Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Julia Sliwa and HFSP Program Grant holder Winrich Freiwald

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Primates are intensely social species. We smoothly maneuver in our social environment by effortlessly understanding our peers' encounters. But what is the neural circuitry that is engaged when primates perceive such scenes of social interactions? By using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found three networks in the monkey brain engaged in processing social interactions, and discovered that one of them is exclusively dedicated to this task.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jean-Marc Lassance and colleagues

Thursday 11th May 2017

Parental care is crucial for the survival of mammals, yet species vary widely in the extent and type of care they give to their young. In species where females mate with multiple individuals, a male is uncertain whether the young are his own or are sired by another male. Thus, in such promiscuous species, males typically provide less parental care than females, which are always certain of their relationship to the offspring. By contrast, in monogamous species, males are quasi-certain of paternity...

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Ana Domingos and Paul Cohen and colleagues

Thursday 27th April 2017

A research team led by Ana Domingos from the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia (IGC, Portugal), developed a new genetic technique that allows the elimination of specific neurons of the peripheral nervous system without affecting the brain. Using this novel technique in mice, the researchers were able to study the function of the neurons that innervate the adipose tissue, and saw that their elimination results in mice gaining weight very quickly. Published on April 3rd in Nature Communications, this...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Pavan Ramdya and colleagues

Friday 21st April 2017

By optimizing the walking speed of a simulated insect, we discovered faster walking gaits for hexapod robots. These have never before been observed in nature. On the other hand, the fast tripod insect gait may be prevalent since it satisfies the need to climb up challenging terrain.

 

HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Shashi Thutupalli and colleagues

Tuesday 4th April 2017

Nematode worms engage in a primitive form of bacterial farming and public goods production as they forage and explore their environment. The resultant population dynamics and eco-evolutionary consequences are broadly applicable not only to worm-bacterial populations but can also be relevant in diverse situations such as epidemic spread, seed dispersal and the composition of the local ecologies which organisms inhabit.

 

HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Anupam Sengupta and HFSP Young Investigator Grant holder Roman Stocker and colleagues

Thursday 30th March 2017

It has long been recognized that turbulence is a primary determinant of plankton fitness and succession. However, it remains a riddle whether such species can actively respond, and rapidly adapt to a turbulent landscape. By bringing the 'ocean-in-the-lab' we found that phytoplankton can behaviourally respond to turbulent cues through a rapid change in shape, thus challenging a fundamental paradigm in oceanography that phytoplankton are passively at the mercy of turbulence.

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Keir C. Neuman and Mihály Kovács and colleagues

Friday 24th March 2017

DNA breaks can be repaired in an error-free manner by using the homologous region of an undamaged DNA template in a process called homologous recombination. However, imprecise selection of the homologous region can lead to cell death or cancer. This study revealed that novel patterns of RecQ helicase motion ensure precise recombination by specifically disrupting incorrect DNA pairing events.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Karl Duderstadt and colleagues

Thursday 16th March 2017

The dynamic events that underlie chromosome duplication have long remained a mystery. Using a new multidimensional imaging approach, we discovered that the molecular assemblies responsible for copying DNA exploit a network of parallel enzymatic pathways to maintain robust coordination.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Raunak Sinha and colleagues

Tuesday 14th March 2017

Our central vision is unable to detect rapidly changing visual inputs, such as flickering light, as well as our peripheral vision can. Where does this common perceptual difference originate in the visual system and what are the underlying neural mechanisms? We explored the cellular and circuit mechanisms in foveal and peripheral retina and unexpectedly uncovered that the perceptual difference in temporal sensitivity originates in the cone photoreceptors that transduce photons to electric signals...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Kalyan Sinha and colleagues

Monday 13th March 2017

For a long time, it has not been possible to detect structural changes within the histone octamer core of a nucleosome due to limitations of the methods in use. In this study, using site-specific methyl-labeling and high-resolution NMR spectroscopy, we provide evidence of the existence of functionally important distortion of the octamer core in the presence of an ATP-dependent remodeling enzyme SNF2h.