Erik P. Willems

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Gene expression analysis by quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) allows accurate quantifications of messenger RNA (mRNA) levels over different samples. Corrective methods for different steps in the qRT-PCR reaction have been reported; however, statistical analysis and presentation of substantially variable biological repeats present problems and(More)
RATIONALE Human embryonic stem cells can form cardiomyocytes when cultured under differentiation conditions. Although the initiating step of mesoderm formation is well characterized, the subsequent steps that promote for cardiac lineages are poorly understood and limit the yield of cardiomyocytes. OBJECTIVE Our aim was to develop a human embryonic stem(More)
Embryonic Stem (ES) cells have the potential to form every cell of the body and thus are of great promise for tissue transplantation. One of the rising techniques that allows studying the differentiation state of ES cells is quantitative RT-PCR (qRT-PCR). When relative quantification by qRT-PCR is applied, accurate normalization is necessary, since(More)
Although ecologists have long recognized that animal space use is primarily determined by the presence of predators and the distribution of resources, the effects of these two environmental conditions have never been quantified simultaneously in a single spatial model. Here, in a novel approach, predator-specific landscapes of fear are constructed on the(More)
Two surveys of over 1,700 publications whose authors use quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) reveal a lack of transparent and comprehensive reporting of essential technical information. Reporting standards are significantly improved in publications that cite the Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments (MIQE) guidelines,(More)
Sundaland, a tropical hotspot of biodiversity comprising Borneo and Sumatra among other islands, the Malay Peninsula, and a shallow sea, has been subject to dramatic environmental processes. Thus, it presents an ideal opportunity to investigate the role of environmental mechanisms in shaping species distribution and diversity. We investigated the population(More)
In this extensive study, real-time reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction was used to analyze the expression levels of all 19 Wnt genes and their 11 potential antagonists in mouse blastocysts, pregastrula, gastrula, and neurula stages. By complementing these results with in situ hybridization, we revealed new expression domains for Wnt2b and Sfrp1,(More)
Secreted Frizzled-related proteins (sFRPs) are modulators of the Wnt signaling pathway that plays important roles in both embryogenesis and oncogenesis. sFRPs have been proposed to antagonize Wnt activity by binding to Wnts. However, the affinity of this binding is unknown. Here we show, using surface plasmon resonance and purified proteins, that sFRP1,(More)
Ecological factors have been shown to be important for brain size evolution. In this comparative study among catarrhine primates, we examine two different ways in which seasonality may be related to brain size. First, seasonality may impose energetic constraints on the brain because it forces animals to deal with periods of food scarcity (Expensive Brain(More)
The Southeast Asian Sunda archipelago harbors a rich biodiversity with a substantial proportion of endemic species. The evolutionary history of these species has been drastically influenced by environmental forces, such as fluctuating sea levels, climatic changes, and severe volcanic activities. Orangutans (genus: Pongo), the only Asian great apes, are well(More)