All living systems, from microbial communities, to organisms, to ecosystems, maintain some capacity to repair and to maintain themselves in the face of events that cause disturbances or damage. This capacity we call “regeneration”. Our working groups focus on various aspects of regeneration at different levels of the scales of life. Each working group is a node, led by a scientists and an historian or philosopher of science. These nodes are set within a larger network, with the MBL at its hub, which aims to understand the phenomenon of regeneration by investigating and comparing what it is and how it works across different levels of complex living systems.
Microbial Community Regeneration
Research in microbial ecology and microbiomics focuses increasingly on ecological questions, such as about resilience, that is, the capacity for a system to return to a stable state following a disturbance. (more…)
Do ecosystems regenerate? Issues of complexity and scale, both spatial and temporal, lie at the heart of analyses of ecosystem regeneration. (more…)
Germ cells can be lost, rendering an organism unable to reproduce. The predominant line of thought in germline biology tells us that once the germline is lost, it cannot regenerate. (more…)
Stem Cell Regeneration
Our project focuses on the general question “what are stem cells?” with a particular interest in how stemness might differ depending on tissues and contexts, in particular in regeneration and cancer. (more…)
From late-nineteenth century research seeking the existence of neurons in coelenterates, to present-day studies on lamprey spinal cords, the exploration of nerve cell regeneration has always had a place both at the MBL and in the history of the “neuro” disciplines writ large. (more…)