HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Kristin Tessmar-Raible and Tomoko Ishikawa and colleagues
Friday 13th December 2013
The bristle worm, Platynereis dumerilii, possess a monthly (circalunar) clock that runs independently of the oscillations of its daily (circadian) clock. However, both clocks jointly regulate the level of specific transcripts, as well as locomotor behavior.
HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Frank Bosmans and Filip Van Petegem and colleagues
Thursday 12th December 2013
The voltage-gated sodium channel enables fast electrical signaling in the human body and forms the target for various toxins found in predatory species that can paralyze their prey. The first high-resolution structure of an essential subunit allows us to dissect this complex machine. The component partakes in a molecular tug-of-war with a tarantula toxin.
HFSP Program Grant holder Emmanuel Farge and colleagues
Tuesday 10th December 2013
The mechanical strains developed by the very first morphogenetic movements of both the fruit fly, Drosophila, and zebrafish embryos activate the genetic cascade involved in the earliest differentiation of the mesoderm, a tissue from which most of the organs of complex adult animals are derived (muscles, gonads, heart, bones…). This conserved mechanism of mesoderm mechanical induction, shared by two species that diverged more than 570 million years ago, the period during which mesoderm is thought...
HFSP Career Development Award holder Fernanda De Felice and colleagues
Thursday 5th December 2013
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive synapse and memory loss. Recently, an intriguing connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes mechanisms (e.g. insulin resistance, inflammation) has been studied at molecular level. We now demonstrate that a pro-inflammatory signalling pathway mediated by the cytokine TNF-α and by the stress kinase PKR causes synapse and memory loss in AD mouse models. We also found that stimulating insulin signalling blocks this deleterious mechanism...
HFSP Program Grant holders Benoit Ladoux and Chwee Teck Lim and colleagues
Sunday 1st December 2013
It is unclear how skin epithelial cells (keratinocytes) migrate over a wound bed comprising regions that are not conducive for cells to gain a ‘foot hold’. The answer seems to lie in the very strong adhesions that these cells make with one another allowing the formation of ‘multicellular suspended bridges’ over regions that are unfavorable for migration.
HFSP Long-Term Fellow Aviv Mezer and colleagues
Thursday 21st November 2013
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a critical tool for the clinical assessment of brain disease. A non-invasive method that does not use ionizing radiation, MRI enables the scientist and clinician to visualize the human brain without harming the subject. However, there is an important limitation for most MRI methods that is not widely appreciated: in most clinical applications of MRI, diagnoses are based on a qualitative assessment of the appearance of the image. The new method we have developed...
HFSP Long-Term Fellow Liang Ge and HFSP Program Grant holder Randy Schekman and colleagues
Monday 18th November 2013
The membrane origin of an autophagosome has been a mystery since its discovery more than fifty years ago. A functional and systematic approach reveals that the ER-Golgi intermediate compartment, a sorting organelle between the ER and Golgi, is the source of membranes for nascent autophagosomes.
HFSP Long-Term Fellow William Durham and colleagues
Friday 15th November 2013
Patchiness in the distribution of tiny plants known as phytoplankton promotes many important ecological interactions in the marine food web. Our study reveals that turbulent fluid motion, normally synonymous with mixing, triggers intense small-scale patchiness in the distribution of motile phytoplankton.
HFSP Program Grant holder Dennis Discher and colleagues
Thursday 14th November 2013
The human body has hundreds of different cell types, all with the same basic DNA, and all of which can ultimately be traced back to identical stem cells. Despite this fundamental similarity, a bone cell has little in common with a brain cell when it comes to appearance or function. The fact that bone is rigid and mechanically distinct from soft fat or brain had been speculated to play some role in differentiation to new cells in those parts of the body, but mechanisms have been unclear.
HFSP Program Grant holder Keith Shearwin and colleagues
Tuesday 12th November 2013
Insertion of “designer” genes into specific locations within a bacterial genome allows these genes to be stably maintained without antibiotic selection, and can avoid other difficulties, such as toxicity, often associated with the use of multicopy plasmids. We have created a set of DNA vectors which improve the speed and efficiency of integration into the Escherichia coli genome, allowing for rapid development of genetically engineered strains.