Awardees' Articles

HFSP Program Grant holder Anne Pringle and colleagues

Monday 13th June 2016

Convergent evolution describes the repeated evolution of particular forms across the tree of life, for example wings in birds and bats or carnivorous pitcher plants in plant families, Sarraceniaceae and Nepenthaceae. But interactions between organisms also evolve independently and repeatedly, for example symbioses between plants and fungi. We name these as convergent interactions, and explore how convergence shapes microbial ecology.


HFSP Program Grant holder Erez Raz and colleagues

Tuesday 7th June 2016

During embryonic development, organs are formed in a process that involves specific interactions among different cell types. In many cases, the cells that make up an organ are motile cells that arrive in the region where the organ develops following a migration process, but the mechanisms by which the motile cells are maintained at the location where they interact with other cells thereby shaping and positioning the organ were unknown. This study reveals that the organ progenitor cells sustain their...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Takayasu Mikuni and colleagues

Thursday 2nd June 2016

A scalable and high-throughput method to determine the localization of endogenous proteins is essential to the understanding of a cell at the molecular level. A new method termed SLENDR, which is based on in vivo genome editing in the mammalian brain, has been developed to visualize the localization of endogenous proteins in single brain cells.


HFSP Cross-Disciplinary Fellow Matthew Raab and colleagues

Monday 30th May 2016

When cells migrate through narrow spaces, the relatively stiff nucleus must deform to enable successful passage. This nuclear deformation results in a breaking of the nuclear envelope, for which cells have a mechanism to reseal. This nuclear opening also results in DNA damage, and inhibiting the repair of the DNA damage leads to cell death.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Daniela Cimini, Juraj Gregan and Iva Tolić and colleagues

Thursday 26th May 2016

This study establishes merotelic kinetochores as a new experimental model for studying the mechanical response of the kinetochore. By combining laser microsurgery and live-cell imaging in yeast and mammalian cells the study shows a conserved viscoelastic response of the kinetochore.


HFSP Program Grant holder Gasper Tkacik and colleagues

Tuesday 24th May 2016

Physics and biology have a lot in common. Similarly to atoms in a box in a thermal equilibrium, genes that affect quantitative traits can be seen as maximizing their level of disorder, measured by entropy, while keeping a few key quantities fixed. This principle holds when the evolutionary forces are in balance, i.e., when the system is stationary. However, we show that even when the system is non-stationary, a variation of the approximate maximum entropy principle holds. This approximation is very...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Andrew Beharry and colleagues

Tuesday 17th May 2016

Measuring DNA repair is attractive for cancer diagnostics and in predicting anticancer drug resistance. However, no simple method to measure their enzymatic activity exists. By using a fluorescent DNA probe, the activity of a clinically-relevant DNA repair enzyme can be measured in a high throughput manner and be quantified within cancer cellular lysates and live-cells.


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...