Edit

EMBL News archive

Category
Year
1 December 2022

Getting closer to stopping toxoplasmosis infection

Science Recent studies supported by EMBL Grenoble’s expertise in structural biology research and scientific services have identified Altiratinib as a potential drug to stop toxoplasmosis infection and opened up treatment options against malaria.

2022

science

30 November 2022 Portrait of Talya Dayton propped up on a balcony rail

Welcome to EMBL: Talya Dayton

Lab Matters The new group leader in Barcelona aims to understand how cells behave in health and in disease, and approaches her favourite hobby, cooking, very similarly to her work in the lab.

2022

lab-matters

21 November 2022 male scientist in green shirt and dark pants stands outside in front of tree

Welcome Jordi van Gestel

Lab Matters Looking to understand microbial predator-prey relationships, EMBL’s newest group leader tackles a molecular ‘arms race’ in his lab.

2022

lab-matters

18 November 2022 Group photo of speakers and organisers standing in front of a slide saying “Welcome to the DANEMO Symposium”.

Promoting EMBL opportunities for the Danish scientific community

Events DANEMO is a communication platform and research support initiative launched by DANDRITE at Aarhus University. It aims to encourage scientists in Denmark to engage with EMBL and EMBO. The DANEMO symposium from 3-4 November in Aarhus focused on raising awareness of the new EMBL programme ‘Molecules…

2022

events

17 November 2022 A graphic showing the logos of EMBL and the University of Malta

EMBL builds on links with Malta

Events EMBL deepens scientific collaboration, opening the door for greater engagement and opportunities for Malta’s life science community

2022

events

3 November 2022 View from above of a small room with several tools, cables and pieces of technology. A rectangular box, a robotic arm and a device are highlighted in green.

Two in one: combining MASSIF-1 and CrystalDirect

Lab Matters Researchers and engineers have integrated a CrystalDirect harvester into the fully automated beamline MASSIF-1, a unique combination of structural biology technologies that is now open to external academic users.

2022

lab-matters

31 October 2022 Two photos of a cell nucleus with blue, bandage-like objects wrapped around a roundish nucleus. The photos show before and after a parasitic invasion, so few chromosomes remain afterwards.

Plankton zombies for Halloween!

Science Plankton parasites provide a zombie story perfect for Halloween. While invading single-celled plankton, these parasites devour the cell’s nucleus and hijack metabolism while the organism remains alive.

2022

science

21 October 2022 A female scientist in a blue dress stands in front of blurred woodsy background

Welcome: Flora Vincent

Lab Matters After a postdoc at Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, Flora Vincent has joined EMBL’s Developmental Biology unit to further explore the world of phytoplankton.

2022

lab-matters

12 October 2022 A group photo taken at the EMBL Heidelberg site, showing members of EMBL and the Ruder Boskovic Institute

EMBL deepens ties with Croatia

Events Visit of delegation from the Ruđer Bošković Institute to EMBL Heidelberg marks a new chapter in scientific and institutional cooperation

2022

events

11 October 2022 EMBL scientists sampling at the coastline of Iceland in August 2022

Examining life along Iceland’s coasts

Lab Matters The final pilot project in Iceland marked the countdown to the ‘Traversing European Coastlines’ (TREC) expedition to study coastal ecosystems and their response to changes in the environment.

2022

lab-matters

7 October 2022 A group of people at EMBL's partnership conference

The EMBL Connection

Events EMBL's Partnership Conference highlights the value of its networks, bringing researchers together to build new scientific connections.

2022

events

29 September 2022 young girl in lab coat

Tools for teachers

Lab Matters EMBL reminds teachers of freely available educational resources and workshops just in time for school.

2022

lab-matters

21 September 2022 Photo of the speakers during the panel discussion. Edith Heard is talking. In front of the panel, there is the audience seen from the back, and behind the panel there are banners with the DESY PETAR IV logos and a slide displaying the names of the panellists.

PETRA IV and future opportunities at EMBL Hamburg beamlines

Lab Matters EMBL joined a kick-off event focusing on the developments related to the upgrade of the PETRA III synchrotron storage ring to PETRA IV at the DESY campus, where EMBL Hamburg is located. PETRA IV could open new possibilities at EMBL Hamburg, contributing to the goals of the EMBL Programme…

2022

lab-matters

20 September 2022 8 representatives of both the Dieter Schwarz Foundation and EMBL are standing in the EMBL Imaging Centre foyer facing the camera

Life Science Alliance starts new chapter

Lab Matters Dieter Schwarz Foundation renews 3-year funding to EMBL for the EMBL | Stanford Life Science Alliance, a unique international collaboration bringing together researchers from the two leading institutions to develop transformative technologies and accelerate biomedical research.

