Heidelberg, Hamburg, 20 April 2015 How cells have got molecules surrounded Ground-breaking microscopy techniques have enabled scientists at EMBL Heidelberg to shed new light on how cells perform endocytosis – a function that is key to many cellular processes, such as ingesting nutrients and cell-signalling. The process of endocytosis generates bubble-like membrane vesicles that surround the molecules to be ingested and move them from the cell surface into the cell. In this study, published in Developmental Cell, a cross-disciplinary team from five research groups at EMBL and the European XFEL demonstrates the significance of a particular type of proteins, called clathrin adaptor proteins, to the process.
General, 15 April 2015 Curiosity created the 'Bubome Take one celebrity cat, add three curious and candid geneticists, and what do you get? LilBubome: a crowdfunding initiative co-organised by EMBL alumna Uschi Symmons, whose latest blog post introduces the project. "With the LilBubome we hope to attract a broader audience," she writes, "People who might not care about science and genetics, but who do care about Lil Bub and what makes her so special."
Heidelberg, Hinxton, 13 April 2015 Towards an expression atlas for an entire brain Researchers who study how genes are expressed across a given tissue can now examine thousands of genes at once at cellular resolution, thanks to new methods developed at EMBL and published in Nature Biotechnology. The new techniques can be applied to a broad range of organisms, and expand the resources available for evolution-and-development research.
Hamburg, 6 April 2015 Bypassing errors Accurately assessing and estimating errors is a crucial but often undervalued step in any scientific experiment. This is especially critical for structural biologists concerned with analysing how well 3D structural models of proteins agree with the experimental data. Using incorrect error estimates may skew analyses and lead to invalid conclusions. Scientists at EMBL Hamburg have now developed an approach to assess how well sets of data fit together, which bypasses the problem of error estimation altogether for small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) data experimentalists but also researchers across the physical sciences.
Heidelberg, 2 April 2015 Team spirit in the genome Geneticists have long tried to untangle the complex webs of genetic interactions in the genome, and identify how gene variants affect what other genes do. Creating a global picture of all interactions in the cell has been hard to track down, but a collaboration in Heidelberg – reported in eLife – shows how it can be done, and in doing so reveals a picture of genetic teamwork in the Drosophila genome.
Heidelberg, 1 April 2015 Mourning the loss of Klaus Tschira It is with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Klaus Tschira. In him, Heidelberg and our region have lost a great European, an innovative entrepreneur and an example to many as a tireless supporter of science, education and talent. Here at EMBL, Klaus Tschira will always be remembered. The initial idea behind the design of EMBL Heidelberg’s landmark double-helical building, the Advanced Training Centre, was conceived by him and its realisation was only possible thanks to his vision, willpower and unwavering commitment and generosity.
Heidelberg, 16 March 2015 No humans required A new approach for studying the behaviour of proteins in living cells has been developed by an interdisciplinary team of biologists and physicists in the Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, the Ellenberg group and the Advanced Light Microscopy Facility at EMBL. Described in a new study, published in Nature Biotechnology, the approach allows scientists for the first time to follow the protein networks that drive a biological process in real time.
Hinxton, 11 March 2015 New Joint Directors of EMBL-EBI Ewan Birney and Rolf Apweiler step up to lead EMBL-EBI, with effect from 1 July 2015. Birney and Apweiler have both enjoyed long and distinguished careers at EMBL-EBI, and were appointed Joint Associate Directors in 2012. As Joint Directors, they will share responsibility for all aspects of EMBL-EBI, including services, research, training, industry engagement and European coordination. Birney and Thornton will continue to lead their respective research groups.
Hinxton, 8 March 2015 Supporting women in science The Wellcome Genome Campus is marking International Women’s Day 2015 by giving its first Best Practice Award for Supporting Women in Science. The recipients are John Overington of EMBL-EBI and Laura Huckins of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Everyone on campus, scientific and non-scientific alike, were invited to nominate a colleague who had made a positive difference to women’s careers.
Heidelberg, 4 March 2015 Best of three worlds By combining three different kinds of microscopy, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have been able to determine, for the first time, how cellular machines move in relation to each other as the cell’s membrane bends inwards to form a vesicle that carries material into the cell. Whether it’s a white blood cell engulfing a bacterial invader or a microbe gobbling up supper, cells often take in large items by bending their own membrane around them and folding it inwards, like poking in a finger on a glove. This seemingly mundane process involves around 50 different molecules, and Marko Kaksonen’s lab at EMBL Heidelberg is set on untangling just how they do it.