Press Releases 2013
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Monterotondo, 10 November 2013 What are you scared of? What do bullies and sex have in common? Based on work by scientists at EMBL Monterotondo, it seems that the same part of the brain reacts to both. In a study published today in Nature Neuroscience, the researchers found that – at least in mice – different types of fear are processed by different groups of neurons. The findings could have implications for addressing phobias and panic attacks in humans.
Heidelberg, 23 October 2013 Bigger, better, faster The molecular machine that makes essential components of ribosomes is like a Swiss-army knife, researchers at EMBL Heidelberg and collaborators have found. By determining the 3-dimensional structure of this machine, called RNA polymerase I, for the first time, the scientists found that it incorporates modules which prevent it from having to recruit outside help. The findings, published online today in Nature, can help explain why this protein works faster than its better-studied counterpart.
Heidelberg, 13 October 2013 Choreographed origami Like a budding origami artist pencilling in the folds, the cell uses tags called methyl groups to help mark where and how an RNA molecule should be folded. In work published online today in Nature, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have discovered that, to build ribosomes, pairs of these tags are added in a specific order.
Heidelberg, 25 September 2013 Without a trace Cells in a zebrafish embryo determine which direction they move in by effectively erasing the path behind them, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have discovered. The findings, published online today in Nature, could have implications not just for development but also for cancer and metastasis.
Heidelberg, 12 September 2013 Potential new drug target for cystic fibrosis Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg, Regensburg University, and the University of Lisboa have discovered a promising potential drug target for cystic fibrosis. Their work, published online today in Cell, also uncovers a large set of genes not previously linked to the disease, demonstrating how a new screening technique can help identify new drug targets.
Grenoble, 11 August 2013 From fireman to arsonist A protein that prevents cells becoming cancerous can turn into an oncogene, scientists at the EMBL Grenoble have discovered. The finding, published today in Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, stems from the first 3D structure of the protein’s active core, and opens up new avenues for drug design.
Heidelberg, 7 August 2013 Cells eat themselves into shape To quickly smooth out their surface, cells in the fruit fly embryo ‘suck in’ long tubes of membrane in a specialised type of endocytosis, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have found. The study, published today in Nature Communications, could help explain how the cells on your skin become different from those that line your stomach or intestine.
Heidelberg, 11 July 2013 How to build your gate Decade-old controversy over structure of nuclear pore solved, thanks to new method in which EMBL scientists combine thousands of super-resolution microscopy images to reach a precision below one nanometre.
- BioTechniques , 30 July 2013 Super-resolution Imaging of Large Protein Complexes
Heidelberg, Hinxton, Hamburg, 14 May 2013 But what does it do? It is now easier to pinpoint exactly what molecules a phosphatase – a type of protein that’s essential for cells to react to their environment – acts upon in human cells, thanks to the free online database DEPOD, created by EMBL scientists. Published today in Science Signaling, the overview of interactions could even help explain unforeseen side-effects of drugs.
Heidelberg, 24 April 2013 Pushing the boundaries of transcription Like musicians in an orchestra who have the same musical score but start and finish playing at different intervals, cells with the same genes start and finish transcribing them at different points in the genome. For the first time, researchers at EMBL have described the striking diversity of messenger RNAs (mRNAs) that such start and end variation produces, even from the simple genome of yeast cells. Their findings are published today in Nature.
- Nature - News and Views , 30 April 2013 Molecular biology: The ends justify the means
Heidelberg, 11 March 2013 Havoc in biology’s most-used human cell line HeLa cells are the world’s most commonly used human cell lines for research. In a study published today in G3: Genes, Genomes and Genetics online, scientists at EMBL announce the successful sequencing of the genome of a HeLa cell line. It provides a high-resolution genomic reference that reveals the striking differences between the HeLa genome and that of normal human cells. The study could improve the way HeLa cells are used to model human biology.
Heidelberg/Aarhus, 5 March 2013 Denmark joins the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine The Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine renews its partnership agreement for an extended period of 10 years, and expands the Nordic EMBL network with the official opening of the Danish Research Institute of Translational Neuroscience (DANDRITE) at Aarhus University, which will become its Danish node.
Heidelberg, 28 February 2013 Zeroing in on heart disease Studies screening the genome of hundreds of thousands of individuals have linked more than 100 regions in the genome to the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Researchers from EMBL and the University of Heidelberg are taking these results one step further by pinpointing the exact genes that could have a role in the onset of the disease. Their findings are published today in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) Genetics.
Heidelberg, 28 February 2013 DNA’s twisted communication Gene expression needs to be finely controlled during embryo development. Fgf8 is one of these regulation factors that control how the limbs, the head and the brain grow. Researchers at EMBL have elucidated how Fgf8 in mammal embryos is, itself, controlled by a series of interdependent regulatory elements. Their findings, published today in Developmental Cell, shed new light on the importance of the genome’s architecture for gene regulation.
Heidelberg, 11 February 2013 One disease, two mechanisms While prostate cancer is the most common cancer in elderly Western men it also, but more rarely, strikes patients aged between 35 and 50. Scientists at EMBL, in collaboration with several other research teams in Germany, have discovered that early-onset prostate cancers are triggered by a different mechanism from that which causes the disease at a later age. Their findings are published today in Cancer Cell, and might have important medical implications.
Hamburg, 4 February 2013 Learning from the linker Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) represent a milestone in stem cell research, however many of the biochemical processes that underlie reprogramming are still not understood. Scientists from the EMBL Hamburg and from the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Biomedicine in Münster, Germany now shed new light on this process. In a study published today in Nature Cell Biology, the scientists describe important details about the structure of the transcription factor Oct4, known to play a crucial role in the reprogramming of terminally differentiated cells.
Hinxton, 31 January 2013 The mutation police Scientists at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK have discovered how our genome keeps the effects of mutations in check. The discovery, published in the journal Cell, will help in the study of diseases such as cancer and neurodegeneration.
Hinxton, 23 January 2013 EMBL-EBI researchers make DNA storage a reality Researchers at the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have created a way to store data in the form of DNA – a material that lasts for tens of thousands of years. The new method, published in the journal Nature, makes it possible to store at least 100 million hours of high-definition video in about a cup of DNA.
Heidelberg, 17 January 2013 The cell that isn’t This may look like yet another video of a dividing cell, but there’s a catch. You are looking at chromosomes (red) being pulled apart by the spindle (green), but it’s not a cell, because there’s no cell membrane. The new technique developed by Ivo Telley from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, allows scientists to study cell division without cell membrane.
Grenoble, 6 January 2013 Protein production: going viral A research team of scientists from EMBL Grenoble and the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France, have, for the first time, described in molecular detail the architecture of the central scaffold of TFIID: the human protein complex essential for transcription from DNA to mRNA. The study, published today in Nature, opens new perspectives in the study of transcription and of the structure and mechanism of other large multi-protein assemblies involved in gene regulation.
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