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Sync to grow

In a nutshell: The size of pre-vertebrae in a mammalian embryo is controlled by a wave-like gene expression pattern along its back The size of each pre-vertebra is proportional to the speed of the wave: the faster the wave, the bigger the vertebra Embryonic cells coordinate gene activities with…

By Guest author(s)

Science

My microbes

In a nutshell : The gut metagenome is the collection of all the genomes of all the microbes  in the human intestinal tract : it is specific to each human, like a second genetic signature At least in healthy humans, this personal metagenome is stable over time The gut metagenome is…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Spot the difference

In a nutshell: 1st map combining human genetic variation at different scales – from single letters to large chunks Based on genomes of 1092 healthy people from Europe, the Americas and East Asia Could help identify genetic causes of disease, rather than just links Data made freely available in…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Diagram showing looping DNA

Loop the loop, DNA style

In a nutshell: Looping and unlooping DNA adjusts readout from gene and spread of regulation throughout the genome When a gene forms a loop, its output increases, as the transcription machinery that reads it is trapped into moving only along that gene When the gene loop is undone, transcription…

By Guest author(s)

Science

Cartoon showing cell communication

Cellular eavesdropping made easy

In a nutshell: New method allows precise analysis of proteins released by cells over time (distinguishes them from proteins in the cells’ culture serum) Advantages: cells don’t have to be starved: avoids bias and allows more cell types to be studied; can follow fast reactions like immune…

By Guest author(s)

Science

ENCODE researchers found that most of our DNA has a function: controlling when and where genes are turned on and off.

Fast forward for biomedical research

Today, an international team of researchers reveal that much of what has been called ‘junk DNA’ in the human genome is actually a massive control panel with millions of switches regulating the activity of our genes. Without these switches, genes would not work – and mutations in these regions…

By Guest author(s)

Science

How the cell swallows

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have combined the power of two kinds of microscope to produce a 3-dimensional movie of how cells ‘swallow’ nutrients and other molecules by engulfing them. The study, published today in Cell, is the…

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Science

Different inhibitors (yellow, grey) fill the cave-like active site of the cap-snatching protein (the endonuclease, in green) differently, even though they all bind to the active site’s two metal ions (magenta).

Catching the cap-snatcher

Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France, have determined the detailed 3-dimensional structure of part of the flu virus’ RNA polymerase, an enzyme that is crucial for influenza virus replication. This important finding is published today in PLoS…

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Science

The female (left) fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is larger than the male (right). Image credit: EMBL.

Of flies and men

What do you get when you dissect 10 000 fruit-fly larvae? A team of researchers led by the EMBL- European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) in the UK and the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics (MPI) in Germany has discovered a way in which cells can adjust the activity of many…

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Science

Italy pledges to be part of ELIXIR research infrastructure

Italy has pledged to participate in ELIXIR, a major undertaking to safeguard the results of life science research in Europe. With one of Europe’s larger economies now demonstrating its commitment to ELIXIR, this burgeoning research infrastructure is well placed to continue its excellent progress.…

By Guest author(s)

Science

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