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.
HFSP Career Development Award holder Spencer Smith and colleagues
Tuesday 5th November 2013
For the first time, scientists have obtained direct electrical recordings of dendrites processing visual information in awake mammals. They found that dendrites are far from passive wiring—they actively compute to support sensory processing.
Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Peter Carbonetto and colleagues
Thursday 31st October 2013
Researchers are discovering new genetic determinants of disease by correlating variations in our DNA with disease outcomes. In studies of three chronic autoimmune disorders—rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease—we demonstrate how incorporating knowledge of co-ordinated networks of genes, encoded in online databases, can inform statistical tests for correlation, and generate stronger support for links between genes and predisposition to disease.
HFSP Long-Term Fellow Basile Tarchini and colleagues
Tuesday 29th October 2013
Sensory perception in the inner ear relies on proper shaping of the brush of movement detectors at the surface of hair cells, the stereocilia bundle. In this work, we implicate a group of proteins classically regulating mitotic spindle orientation in the partition of the hair cell apical membrane. This blueprint guides cytoskeletal asymmetry, defining in particular the edge of the V-shaped stereocilia bundle.