We’re bidding a fond farewell to our amazing postdoc Jullien Flynn, now an Assistant Professor at Universit√© Laval! The Flynn lab will focus on the role of satellite DNA repeats in broad aspects of cell biology, using a combination of computational, genetic, and histological techniques. We’ll miss Jullien and wish her the best of luck!

We’re sad to see them go, but so happy for our postdocs George Watase and Jonathan Nelson, both leaving for Assistant Professor positions (at Kumamoto University and Stony Brook University, respectively). George and Jonathan have been instrumental in creating the Yamashita lab as it is today, and everyone should watch out for the amazing research to be coming from their labs soon.

Transposable elements have long been thought of as genomic parasites, but sometimes even parasites can be put to good use! A new paper from the lab shows that a TE is intentionally derepressed in germline stem cells to allow for double-strand break formation, allowing for expansion of lost rDNA copies.

How can selfish genetic elements beat out the competition to make sure that they’re inherited? Our explosive (pun intended) new paper suggests that this could be mediated by nucleolar protein responsible for maintaining the delicate balance between two similar but competing protamine-encoding genes. Check it out!

We think that spermatogenesis can be beautiful, and it turns out the critics agree! An image from postdoc Jackie Fingerhut won the Koch Image Award and has now been featured in Nature. If you miss this image from our website homepage, rest assured it’ll be back as soon as it’s done with its well-deserved publicity tour.

How do germline cells retain their immortality, especially since so many necessary cellular components are prone to loss? A new paper from our lab identifies a novel gene, Indra, as necessary for maintaining the appropriate copy number of rDNA repeats in germline stem cells, allowing them to give rise to the next generation! Check it out here.

In any context, introns and repetitive satellite DNA have often been seen as mere “genomic junk,” but recent work suggests that both – including satellites contained with introns – have necessary functions. Check out a review of this from the lab here.

Germline fate is more plastic than you might think – it can arise (or disappear) in many different species in very different ways. Check out a review on this topic from the lab here.