Awardees' Articles

HFSP Program Grant holders Anton Komar, Marina Rodnina and Harald Schwalbe

Friday 13th May 2016

The genetic code provides more than one codon for almost every proteinogenic amino acid. In all genomes, synonymous codon usage is non-random. Variations due to silent single nucleotide polymorphisms (sSNPs) can change functional properties of proteins and lead to disease. Studies on the eye lens protein gamma-B crystallin demonstrate that sSNPs alter the conformational ensemble of the mature protein and affect protein yield and solubility. sSNPs modulate the rates of mRNA translation and co-translational...


HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Liedewij Laan and colleagues

Thursday 12th May 2016

Like man-made machines, cells are organized by functional modules, which contain components whose removal severely compromises the module's function. By evolving budding yeast after deleting an important component, we found that the perturbed module was repeatedly repaired by removing more components.


HFSP Program Grant holder Diego di Bernardo and colleagues

Tuesday 3rd May 2016

The ability to precisely express any desired time-varying concentration of a protein of interest in a cell is of paramount importance in order to quantitatively describe the mechanisms of gene regulation in dynamical biological processes, such as cyclic gene expression (genetic oscillators). We developed innovative microfluidic 'lab-on-a-chip' devices in conjunction with time-lapse microscopy for both yeast and mammalian cells able to trap single cells, or small populations of cells, for...


HFSP Program Grant holders Gerard Wong, Ramin Golestanian and George O'Toole and colleagues

Monday 2nd May 2016

Different bacterial species use different variations of pirouettes to detach from surfaces, due to hydrodynamics.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Yansong Miao and colleagues

Thursday 21st April 2016

Actin cables are crosslinked actin filament bundles that are nucleated by formin proteins in yeast. Actin cable regulates numerous biological processes for polarized cell growth, during which the cell cycle regulates the assembly and organization of actin filament. We report a phosphoregulation of actin crosslinking protein Sac6 by cyclin-dependent kinase 1 in budding yeast.


HFSP Program Grant holder Mathew Diamond and colleagues

Friday 15th April 2016

The brain is divided into functional circuits, each specialized for specific tasks: perception, memory, spatial navigation... How do these circuits work as a team when required? New research shows that when a rat is engaged in a tactile recognition task and needs to make a spatial choice based on previous knowledge, the animal's sensory, motor, and memory regions fall in step to a well-timed rhythmic choreography.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Michael Hothorn and colleagues

Tuesday 12th April 2016

Have you ever walked through a forest in the fall or through a meadow in late summer and wondered why trees and flowers shed their leaves? They are simply getting rid of organs that are no longer needed, preparing for the next step in their life cycle. But how does a leaf know when to let go? This process is regulated by the cell surface receptor HAESA, present in cells forming the tissue around the future break point. When it's time to shed an organ, a small peptide hormone called IDA instructs...


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Rosalind Allen, Thomas Bjarnsholt, Stephen Diggle and Vernita Gordon

Monday 11th April 2016

Biofilms are multicellular communities of interacting unicellular organisms that are embedded in a sticky and slimy polymer matrix. In the accepted paradigm of biofilm development, these communities initiate from single cells attached to a surface. However, we show that pre-formed, multicellular aggregates can play an important role in early biofilm development. This is because they have a growth advantage over single cells that arises from the interplay between the three-dimensional aggregate shape...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Maximilian Joesch and colleagues

Thursday 7th April 2016

Neurons in the mouse's eye compare rod and cone signals to inform the brain about color. In humans, an analogous circuitry can explain color experiences in twilight.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Calin Guet, Edo Kussell and Yuichi Wakamoto and colleagues

Monday 4th April 2016

Restriction-modification systems, a bacterial type of host defense mechanism, are imperfect in self/non-self discrimination, leading to autoimmunity in a small fraction of bacterial populations. Self-restriction is a stochastic process, whose fitness cost is environmentally dependent, and can explain previously observed depletion of restriction sites in a vast number of prokaryotic genomes.