Awardees' Articles

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...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Darcie Moore and colleagues

Friday 16th October 2015

The ability of somatic stem cells to regenerate tissue is reduced with aging, resulting in effects such as cognitive impairment, reduced immune response, deterioration of skeletal muscle, and difficulty in wound healing. Using neural stem cells of the brain, the authors suggest the mechanism behind this age-dependent stem cell dysfunction is the cell's inability to segregate accumulated damage to its progeny during cell division due to a weakened diffusion barrier.

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Iain Cheeseman, Helder Maiato and Matthias Weiss and colleagues

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Mitotic entry in higher eukaryotes is always accompanied by fenestration of the nuclear envelope, allowing mitotic regulators to passively diffuse from the cytoplasm into the "nuclear" space and vice versa. Curiously, several of these proteins have been shown to accumulate in the "nuclear" region although a stationary binding substrate could not be identified. Our recent findings shed light on the underlying mechanism and reveal its importance for accurate cell division.

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Alessandra Cambi and Diane Lidke and colleagues

Monday 12th October 2015

A complex interplay between different cell types is needed to ensure the efficient response of the immune system. Communication between mast cells and dendritic cells reveals an unexpected role for mast cells in modulating the immune response.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Owen Randlett and colleagues

Monday 12th October 2015

The larval zebrafish brain is small and accessible enough that it can be studied as a whole to determine how this entire brain generates behavior. Using high-throughput brain imaging and automated analyses, HFSP Long-Term Fellow Owen Randlett and colleagues have developed new methods to create and analyze brain-wide activity maps made from freely behaving zebrafish. By imaging over 1600 fish, they have identified areas in the brain that respond to various behavioural and pharmacological stimulations...