Hamburg, 11 December 2014 Lighting the way Just over 40 years ago, Ken Holmes, then director of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysics in Heidelberg, brought to light the stunning potential of X-rays emitted by synchrotrons for use in structural biology experiments. On 27–28 November, staff, alumni, collaborators and friends came together to reflect on four decades of vision, pioneering research and beamline services since EMBL Hamburg was set in motion on the Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) campus soon afterwards.
Monterotondo, 9 December 2014 Delighting in detail The skin seems almost designed to thwart established microscopy techniques, but a new approach by scientists at EMBL Monterotondo overcomes such challenges, showing mouse neurons as never before. “Already we’ve been able to see things that we couldn’t see before. Structures such as nerves arranged around a hair on the skin; we can now see them under the microscope, just as they were presumed to be,” says Paul Heppenstall of the new technique developed by his lab.
General, 2 December 2014 40 questions, answered EMBL’s headquarters is located in the middle of a lively forest home to many different plants – which serve as inspiration for observing and studying the various forms that life can take. Although scientists at EMBL do that every day with microscopes, spectrometers, and other sophisticated tools, how many people actually look deeper at the lush vegetation in and around the campus?
Hinxton, 1 December 2014 What makes a mosquito deadly? An international team of scientists has sequenced the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world, some of which are notorious for transmitting malaria. Published in Science, the results provide important insights into the dynamic evolution of these vectors. The annotated datasets are freely available in VectorBase, a consortium involving the University of Notre Dame, Imperial College London and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI).
Hinxton, 28 November 2014 Record parasitic worm dataset The largest collection of helminth genomic data ever assembled has been published in the new, open-access WormBase-ParaSite. Developed jointly by the European BIoinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, this new resource will be a major asset in the fight against parasitic worms, which infect more than one billion people worldwide.
General, 27 November 2014 Argentina: EMBL in action Argentina’s most recent events as a new EMBL associate member state included two activities from EMBL-EBI: a bioinformatics roadshow – one of the most popular offerings of the EMBL-EBI Training Programme – and an EMBL-EBI Industry Seminar. The two events were followed by a César Milstein Lecture given by EMBL Director Matthias Henze at the Leloir Institute in Buenos Aires, and the launch of a call for short-term visitors to EMBL from Argentina.
Grenoble, 19 November 2014 20 years in the making “This has taken 20 years of my life,” smiles Head of EMBL Grenoble Stephen Cusack, “and for the first 15 years we had almost no results!” Cusack’s perseverance, determination and vision have now been duly rewarded as he and his team publish the first crystal structure of an influenza polymerase this week in the journal Nature.
Heidelberg, 19 November 2014 Welcome: Kyung-Min Noh Having explored everything from physiology to structural biology in her quest to understand the epigenetics of neuron development, new group leader Kyung-Min Noh values the ability to communicate and share knowledge across disciplines. Find out more about her inspiration and motivation, and what research her group will be undertaking in the Genome Biology Unit at EMBL Heidelberg.