biomedical Sciences Degree and elective in the Biology Degree, so overall it has some 200 students. We created a minisymposium on “Hot Topics in Developmental Biology for the 21stCentury” for the Biology and the Biomedical Sciences degrees, each with their specific topics. During these talks the instructors presented the state of the art and challenges in the field, ending with an open question to the students. In fixed work groups of up to four, students had to write a short assay answering the question in an abstract format including a section on background, relevance of the question and response. They were required to hand in 4 assays of their choice out of the 5 talks. As an incentive, each instructor was to select up to five abstracts to be published in this journal.

In this month’s edition you will find the articles covering the 10 hot topics presented in the minisymposiums. Each article starts with an abstract by the speaker presenting the topic, followed by the question posed, and finally the selected answers written by the students.