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Heidelberg, 23 December 2019 EMBL co-develops new method that could facilitate cancer diagnosis Researchers led by EMBL Heidelberg and the Center for Bioinformatics at Saarland University have developed a cheaper and faster method to check for genetic differences in individual cells, which outperforms existing techniques with respect to the information received. This new method could become a new standard in single cell research, and potentially for clinical diagnosis in disease genetics, including cancer. The results have been published in Nature Biotechnology.
Heidelberg, 23 December 2019 Innovative method delivers new insights into the stem cell microenvironment Researchers from EMBL and the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed new methods to reveal the three-dimensional organisation of bone marrow at a single cell level. Since bone marrow harbours blood stem cells responsible for life-long blood generation, these results and the new method provides a novel scientific basis to study blood cancer. The results have been published in Nature Cell Biology.
Hinxton, 13 December 2019 Machine learning finds functional human phosphosites Researchers at the EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have created the largest reference phosphoproteome to date of almost 120 000 human phosphosites. To identify those most likely to be critical, they used a machine learning approach capable of ranking them according to functional importance.
Heidelberg, 2 December 2019 EMBL and Leica sign open innovation collaboration agreement EMBL often cooperates with industry partners, and has cooperated successfully with Leica for many years. Based on this strong partnership, Leica is among the companies supporting the upcoming EMBL Imaging Centre, which is currently under construction at the EMBL campus in Heidelberg, Germany.
Heidelberg, 7 November 2019 Integrating imaging research across Europe The European Commission has officially established Euro-BioImaging – which provides life scientists with open access to a broad range of technologies and resources in biological and biomedical imaging – as a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC). Since Euro-BioImaging was initiated at EMBL in 2007, this adds yet another remarkable achievement to EMBL’s mission of integrating European life sciences.
Heidelberg, 4 November 2019 EMBL spins the Sleeping Beauty transposase EMBL scientists have developed a new variant of the Sleeping Beauty transposase. It has dramatically improved biochemical features, including enhanced stability and intrinsic cell penetrating properties. This transposase can be used for genome engineering of stem cells and therapeutic T cells. As such it is extremely valuable for use in regenerative medicine and cancer immunotherapy. The underlying genome engineering procedures will in the future also reduce costs and improve the safety of genome modifications.
Barcelona, 20 September 2019 Discover the research schooner Tara and her new microplastics mission in the Barcelona harbour on 4 October The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Barcelona and the Tara Ocean Foundation invite you to a press conference on the rising threat of microplastics in European rivers and the ocean
Grenoble, 16 September 2019 Discover the research schooner Tara and her new microplastics mission in the Old Port of Marseille on 27 September The Tara Ocean Foundation and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble invite journalists to a press conference in Marseille on the rising threat of microplastics in European rivers and the ocean. The press conference also provides the opportunity to discover the interdisciplinary research of EMBL, major partner of the Tara expeditions and the place where the idea for Tara Oceans (2009–2013) was born.
Hinxton, 13 September 2019 B cells linked to immunotherapy Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute and the Medical University of Vienna have found evidence that B cells might play an important role in immunotherapy for melanoma. Currently, immunotherapy is primarily focused on T cells, but the results suggest that B cells could also provide an interesting research avenue.
Rome, 4 September 2019 Discover the research schooner Tara and her new microplastics mission in the Rome harbour on 13 September The Tara Ocean Foundation and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Rome invite journalists to a press conference on the rising threat of microplastics in European rivers and the ocean. The press conference also provides the opportunity to discover the interdisciplinary research of EMBL, major partner of the Tara expeditions and the place where the idea for Tara Oceans (2009–2013) was born.
Grenoble, 20 August 2019 ‘Kissing loops’ in RNA molecule essential for its role in tumour suppression A team of researchers in the Marcia group at EMBL Grenoble, France, have discovered that the tumour suppressor MEG3 adopts a complex three-dimensional structure to fulfil its function. Furthermore, they were able to fine-tune its activity by targeted manipulation of this architecture. The results of this study, published in Molecular Cell, might help to advance diagnosis and treatment of certain types of cancer.
Hinxton, 14 August 2019 Pinpointing the molecular mechanisms of ageing Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Babraham Institute and collaborators have used the epigenetic clock to explore the molecular mechanisms that may drive ageing in humans. They found one gene, called NSD1, that seems to be closely linked to the process. This type of research could advance our understanding of ageing.
Grenoble, 22 July 2019 Toxin responsible for Legionella growth identified A team of scientists led by EMBL group leader Sagar Bhogaraju and Ivan Dikic of Goethe University, Frankfurt, discovered that the toxin SidJ in Legionella bacteria enforces a unique modification on human proteins and helps legionella grow inside human cells. SidJ hijacks human protein Calmodulin to its own advantage in one of the classic examples of pathogenic bacteria exploiting the human molecular machinery and turning it against us. This makes SidJ an ideal target to curb Legionella infection. The results have been published in Nature.
Heidelberg, 16 July 2019 Dieter Schwarz Foundation supports Life Science Alliance Today, representatives from the Dieter Schwarz Foundation announced funding to the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) to support its collaborative effort with the Stanford University School of Medicine, called the EMBL | Stanford Life Science Alliance.
Heidelberg, 15 July 2019 Does rearranging chromosomes affect their function? Molecular biologists long thought that domains in the genome’s 3D organisation control how genes are expressed. After studying highly rearranged chromosomes in fruit flies, EMBL researchers from the Furlong and Korbel groups now reveal that while this is the case for some genes, their results challenge the generality of this for many others. Their results, published in Nature Genetics on 15 July, reveal an uncoupling between the 3D genome organisation – also called chromatin topology – and gene expression.
