Awardees' Articles

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Schraga Schwartz and colleagues

Friday 24th January 2014

DNA, RNA and protein can all be modified following synthesis. These modifications have been relatively intensively studied in DNA and proteins, and have been found to dramatically impact the properties and the biological regulation of the molecules harboring them. However, far less is known about modifications on mRNA. N6-methyladenine (m6A) is a highly ubiquitous base modification occurring on mammalian mRNA. Discovered almost four decades ago, this modification is present within over 50% of mammalian...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Eivind Valen and colleagues

Tuesday 14th January 2014

In 2010, the DNA molecules preserved in a 4,000 year-old tuft of hair found in Greenland’s permafrost delivered the first ancient human genome ever characterized. Now, three years later we have developed a new computational method to reconstruct nucleosome and methylation maps from this ancient genome based purely on genomic sequencing information. These maps can reveal which genes were expressed in the ancient individual, opening up an exciting new field in the study of ancient samples.

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Jan Huisken and HFSP Program Grant holder Ingo Roeder and colleagues

Thursday 9th January 2014

High-resolution live imaging of embryonic development requires storage and processing of huge amounts of microscopy data, which precludes analysis of a large number of samples. We designed an imaging system that combines SPIM (Selective Plane Illumination Microscopy) with real-time image processing, dedicated to rapid imaging of entire zebrafish embryos. This approach extracts the desired information as images are being acquired and reduces the amount of data by a factor of 240, facilitating data...

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Teva Vernoux and colleagues

Thursday 19th December 2013

All plants dynamically generate flowers at the tip of the shoot in very regular geometric patterns called phyllotaxis. Robust timing of flower initiation emerges through spatio-temporal regulation of the signaling of the plant hormone cytokinin resulting from the movement of a signaling inhibitor produced by the new flowers.

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Kristin Tessmar-Raible and Tomoko Ishikawa and colleagues

Friday 13th December 2013

The bristle worm, Platynereis dumerilii, possess a monthly (circalunar) clock that runs independently of the oscillations of its daily (circadian) clock. However, both clocks jointly regulate the level of specific transcripts, as well as locomotor behavior.

 

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Frank Bosmans and Filip Van Petegem and colleagues

Thursday 12th December 2013

The voltage-gated sodium channel enables fast electrical signaling in the human body and forms the target for various toxins found in predatory species that can paralyze their prey. The first high-resolution structure of an essential subunit allows us to dissect this complex machine. The component partakes in a molecular tug-of-war with a tarantula toxin.

 

HFSP Program Grant holder Emmanuel Farge and colleagues

Tuesday 10th December 2013

The mechanical strains developed by the very first morphogenetic movements of both the fruit fly, Drosophila, and zebrafish embryos activate the genetic cascade involved in the earliest differentiation of the mesoderm, a tissue from which most of the organs of complex adult animals are derived (muscles, gonads, heart, bones…). This conserved mechanism of mesoderm mechanical induction, shared by two species that diverged more than 570 million years ago, the period during which mesoderm is thought...

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Fernanda De Felice and colleagues

Thursday 5th December 2013

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is characterized by progressive synapse and memory loss. Recently, an intriguing connection between Alzheimer’s and diabetes mechanisms (e.g. insulin resistance, inflammation) has been studied at molecular level. We now demonstrate that a pro-inflammatory signalling pathway mediated by the cytokine TNF-α and by the stress kinase PKR causes synapse and memory loss in AD mouse models. We also found that stimulating insulin signalling blocks this deleterious mechanism...

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Benoit Ladoux and Chwee Teck Lim and colleagues

Sunday 1st December 2013

It is unclear how skin epithelial cells (keratinocytes) migrate over a wound bed comprising regions that are not conducive for cells to gain a ‘foot hold’. The answer seems to lie in the very strong adhesions that these cells make with one another allowing the formation of ‘multicellular suspended bridges’ over regions that are unfavorable for migration.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Aviv Mezer and colleagues

Thursday 21st November 2013

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a critical tool for the clinical assessment of brain disease. A non-invasive method that does not use ionizing radiation, MRI enables the scientist and clinician to visualize the human brain without harming the subject. However, there is an important limitation for most MRI methods that is not widely appreciated: in most clinical applications of MRI, diagnoses are based on a qualitative assessment of the appearance of the image. The new method we have developed...