Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Christof Osman and colleagues

Thursday 2nd April 2015

Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) encodes essential subunits of respiratory complexes, which are responsible for the generation of ATP through oxidative phosphorylation in mitochondria. Copies of mtDNA are distributed throughout the mitochondrial network and are faithfully inherited during the cell cycle, processes previously believed to require mitochondrial dynamics driven by fusion and fission of the organelle. We have developed a novel tool in Saccharomyces cerevisiae that allows us to watch mtDNA dynamics...


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holder Matthew Shawkey and colleagues

Tuesday 31st March 2015

How complex traits composed of multiple independent parts evolve is largely unknown. We use electron microscopy, spectrophotometry and phylogenetic analyses to show that the components of complex nanostructures producing bright colors in duck feathers evolve at different rates. In turn, this leads to independent evolution of aspects of the colors themselves, potentially helping to explain the broad diversity of colors in this group.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jonas Noeske and colleagues

Tuesday 24th March 2015

Protein synthesis by the ribosome is highly dependent on ions. Moreover, the ribosome harbors posttranscriptional and posttranslational modifications, the function of which is poorly understood. Here, we present a high-resolution structure of the E. coli ribosome that suggests how solvation contributes to ribosome integrity and helps to explain the phylogenetic conservation of key elements including post-transcriptional and post-translational modifications.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Benjamin Schwessinger and colleagues

Monday 23rd March 2015

If advanced biofuels are to replace standard fuels on a gallon-for-gallon basis at competitive pricing, there is a requirement for a new generation of biofuel crops – plants designed specifically to serve as feedstocks for biofuel production. Switchgrass, the US native praire grass, is one of the target crops for biofuel production. In this pilot study we confirmed the capability of proteomics to identify enzymes involved in plant cell wall and sugar biosynthesis using genome resources generated...


HFSP Program Grant holders Benoit Ladoux and Chwee Teck Lim

Thursday 19th March 2015

Epithelial cells have a natural tendency to close gaps and this feature plays a crucial role in many biological processes such as embryological development and wound healing. Depending on the distribution of extracellular matrix, gap closure occurs through assembly of multicellular actin-based contractile cables and/or cell migration of border cells into the gap. In the absence of cell supporting environment, the closure of non-adhesive gaps is driven exclusively by contraction of multicellular...


HFSP Long-Term Fellowship holder Robert Schneider and colleagues

Thursday 5th March 2015

How intrinsically disordered proteins can perform a multitude of biological functions without a fixed three-dimensional structure is still a much debated question. Using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we have been able to map out the interaction of one such protein with its partner in atomic detail, from its free-state ensemble of conformations via a non-specific encounter complex to the final bound state.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Fang Jiang and colleagues

Friday 20th February 2015

Studies showing that occipital cortex responds to auditory and tactile stimuli after early blindness are often interpreted as demonstrating that early blind subjects ‘see’ auditory and tactile stimuli. One such example is that area hMT+ – a region associated with visual motion processing in sighted – responds to auditory and tactile motion stimuli within early blind individuals. However, to claim that blind subjects ‘see’ using occipital cortex requires that occipital responses directly...


HFSP Career Development Award holder Matthew Neale and colleagues

Monday 16th February 2015

Meiotic recombination is a critical step in gametogenesis for many organisms, enabling the creation of genetically diverse haploid gametes. Regulating the distribution of recombination events so that they are evenly spread across all chromosomes is fundamental for both maintaining genome stability and promoting genetic variation. Here we demonstrate that meiotic DNA breaks (DSBs), the precursors of those recombination events, are not distributed randomly. Moreover, we demonstrate that the evolutionarily...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Dan Dominissini and colleagues

Tuesday 10th February 2015

Transcriptome-wide mapping of the modified base N6-methyladenosine in RNA joins discoveries of methyl-binding proteins and demethylating enzymes to herald the field of ‘epitranscriptomics’ – dynamic post-transcriptional regulation of mRNA analogous to the better known reversible epigenetic modifications of DNA and histone proteins.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Manuel Irimia and colleagues

Friday 6th February 2015

Against common intuition, tiny microexons as short as 3 nucleotides can and do exist within our genes. Surprisingly, not only can they be recognized by the cellular machinery and become part of proteins, but they were also often found to be only (or mainly) expressed in neurons. Microexons are switched on during late neuronal differentiation, and impact surfaces of proteins that are crucial for neuronal maturation and synaptic function. Through this protein surface 'microsurgery', microexons...