Awardees' Articles

HFSP Program Grant holders Andreas Plückthun and Gerhard Wagner and colleagues

Tuesday 28th February 2017

Membrane proteins play numerous biological roles, such as in signal transduction and viral entry, and are important drug targets. We engineered covalently circularized protein belts that can be used to stabilize patches of phospholipid bilayers, which provide a well-defined, extremely stable and near-native environment for the study of membrane proteins.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Ella Preger-Ben Noon and colleagues

Monday 27th February 2017

Transcriptional systems exhibit extraordinary robustness. It is, therefore, unclear how such robust systems can evolve loss of expression through point mutations to cause evolutionary change. By deciphering the evolved regulatory changes in a robust enhancer of the shavenbaby gene, we discovered that gain of a repressor binding site can overcome transcriptional robustness encoded by multiple activator binding sites and contributes to morphological evolution.


HFSP Program Grant holders Belinda Chang and Massimo Olivucci and colleagues

Friday 24th February 2017

The reconstruction of the evolutionary history of light energy absorption and utilization in light-responsive proteins requires the integration of quantum chemistry and molecular evolution. We have started such integration by developing a computational protocol for the automatic construction of computer models of rhodopsins. The viability of this technology is demonstrated by reproducing the absorption maximum of distant rhodopsins and by studying the adaptation of a flock of fish to environments...


HFSP Program Grant holders Zachary Mainen and Alexandre Pouget and colleagues

Thursday 23rd February 2017

Nobody knows how the brain manages to identify individual scents within a mixture of odors. However, a new mathematical model may point the way to a solution.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Mark Hauber, Matthew Shawkey, Tomas Grim and Geoffrey Waterhouse and colleagues

Tuesday 21st February 2017

How do brood parasites, such as cuckoos, mimic the egg colors of their hosts. And when can host birds tell their own eggs apart from the foreign eggs in the nest?


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Anne-Cécile Reymann and colleagues

Monday 20th February 2017

During cytokinesis a ring of aligned filaments is formed at the cell equator that, by constriction, mechanically separates the two future daughter cells. While several biochemical pathways and molecules have been identified as essential for the assembly of this cytokinetic ring, flow induced compressive forces within the cell cortex also directly control filament alignment.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Alex Sigal and colleagues

Friday 17th February 2017

Using time-lapse microscopy, researchers from the laboratory of Alex Sigal at the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) and Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology have discovered the mechanism that Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) uses to break down host defences in late stage infection.


HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Wolfgang Keil and colleagues

Thursday 16th February 2017

Post-embryonic development of Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) has been notoriously difficult to image because animals must feed and move freely to develop properly after hatching from the egg shell. Keil et al. developed a method to follow C. elegans larvae at high spatiotemporal resolution from hatching to adulthood over several days.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Pance Naumov, Pascal Didier, Lukas Hintermann and Michel Sliwa and colleagues

Tuesday 14th February 2017

The different color of bioluminescent light emitted by different organisms has inspired several decades of inconclusive research efforts and debates on its mechanism and the underlying photochemistry. Now, mathematical analysis of the spectra of firefly oxyluciferin, the emitting molecule in fireflies embedded in the bioluminescent enzyme luciferase, has for the first time provided direct insight into the mechanistic complexity of this natural system for generation of cold light.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Ulrich Braunschweig and colleagues

Monday 13th February 2017

Alternative splicing of gene transcripts gives rise to multiple products from a single gene, and plays important roles in cell differentiation. A new screening approach reveals that transcription factors regulate the process at multiple levels.