Awardees' Articles

HFSP Program Grant holders Lars Chittka, Martin Giurfa and Jeffrey Riffell and colleagues

Monday 5th March 2018

Honey bees are well known for their remarkable visual learning skills. They localize and recognize flowers and hive surroundings, using the multiple visual cues offered by these sites of interest. To forage efficiently, they learn and memorize the colors, shapes and the position of rewarding flowers, which allows them to keep track of profitable food sources. For more than a century, many studies have tried to understand the mechanisms of bee visual learning by training free-flying bees to land...

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Andrew Murray and David Nelson and colleagues

Thursday 1st March 2018

The spread of invasive species leads to naturally occurring population expansions that have played a role in our evolutionary history, such as when humans migrated out of Africa.

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Alex Dickson, Danny Hatters and Simon Ebbinghaus and colleagues

Tuesday 20th February 2018

A healthy protein quality control system inside cells, which includes molecular chaperones, is of utmost importance to prevent the accumulation and aggregation of unfolded protein. Under certain conditions, such as diseases and stresses, these quality control systems can become overstretched or remodeled, impairing cellular function. Unfortunately, quantitative ways to monitor dynamic changes in proteostasis are limited. To address this gap, we developed a biosensor system that enables a measurement...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Andreas Sagner and colleagues

Monday 19th February 2018

Motor neurons, the nerve cells of the spinal cord that control muscle movement, form much faster than other neurons during development of the vertebrate spinal cord. Reconstruction of how the activity of genes changes as motor neurons form revealed that this effect is due to the activity of the Olig2 gene product, which promotes motor neuron formation by directly interfering with the expression of Hes genes - known antagonists of neuron formation.

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Knut Drescher and colleagues

Thursday 15th February 2018

Bacteria can live as isolated individual cells, but they most commonly grow in communities termed biofilms, which are held together by an extracellular matrix. It has now been discovered that bacteria form biofilms in order to protect themselves from viral predators of bacteria, using the extracellular matrix as a viral barrier.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Calin Plesa and colleagues

Thursday 15th February 2018

DropSynth is a simple, low-cost method to build thousands of genes in a single reaction. These gene libraries can serve as input to multiplex assays, where many DNA encoded hypotheses are barcoded and tested together.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Lindsay Baker and colleagues

Tuesday 6th February 2018

Membrane proteins are challenging targets for structural biology as their native environment is heterogeneous and complex, so most methods rely on detergents to extract membrane proteins from their environment. As this removal can significantly alter the structure and function of these proteins, we have developed a hybrid method to study membrane proteins in their native membranes, combining high-resolution solid-state NMR spectroscopy and electron cryotomography of the same sample.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Suphansa Sawamiphak and colleagues

Thursday 1st February 2018

The mammalian heart has very limited regenerative ability. Studying organisms capable of repairing their cardiac muscle after injury may help us to understand how to improve regeneration of the human heart. We found that in zebrafish individual cardiac muscle cells can transiently fuse with each other, allowing exchange of cell contents in response to high demand of cell proliferation during development and regeneration of the heart. Our data suggest that transient cell fusion in the heart might...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Maria Casanova-Acebes and colleagues

Tuesday 30th January 2018

Immune cells play a major role in early breast cancer even before a tumor is detectable. Disruption of macrophages and early cancer cells interaction can prevent early dissemination and consequently, metastasis in breast cancer patients.

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Matthew Rockman, Boris Shraiman and Henrique Teotónio and colleagues

Monday 29th January 2018

Genetic variation is a ubiquitous feature of populations, but the nature of the connection between variation at the molecular level and variation in organismal fitness has been elusive. We tackled this problem by measuring fitness traits in a newly developed genetic mapping panel of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans.