Awardees' Articles

HFSP Career Development Award holder Nadine Vastenhouw and colleagues

Thursday 22nd June 2017

How does an embryo know when it's time to activate its DNA? It turns out it's all about competition.


HFSP Career Development Award holder Ofer Yizhar and colleagues

Tuesday 20th June 2017

Pervasive fear memories, such as those associated with post-trauma and anxiety disorders, are thought to result from malfunctioning brain circuits. New research identifies an optogenetic intervention in mice that, when targeted to a major emotion-processing brain pathway, can lead to destabilization of fear memories, facilitating their extinction.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Kayo Nozawa and colleagues

Monday 19th June 2017

Mediator is a multi-subunit co-activator of eukaryotic transcription that directly connects activator which is bound to regulatory DNA elements with RNA polymerase II. Here, we report on the crystal structure of the 15-subunit core Mediator (cMed) at 3.4 Å resolution. These results provide a framework for understanding Mediator function in the transcription pre-initiation complex (PIC).


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Dhiraj Bhatia and HFSP Program Grant holders Ludger Johannes and Yamuna Krishnan and colleagues

Friday 9th June 2017

Following molecules and organelles inside the cells over long durations has proved challenging, and has limited the pace of breakthroughs in cell biology. To this end, Bhatia et al. designed DNA-based nanocapsules that house fluorescent quantum dots simultaneously displaying a single endocytic ligand. These custom reagents allow one to track endocytic uptake and long-term organelle dynamics on live cells.


HFSP Program Grant holders Michael Brenner and Anne Pringle and colleagues

Thursday 8th June 2017

What allows the network-forming slime mold Physarum polycephalum to find the shortest path through a maze - despite lacking a nervous system? The key is a simple feedback: the slime mold sends information in the form of signaling molecules throughout its network of veins. Signaling molecules are transported by flowing fluids and cause fluid flow to increase. This positive feedback loop, on the one hand, speeds up information transfer, but at the same time fosters the growth of veins, precisely those...


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Vera Vasas and colleagues

Tuesday 6th June 2017

Even animals that have excellent colour vision, such as bees, tend to ignore colour information when finding the contours of objects in a visual scene. Here, we propose the hypothesis that the usefulness of the long-wavelength-sensitive photoreceptors lies in the reliability of their signals.


HFSP Young Investigator Grant holders Mahesh Bandi, Shreyas Mandre and Madhusudhan Venkadesan and colleagues

Thursday 1st June 2017

A fish fin is thin, and yet not floppy when it pushes on the surrounding water for propulsion. We show that fish could modulate fin stiffness by changing its curvature. The rays contribute to its bending stiffness in the way an elastic beam would, but it is the curvature that substantially increases its stiffness by engaging the intervening membrane. Curvature, however, could be embedded within the fin structure and need not be externally visible.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Elphège Nora and HFSP Program Grant holder Job Dekker and colleagues

Tuesday 30th May 2017

Chromosomes are separated into many large topologically associating domains, or TADs. Within each TAD, several genes and the elements that regulate them are packaged together, and they are insulated from those in neighboring TADs. TADs are then further segregated in the three-dimensional space of the nucleus, with TADs containing active genes being compartmentalized away from the ones that do not contain active genes.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Julia Sliwa and HFSP Program Grant holder Winrich Freiwald

Tuesday 23rd May 2017

Primates are intensely social species. We smoothly maneuver in our social environment by effortlessly understanding our peers' encounters. But what is the neural circuitry that is engaged when primates perceive such scenes of social interactions? By using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we found three networks in the monkey brain engaged in processing social interactions, and discovered that one of them is exclusively dedicated to this task.


HFSP Long-Term Fellow Jean-Marc Lassance and colleagues

Thursday 11th May 2017

Parental care is crucial for the survival of mammals, yet species vary widely in the extent and type of care they give to their young. In species where females mate with multiple individuals, a male is uncertain whether the young are his own or are sired by another male. Thus, in such promiscuous species, males typically provide less parental care than females, which are always certain of their relationship to the offspring. By contrast, in monogamous species, males are quasi-certain of paternity...