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This cryo-electron microscopy image shows the 3D structure of the ribosome (yellow/blue) bound to the signal recognition particle (SRP) and the SRP receptor (both in red). Below it is an atomic model of SRP (green-yellow/orange) and its receptor (pink). Image credits: EMBL/Schaffitzel.

How cells export and embed proteins in the membrane

Like an overprotective parent on the first day of school, a targeting factor sometimes needs a little push to let go of its cargo. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France, have visualised one such hand-over. They were the first to determine the structure…

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Science

Euro-BioImaging will provide open access to state-of-the-art biological imaging techniques like fluorescence microscopy, which produced this snapshot of chromosomes (blue) being pulled apart in a dividing egg. Image credits: EMBL/ T. Kitajima

Better imaging from bench to bedside

From microscopy to computer tomography (CT) scans, imaging plays an important role in biological and biomedical research, but obtaining high-quality images often requires advanced technology and expertise, and can be costly. Euro-BioImaging, a project which launches its preparatory phase today,…

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Science

One-touch make-up – for our cells

The cells in the different parts of this video are always the same (grey), but, like actors using make-up to highlight different facial features, they have fluorescent labels that mark different cellular components in different colours: blue shows the nucleus, yellow shows tubulin (a component of…

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Science

Signing the declaration of accession to the EIROforum: Massimo Altarelli, Chairman of the XFEL Management Board (left) and Francesco Romanelli, Chairman of the EIROforum (right). In the back (left to right): Francesco Sette (ESRF), Felicitas Pauss (CERN), Iain Mattaj (EMBL), Richard Wagner (ILL), Rowena Sirey (ESO) and David Southwood (ESA)

European XFEL joins EIROforum

At the Autumn 2010Council meeting of the EIROforum, a partnership of seven European intergovernmental research organisations with large research infrastructures, the Directors General unanimously accepted the European X-Ray Free-Electron Laser Facility (European XFEL), based in Hamburg, Germany, to…

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Lab Matters

1000 Genomes Project ushers in new era for human genetics

The 1000 Genomes Project, a major international collaboration to build a detailed map of human genetic variation, has completed its pilot phase. The results are now published in the journal Nature and freely available through the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics…

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Science

A virtual Platynereis brain (left), created by averaging microscopy images of the brains of 36 different individuals, onto which scientists mapped gene activity (right). Perspective shows the brain as viewed from inside a Platynereis larvae, at 48 hours' old. Image credits: EMBL/R. Tomer

Brainy worms: Evolution of the cerebral cortex

Our cerebral cortex, or pallium, is a big part of what makes us human: art, literature and science would not exist had this most fascinating part of our brain not emerged in some less intelligent ancestor in prehistoric times. But when did this occur and what were these ancestors? Unexpectedly,…

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Science

Freeze or run? Not that simple

Fear can make you run, it can make you fight, and it can glue you to the spot. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy and GlaxoSmithKline in Verona, Italy, have identified not only the part of the brain but the specific type of neurons that determine…

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Science

Constant overlap

During cell division, microtubules emanating from each of the spindle poles meet and overlap in the spindle’s midzone. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have uncovered the molecular mechanism that determines the extent of this overlap. In a…

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Science

These electron microscopy images show mitochondria in a normal cell (top) and a close-up of a mitochondrion with structural defects, in a cell that cannot produce IRPs (bottom). Image credits: Bruno Galy/ EMBL

Supply and demand

Most organisms need iron to survive, but too much iron is toxic, and can cause fatal organ failure. The same is true inside cells, where iron balance must also be maintained. In a study published today in Cell Metabolism, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg,…

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Science

The Fly Digital Embryo at different developmental stages, with cell nuclei coloured according to how fast they were moving (from blue for the slowest to orange for the fastest). The fruit fly embryo is magnified around 250 times. IMAGE: Philipp Keller

Digital Embryo gains wings

The scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, who ‘fathered’ the Digital Embryo have now given it wings, creating the Fly Digital Embryo. In work published today in Nature Methods, they were able to capture fruit fly development on film, and were the…

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Science

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