Heidelberg, 17 October 2016 Opinion: Is your mind playing tricks on you? While scientists can explain in considerable detail why we remember and forget, far less is known about why we sometimes recall things not quite as they happened. Craig Stark, a cognitive neuroscientist at the University of California (UCI), wants to learn more about this peculiarity. He will speak at the EMBL/EMBO Science and Society conference: The Past in the Present – The Making of Memories, which will take place at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre, 3–4 November.
Hinxton, 14 October 2016 Drivers of evolution hidden in plain sight Research led by the Beltrao group of the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the University of Washington has shown that the biological diversity needed for evolution can be generated by changes in protein modifications. The findings, published today in Science, provide valuable insights into how different species adapt to different environments and could shed light on how pathogens evolve and become resistant to drugs.
Heidelberg, 4 October 2016 In pursuit of flat growth in leaves How does a set of plant cells grow from a bump into a flat leaf that can efficiently capture sunlight? In a paper published this week in PNAS, EMBL scientists at Marcus Heisler’s lab show how different types of molecules on the top and bottom of a leaf keep each other in check, ensuring the leaf grows flat.
Hinxton, 30 September 2016 ‘Essential genes’ help focus research New research from the International Mouse Phenotyping Consortium (IMPC) reveals that roughly a third of all genes in the mouse genome are essential for life. The results of the study, published in Nature, are an important new resource for studying mammalian development and human disease.
Heidelberg, 26 September 2016 Welcome to EMBL: Mikhail Savitski For Mikhail Savitski, running a research group and a core facility is “a fantastic challenge.” The cross-pollination between them informs his research, which is based on mass spectrometry. His group is working on a technology that measures the stability of proteins, shedding new light into more effective drug treatments as well as open questions in molecular biology.
Heidelberg, 26 September 2016 Turning up the heat on drug side effects By tracking the impact of a widely used leukaemia drug on proteins inside living cells, research led by EMBL’s Savitski team and Cellzome has shed light on the molecular causes of the drug’s side effects. Published in Nature Chemical Biology, the study also indicates that the drug has potential to be repurposed to treat tyrosinemia, a rare genetic disorder that can lead to liver, kidney and neurological problems.
Heidelberg, 26 September 2016 Watching nuclear pores in growing nuclei This image answers the puzzle of how a new nuclear pore forms across the double membrane that encloses a cell’s nucleus. Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg, led by Martin Beck and Jan Ellenberg, used live cell imaging and high-resolution electron microscopy techniques to look at intact human cells with growing nuclei and watch nuclear pores form. Postdoc Shotaro Otsuka found that the proteins form a mushroom shaped complex that deforms the inner membrane of the nucleus.
Grenoble, 14 September 2016 New drug candidate unleashed for TB Due to the alarming spread of totally drug resistant strains of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB), scientists are seeking new drugs to combat this life-threatening pathogen. Stephen Cusack, head of EMBL’s Grenoble site; and Andrés Palencia, an EMBL alumnus now at the Grenoble Institute for Advanced Biosciences contributed important structural biology expertise to a large consortium of chemists, biochemists and microbiologists led by Anacor Pharmaceuticals (Palo Alto) to help tackle this problem.
Hinxton, 13 September 2016 BioStudies: The Data Bento Box BioStudies, a new data service at EMBL-EBI, packages all the data supporting a study, giving a home to unstructured data and linking to datasets in established repositories. As a data ‘container’ separate from the published article, a BioStudies record can be updated over time, adding flexibility and value to the published record. BioStudies is also built to help data managers support life-science research, making it easier to identify emerging trends and community requirements.
Heidelberg, 12 September 2016 New EMBL-Hubrecht Institute partnership EMBL and the Hubrecht Institute in Utrecht, the Netherlands, have signed an agreement establishing the EMBL-Hubrecht Partnership for Stem Cell and Tissue Biology. Building upon existing links between the two organisations, the partnership aims to establish a working relationship to support scientific exchange and complementarity. Working at the interface of stem cell and tissue biology, researchers in this partnership will investigate how human tissues and organs develop and are organised, advancing our understanding of a wide range of diseases, including heart degeneration, Alzheimer's, diabetes and tumours.