Hinxton, 13 April 2017 A race against the ageing clock Researchers at the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Babraham Institute in Cambridge have identified an accurate mouse epigenetic clock that uses DNA methylation to accurately estimate an animal’s age. The paper, published in Genome Biology, confirmed that lifestyle interventions known to shorten lifespan also accelerated the clock. The mouse epigenetic clock could become a useful tool for understanding how ageing works and what interventions can accelerate or delay the process.
Heidelberg, 12 April 2017 Obituary: Konrad Müller It is with great sadness that we share the news that EMBL alumnus Konrad Müller passed away on 28 March. Konrad, who is a former head of personnel and administration, worked at EMBL for two decades between 1975–95. Konrad’s contributions have helped to shape EMBL as we know it today. Under his leadership at EMBL he drove key projects including the establishment of EMBL’s Kinderhaus, the INTERMEDEX health insurance system for EMBL employees, the creation of the EMBL Staff Association and furthered relations with Germany, the host country of EMBL Heidelberg and Hamburg.
Hamburg, Vienna and Amsterdam, 11 April 2017 Structure of key system for TB infection revealed In a paper published this week in Nature Microbiology, the Wilmanns group at EMBL together with scientists from across Europe reveal the overall architecture of an assembly of proteins known as Type VII secretion systems found in a group of bacteria which cause diseases such as tuberculosis.
Barcelona, 10 April 2017 EMBL to open new site in Barcelona At a ceremony in Barcelona today, EMBL and the Spanish government signed an agreement for a new EMBL site to be hosted in the city. EMBL Barcelona will be located on the campus of the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB), and researchers at the site will explore how tissues and organs function and develop, and how preventing failures in those processes may help to tackle disease. Alongside cutting-edge research, the site will house state-of-the-art imaging facilities, making pioneering technologies available to scientists worldwide.
Barcelona, 10 April 2017 The story behind EMBL’s Barcelona site “Spain hosting an EMBL site has been on my mind almost from my first days as Director General of EMBL. When I first visited the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness (MINECO) in Madrid at the end of 2005, it was already very clear that they were keen to develop deeper links with us, up to and including hosting an EMBL site.” EMBL Director General, Iain Mattaj, reflects on the work done to establish a new site in Barcelona.
Monterotondo, 7 April 2017 Strengthening links with Italian research community EMBL has a history of creating strong links with institutions in its host countries. At EMBL’s Monterotondo site, links with the Italian research community are being strengthened as the Unit refocuses its research on the fields of neurobiology and epigenetics.
Heidelberg, 6 April 2017 Blood stem cell differentiation is continuous Every day, your body has to generate up to one trillion new blood cells, more if you suffer from an infection or severe bleeding. Ultimately, all of these cells derive from the adult haematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) in your bone marrow. Lars Steinmetz’s lab at EMBL, in collaboration with colleagues at the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), have discovered that HSC differentiation is in fact a continuum. Lars Velten, who carried out the research at EMBL, describes the work, which is featured on the cover of Nature Cell Biology this month.
Barcelona, 6 April 2017 Behind the scenes: Building EMBL’s Barcelona site There is a natural sense of connection between EMBL and Barcelona. The city, which was honoured as the first European Capital of Innovation in 2014, is a national hub of life science research and has long promoted alliances between research centers and universities. So it is with a great sense of excitement that we await the opening of EMBL’s sixth site on 10 April, located on the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) – one of the most important campuses for translational research in Europe.
General, 5 April 2017 When science meets management The EU-funded Research Infrastructure Training Programme (RItrain) is launching a Master’s course for managers of research infrastructures. The course was developed by the University of Milano-Bicocca, with input from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). Tuition fees will be waived for the first run of this course set to start in September 2017. The course will comprise face-to-face and online activities, with a strong emphasis on knowledge exchange.
EMBL-EBI Hinxton, 31 March 2017 Ageing: cell coordination breakdown Researchers from the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), University of Cambridge, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and the Cancer Research UK–Cambridge Institute (CRUK-CI) have shed light on a long-standing debate about ageing and why the immune system weakens with age. Their findings, published in Science, show that immune cells in older tissues lack coordination. These cells also exhibit more variability in gene expression compared with their younger counterparts.