Hinxton, 2 July 2019 A new home for biological images EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) is expanding its remit to include bioimaging data. Through its new, dedicated resource for biological images, called the BioImage Archive, EMBL-EBI aims to make it easier for researchers around the world to store, share, access and analyse biological images.
Hamburg, 4 June 2019 Discover the research schooner Tara and her new microplastics mission in the Hamburg harbour on 17 June The Tara Ocean Foundation and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg invite journalists to a press conference on the rising threat of microplastics in European rivers and the ocean. The press conference also provides the opportunity to discover the interdisciplinary research of EMBL, major partner of the Tara expeditions and the place where the idea for Tara Oceans (2009–2013) was born.
Grenoble, 3 June 2019 Snapshots of the flu virus replication machine in action pave the way for new drugs Researchers from the Cusack group in EMBL Grenoble have, for the first time, observed different functional states of the influenza virus polymerase as it is actively transcribing. These results, published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, provide valuable information for the next generation of anti-influenza drugs.
Barcelona, Grenoble, Hamburg, Heidelberg, Hinxton, Rome, 16 May 2019 The origins of plastic pollution at sea The Tara Ocean Foundation launches Mission Microplastics: the exploration of 10 European rivers to assess the impact of plastics from the land to the sea. EMBL will organise special events during the upcoming ports of call at or near EMBL sites: London, Hamburg, Rome, Marseille and Barcelona.
Heidelberg, 29 April 2019 New 3D microscope visualises fast biological processes better than ever Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg have combined their expertise to develop a new type of microscope. The revolutionary new light-field microscopy system makes it possible to study fast biological processes, creating up to 200 3D images per second. Initial tests have already delivered new insights into the movement of blood cells in a heart.
Heidelberg, 25 April 2019 Sex and diet affect protein machineries Scientists from EMBL Heidelberg have discovered that the collection of proteins in an animal cell –called the proteome – is substantially affected by both the animal’s sex and its diet. Understanding these individual proteomes might provide a basis for personalised treatments for humans in the future. The results have been published in the journal Cell.
Heidelberg, 1 April 2019 Global microbial signatures for colorectal cancer established Researchers from EMBL, the University of Trento, and their international collaborators have analysed multiple existing microbiome association studies of colorectal cancer together with newly generated data. Their meta-analyses establish disease-specific microbiome changes which are globally robust – consistent across seven countries on three continents – despite differences in environment, diet and life style. Nature Medicine publishes their results on 1 April 2019.
Heidelberg, 1 April 2019 Foundation stone ceremony for world-class high-resolution microscopy centre in Heidelberg A foundation stone ceremony for the new EMBL Imaging Centre, located on the campus of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, took place today. The new facility will give researchers access to the most modern microscopy technologies available. It is made possible by a collaboration between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the State of Baden-Württemberg (MWK), EMBL, and by further contributions from industry partners (Thermo Fisher Scientific, Leica and ZEISS), as well as by donations from the Boehringer Ingelheim Foundation and Heidelberg Cement. The EMBL Imaging Centre will open in 2021.
Heidelberg, 28 March 2019 Designer organelles bring new functionalities into cells For the first time, scientists have engineered the complex biological process of translation into a designer organelle in a living mammalian cell. Research by the Lemke group at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) – in collaboration with JGU Mainz and IMB Mainz – used this technique to create a membraneless organelle that can build proteins from natural and synthetic amino acids carrying new functionality. Their results – published in Science on 29 March – allow scientists to study, tailor, and control cellular function in more detail.
Hinxton, 14 March 2019 Funding awarded for bioinformatics technical infrastructure UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has awarded £45 million to EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), to enhance the institute’s technical infrastructure. The funding, which comes from the UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund, will support EMBL-EBI’s existing and emerging data resources, including in areas of major interest, such as genomics and bioimaging.
Hamburg, 18 February 2019 Suicide system in tuberculosis bacteria might hold key to treatment Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide. In 2017, 10 million people around the world fell ill with TB and 1.3 million died. The genome of the bacterium that causes TB holds a special toxin-antitoxin system with spectacular action: once the toxin is activated, all bacterial cells die, stopping the disease. An international research team co-led by the Wilmanns group at EMBL Hamburg investigated this promising feature for therapeutic targets. They now share the first high-resolution details of the system in Molecular Cell.
Hinxton, 11 February 2019 Almost 2000 unknown bacteria discovered in the human gut Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute and the Wellcome Sanger Institute have identified almost 2000 bacterial species living in the human gut. These species are yet to be cultured in the lab. The team used a range of computational methods to analyse samples from individuals worldwide. The results, published in the journal Nature, highlight that although researchers are possibly getting closer to creating a comprehensive list of the commonly found microbes in the North American and European gut, there is a significant lack of data from other regions of the world.
Hinxton, 4 February 2019 The web meets genomics: a DNA search engine for microbes Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have combined their knowledge of bacterial genetics and web search algorithms to build a DNA search engine for microbial data. The search engine, described in a paper published in Nature Biotechnology, could enable researchers and public health agencies to use genome sequencing data to monitor the spread of antibiotic resistance genes. By making this vast amount of data discoverable, the search engine could also allow researchers to learn more about bacteria and viruses.
Hinxton, 24 January 2019 Facilitating transcontinental human data exchange Registered researchers will be able to analyse population-scale genomic and biomolecular data with the launch of the Common Infrastructure for National Cohorts in Europe, Canada and Africa (CINECA). The international project is led by EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). Data from 1.4 million individuals will be accessible to approved researchers around the world through CINECA’s federated cloud-based network.
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