Hamburg, 20 February 2015 Attack from all sides Tuberculosis – a disease that knows no boundaries, kills millions of people per year worldwide and is developing resistance to current drug therapies at an alarming rate. In order to develop urgently needed new treatment regimes, it is critical to achieve a complete understanding of how Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) – the bacterium that causes the disease – infects, survives and develops. But despite decades of considerable global research efforts, the mechanisms by which Mtb infects and survives in the human body are still largely a mystery. For such a widespread and complex problem, a multi-disciplinary research approach seems the way to go. A paper published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens by Matthias Wilmanns and collaborators from Switzerland, Poland, and France, illustrates the power of bringing together specialists in different areas
Grenoble, 19 February 2015 Shining light onto the fabric of life For its first LearningLAB of 2015, EMBL’s European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS) made the science of protein structure crystal clear for a group of 22 science teachers from all over Europe. The two-day event held in Grenoble was set up in partnership with the EU-funded project FluPharm. It gave the participants a 360° view of how crystallography can deepen our understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of biological molecules, and lead scientists towards innovative treatments against diseases.
Heidelberg, 16 February 2015 Fight or flight? If you heard chilling screams echoing around the EMBL Advanced Training Centre at the end of last year, don’t fret. Rather than a giant spider scuttling towards a group of arachnophobes, or a cohort of mytophobes who have been plunged into darkness, Cornelius Gross, deputy head of EMBL Monterotondo, was using sound and imagery to illustrate how the study of fear is helping researchers better understand human behaviour. The recording of the lecture is now available online as video on demand.
Hinxton, 29 January 2015 Why is a dolphin not a cat? New research shows how evolution has given rise to a rich diversity of species by repurposing functional elements shared by all mammals. Published in Cell by scientists at the EMBL-EBI and the University of Cambridge Cancer Research UK–Cambridge Institute (CRUK CI), the study demonstrates how methods for understanding human biology can be used to understand a broad range of species.
General, 26 January 2015 40 questions, answered If scientists are machines that turn coffee into papers, how many coffees, how many papers, in the last 40 years? This very fundamental question – tweeted by Aidan Budd from Heidelberg, Germany – is core to the life of so many scientists, and called for a multidisciplinary answer that would be both precise and fact-based…
General, 26 January 2015 Cell control in a flash Flick the switch, and illumination follows. The comical image of a light bulb pinging on when a brainwave occurs became remarkably prescient just a few years ago when suddenly, out of the dark, a brand new technique for controlling brain activity lit up the scene.