General, 9 October 2014 40 questions, answered To celebrate our 40th anniversary, we challenged you to ask EMBL anything. One of the most common questions we are asked has to do with the EMBL logo. What does it represent? Where did it come from? Why is one of the spots red? The logo was created by Lennart Philipson, EMBL's second Director General. Philipson passed away in 2011, but fortunately, he revealed the logo’s origin in an interview published a decade ago.
Heidelberg, 6 October 2014 Hungary joins EMBL as prospect member state EMBL welcomes Hungary as its newest prospect member state. In a Statement of Intent signed this month, Hungary and EMBL agree to explore possibilities for long-term cooperation, with a view to the country becoming a full member state within three years.
Heidelberg, 25 September 2014 How plankton gets jet lagged The hormone melatonin, which governs sleep and jet lag in humans, may also drive the mass migration of plankton in the ocean, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have found. They discovered that it governs the nightly migration of a plankton species from the surface to deeper waters. The findings indicate that melatonin’s role in controlling daily rhythms probably evolved early in the history of animals, and hold hints to how our sleep patterns may have evolved.
Hamburg, 16 September 2014 Hamburg anniversary symposium: Preview From 27–29 November, EMBL Hamburg invites past and present friends, users and alumni to a 40th anniversary celebration at the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) campus. Festivities include a two-day symposium that will look at the history of the Hamburg outstation, the science undertaken at its beamlines, and the future of structural biology. In a preview interview, keynote speaker Michael Rossmann looks back at the early days of synchrotron radiation and crystallography, and makes some predications about the future of structural biology.
Hinxton, 12 September 2014 Major advance in stem cell technology Researchers at EMBL-EBI have resolved a long-standing challenge in stem cell biology by successfully ‘resetting’ human pluripotent stem cells to a fully pristine state, at the point of their greatest developmental potential. The study, published in Cell, involved scientists from the UK, Germany and Japan and was led jointly by EMBL-EBI and the University of Cambridge.
Heidelberg, 11 September 2014 From worm muscle to spinal discs Thoughts of the family tree may not be uppermost in the mind of a person suffering from a slipped disc, but those spinal discs provide a window into our evolutionary past. They are remnants of the first vertebrate skeleton, whose origins now appear to be older than had been assumed. Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have found that, unexpectedly, this skeleton most likely evolved from a muscle.