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Heidelberg, 1 August 2018 Understanding soil through its microbiome Soil is full of life, essential for nutrient cycling and carbon storage. To better understand how it functions, an international research team led by Peer Bork and Falk Hildebrand at EMBL and the University of Tartu (Estonia) conducted the first global study of bacteria and fungi in soil. Their results show that bacteria and fungi are in constant competition for nutrients and produce an arsenal of antibiotics to gain an advantage over one another. Nature publishes the results on 1 August 2018.
Heidelberg, 12 July 2018 Parental chromosomes kept apart during embryo’s first division It was long thought that during an embryo’s first cell division, one spindle is responsible for segregating the embryo’s chromosomes into two cells. EMBL scientists from the Ellenberg group now show that there are actually two spindles, one for each set of parental chromosomes, meaning that the genetic information from each parent is kept apart throughout the first division. Science publishes the results – bound to change biology textbooks – on 12 July 2018.
Heidelberg, 6 July 2018 Melting bacteria to decipher antibiotic resistance With antibiotic resistance spreading worldwide, there is a strong need for new technologies to study bacteria. EMBL researchers from the Savitski and Typas groups have adapted an existing technique to study the melting behaviour of proteins so that it can be used for the study of bacteria. Molecular Systems Biology published their results – allowing researchers worldwide to start using the technique – on July 6.
Heidelberg, 4 July 2018 Combining antibiotics changes their effectiveness The effectiveness of antibiotics can be altered by combining them with each other, non-antibiotic drugs or even with food additives. Depending on the bacterial species, some combinations stop antibiotics from working to their full potential whilst others begin to defeat antibiotic resistance, report EMBL researchers from the Typas group - and collaborators - in Nature on July 4.
Grenoble, 26 June 2018 Flu’s response to new drug explored The new influenza drug Xofluza was approved for clinical use in Japan in February 2018. Scientists from the Cusack group at EMBL Grenoble have now investigated the drug’s mode of action in detail, and uncovered possible mechanisms by which viral resistance to it could emerge. Scientific Reports published the results of this collaboration between scientists from EMBL and Japanese pharmaceutical company Shionogi on 25 June.
Heidelberg, 22 June 2018 Miniature testing of drug pairs on tumour biopsies Combinations of cancer drugs can be quickly and cheaply tested on tumour cells using a novel device developed by EMBL scientists from the Merten group. The research, reported in Nature Communications on June 22, marks the latest advancement in the field of personalised medicine.
Barcelona, 20 June 2018 New theory deepens understanding of Turing patterns A team of researchers at EMBL Barcelona's Sharpe group have expanded Alan Turing’s seminal theory on how patterns are created in biological systems. This work, published 20 June in Physical Review X, may answer whether nature’s patterns are governed by Turing’s mathematical model and could have applications in tissue engineering.
Hinxton, 19 June 2018 Towards personalised medicine: one type of data is not enough EMBL researchers have designed a computational method to jointly analyse multiple types of molecular data from patients in order to identify molecular signatures that distinguish individuals. The method is called Multi-Omics Factor Analysis (MOFA), and was published in Molecular Systems Biology. MOFA could be particularly useful for understanding cancer development, improving diagnosis and suggesting new directions for personalised treatment.
Heidelberg, 18 June 2018 Constructing new tissue shapes with light Constructing biological tissues, such as skin, muscle, or bone, in customized shapes is now one step closer. Emiliano Izquierdo, Theresa Quinkler, and Stefano De Renzis - all researchers at EMBL - have succeeded in guiding the folding and thus shape of tissues with optogenetics: a technique to control protein activity with light. Nature Communications publishes their results, with implications for regenerative medicine, on 18 June.
Hinxton, 30 May 2018 Of mice and gorillas: how wild species could benefit from mouse genetic data A new study by researchers from EMBL-EBI and partner institutions compared mouse genetic data with data from gorillas and other wild mammals to reveal new insights into mammalian health and disease. The journal Conservation Genetics published the results on May 19.
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