Awardees' Articles

HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Marco Cosentino Lagomarsino, Pietro Cicuta, and Bianca Sclavi and colleagues

Thursday 15th May 2014

Biophysical tools are increasingly providing key insights into understanding genome organisation in bacterial cells. We demonstrated the use of two complementary techniques, using manipulation by optical tweezers and high-throughput resistive pulse based sensing in micro-capillaries, to size individual bacterial genomes in a label-free manner.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Ulises Rosas and colleagues

Tuesday 13th May 2014

How do plants know when to start flowering? What are the mechanisms underlying flowering diversity? We identified a natural polymorphism in CONSTANS, a regulatory gene controlling the flowering time developmental transition in Arabidopsis. We found that the polymorphism in CONSTANS controls transcriptional variation and flowering time diversity in Arabidopsis thaliana populations. This is one of the few natural regulatory polymorphisms known in Arabidopsis and other plants to be widely spread in...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Fumi Kubo and colleagues

Friday 9th May 2014

During locomotion, the visual system is challenged by continuous movement of the visual scene that sweeps over the retina. How do animals sense and correct for visual motion during locomotion? We have identified various types of neurons that respond to visual motions, some of which might act as candidate circuit components to drive different compensatory behaviors.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Conor McMeniman and colleagues

Thursday 8th May 2014

Have you ever been bothered by a mosquito? Lab generated mutant yellow fever mosquitoes were used to show that these insects are driven to find and bite humans by detecting combinations of carbon dioxide (CO2), heat, and odor that emanate from the human body.

 

HFSP Program Grant holders Philip Bevilacqua and Sarah Assmann and colleagues

Monday 28th April 2014

We developed a new approach to map the structure of RNA across the entire genome of any living organism. Our application of this method to the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana revealed novel insights into RNA splicing, alternative polyadenylation, translation, and RNA structure-function relationships.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Michael Krieg and colleagues

Friday 25th April 2014

Forces are a ubiquitous challenge to all cells of our body and a protective mechanism has to be present. Some of the cells in our body have specifically evolved to detect these forces and convert mechanical energy into electrical signals that elicit an appropriate behavior. How they are able to withstand such mechanical insult without physical damage, while remaining sensitive enough to the stimulus to sense it, is not fully understood. Using the touch receptor neurons (TRNs) of C elegans as a model...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Bungo Akiyoshi and Program Grant holder Keith Gull and colleagues

Thursday 24th April 2014

The kinetochore is the macromolecular protein complex that drives chromosome segregation in eukaryotes. Although it was widely assumed that the core kinetochore consists of proteins that are common to all eukaryotes, we found that the evolutionarily distant kinetoplastids build kinetochores using a novel set of proteins.

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Hind Medyouf and colleagues

Wednesday 23rd April 2014

The study of human myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) has been challenging because patient-derived hematopoietic cells cannot be efficiently expanded in a model system. We have now developed a strategy to grow patient-diseased stem cells (the cells that maintain the disease) in mice, by co-injecting a subset of non-hematopoietic cells, isolated from the same patient’s bone marrow. This model provides a proof of concept that the microenvironment, referred to as “the niche”, is critical to support...

 

HFSP Long-Term Fellow Alexey Amunts and colleagues

Sunday 20th April 2014

Mitochondrial ribosomes (mitoribosomes) are indispensable for living because they synthesize essential proteins, which constitute the catalytic core of the respiratory chain complexes embedded in the inner mitochondrial membrane. The aim of the HFSP postdoctoral fellowship, awarded to Alexey Amunts from Venki Ramakrishnan’s lab, was to reveal the atomic structure of mitoribosome. By the end of the 3rd year of the fellowship, it was revealed that the structure of yeast mitochondrial large ribosomal...

 

HFSP Career Development Award holder Julien Vermot and colleagues

Saturday 19th April 2014

Sensing mechanical forces is key to cardiovascular development but the mechanism explaining how endothelial cells sense flow forces remains unclear. The aim of this study was to address the mechanism of endothelial cell mechanotransduction through primary cilia by implementing live and high-resolution imaging of endothelial cilia during zebrafish vascular development.