Awardees' Articles

HFSP Program Grant holder Uri Alon and colleagues

Friday 13th November 2015

Newly developed technologies enable the expression of many genes in single cells to be measured, thus posing the challenge of analyzing and understanding this high-dimensional data. A recent theory on multi-objective task optimization suggests that this data should be arranged in simple geometrical shapes. Applying this theory allows the tasks and the trade-offs that the tissue faces to be revealed.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Kristian Franze, Malte Gather and Giuliano Scarcelli and colleagues

Tuesday 10th November 2015

Although microglial cells, which represent the first line of immune defense in the central nervous system, constantly mechanically interact with their environment, our current understanding of microglia mechanics is very limited. Here, we quantified forces exerted by healthy and activated microglial cells, investigated how mechanical signals impact their migration patterns, developed a theoretical framework to predict their mechanical behavior, and found that immune activation decreases microglial...


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holder Harald Janovjak and colleagues

Tuesday 3rd November 2015

Many biological questions are answered by systematically 'screening' experimental conditions, such as different genetic make-ups of organisms, environmental parameters or drug candidates. Light is at the heart of a new method that radically reduces complexity in and simplifies design of biological high-throughput screens.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Patrick Müller and HFSP Program Grant holder Alexander Schier and colleagues

Monday 2nd November 2015

Protein degradation governs many biological processes, but studying degradation can be technically challenging. We developed a degradation assay and a software package that overcome several of these challenges.


HFSP Program Grant holder Yamuna Krishnan and colleagues

Tuesday 27th October 2015

Synthetic DNA-based nanodevices offer tremendous promise as drug delivery capsules and diagnostic tools in living systems. In a recent perspective (Surana et al. Nat. Nanotechnol. 2015), we outline possible outcomes of the interactions between DNA nanostructures and the immune system, and envision potential design principles in these architectures to circumvent the multifaceted defense machinery of higher organisms.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Franz Weber and colleagues

Monday 26th October 2015

Activation of GABAergic neurons in the ventral medulla can reliably induce REM sleep, the brain state associated with vivid dreaming.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Takashi Ishiuchi and colleagues

Friday 23rd October 2015

Embryonic stem cells are pluripotent because they lack the ability to form extra-embryonic tissue. In contrast, totipotent cells can generate a complete organism including embryonic and extraembryonic tissues. Cells resembling totipotent 2-cell stage embryos (2C-like cells) arise at very low frequency in embryonic stem cell cultures. We showed that mouse 2C-like cells can be induced in vitro through downregulation of the chromatin-assembly activity of CAF-1.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holder Giuliano Scarcelli and colleagues

Thursday 22nd October 2015

A label-free optical microscopy technique based on Brillouin light scattering that is capable of measuring intrinsic longitudinal modulus at sub-cellular resolution has been developed. Cell mechanical properties are involved in many cell functions such as migration and differentiation, and can influence system level behavior such as tissue morphogenesis. However, current measurements of the biomechanical properties of cells generally require physical contact and thus are limited to cells cultured...


HFSP Program Grant holder Przemyslaw Prusinkiewicz and colleagues

Tuesday 20th October 2015

The feedback between the transport of the plant hormone auxin and the polarization of its transporters plays an essential role in the regulation of plant development. We propose biochemical networks that may implement this feedback in nature.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Hansong Ma and colleagues

Monday 19th October 2015

Despite the evolutionary role of homologous recombination in protecting genome integrity, it has not been experimentally demonstrated in the animal mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). In the study described below, by selecting against the two parental genomes in Drosophila, progeny with only recombinant mtDNA were recovered. Recombination can occur between highly diverged mitochondrial genomes and often involves long continuous stretches of exchange. In addition, some recombinants allowed us to map a novel...