2022

lab-matters

15 September 2022 The foreground shows two yellow pipes representing the human gastrointestinal tract coming together, representing the confluence of donor and recipient gut ecosystems. Bacteria can be seen as green shapes inside the pipes and various kinds of interactions between them are shown symbolically as a mixing of colours.

When microbiomes collide

Science EMBL researchers used data from over 300 human faecal microbiota transplants to gain an ecological understanding of what happens when two gut microbiomes clash.

2022

science

9 September 2022 A female career advisor at computer participates in webinar

Insights into scientific careers

Events As the career landscape continues to change for PhDs and postdocs, the EMBL Fellows’ Career Service offers webinars that present professional options in and beyond academia.

2022

events

7 September 2022 Female scientist stands in laboratory setting

Augmenting science

Lab Matters The Scientific Visitor Programme shares EMBL tools and talent with outside researchers in collaborative, multidisciplinary environments.

2022

lab-matters

1 September 2022 4D reconstruction of a mouse limb with lateral and top view.

Building the ideal limb

Science EMBL researchers use a “fearless” computer reconstruction and a two-centuries-old mathematical approach to study limb bud growth.

2022

science

5 August 2022 A rod-like structure with green and magenta segments representing cellular markers.

Making patterns visible

Science How do gene expression patterns result in the generation of different cell types? Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg used the zebrafish notochord to find out.

2022

science

4 August 2022 An illustration provides representation of fingers hovering over a cell phone

Zooming in to get the full picture

Science EMBL and UW researchers plus additional collaborators have constructed a complete map of fruit fly embryonic development using machine learning. This research is foundational to better understanding overall embryo development in other species, including humans.

2022

science

20 July 2022 A woman stands in front of shelving filled with notebook binders.

Welcome: Maria Papanikolaou

Lab Matters EMBL’s new archive and records manager, Maria Papanikolaou, explains the dual role she and an additional colleague will have in the Office of Science Information Management.

2022

lab-matters

18 July 2022 Large, elongated purple molecule has an on/off switch on it pointed to on.

The retron switch

Science EMBL researchers now understand the function of an elusive small DNA in bacteria and have developed a tool that can be used to better understand what might ‘switch on’ bacterial immune defences.

2022

science

14 July 2022 Visualising the ocean below and above surface, showing several species and giving written details on the ocean microbiome composition

Priorities for ocean microbiome research

Science Microbial communities play essential roles in ocean ecology and planetary health. A recent publication highlights priorities for understanding and protecting ocean microbiomes.

2022

science

10 June 2022 A colourful structural model of the doughnut-shaped human nuclear pore complex seen from above.

Puzzling out the structure of a molecular giant

Science Scientists have solved several mysteries around the structure and function of a true molecular giant: the human nuclear pore complex. They created the most complete model of the complex thanks to combining the program AlphaFold2 with cryo-electron tomography, integrative modelling, molecular…

2022

science

7 June 2022 Female scientist photographed in a garden

Welcome: Pascale Cossart

Lab Matters Pascale Cossart, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the biology of Listeria, brings four decades of expertise in intracellular bacterial parasitism to EMBL as a visiting scientist.

2022

lab-matters

3 June 2022 he internal structure of a mitotic chromosome is shown with colourful threads representing DNA, one of which is shown being packaged into loops by the condensin protein complex. The background shows mitotic chromosomes in the cellular space

Shaping up the genome for cell division

Science Researchers have discovered the mechanism by which a family of DNA motor proteins packages loosely arranged strands of DNA into compact individual chromosomes during cell division.

2022

science

2 June 2022 BII and EMBL logos are on a white band set against a wavy green background

Teamed up to innovate

Lab Matters A new formal collaboration agreement enables will help smooth the transition from fundamental science to innovation.

2022

lab-matters

1 June 2022

EMBL in Italy event held at GSK Vaccines in Siena

Alumni The GSK Vaccines site in Siena hosted the annual EMBL in Italy event. The hybrid meeting brought together industry leaders, representatives from biotech start-ups, data scientists, and researchers from academia.

2022

alumni

18 May 2022 The visiting group from the Business Academy Aarhus during lunch at the EMBL Hamburg’s terrace

EMBL Hamburg is helping train lab techs of the future

Lab Matters Students from the Business Academy Aarhus visit EMBL Hamburg annually. Many of them return later as trainees to gain experience as lab technicians. EMBL Hamburg offers great opportunities to learn diverse techniques and work with various equipment. This experience helps them in their future jobs in…

2022

lab-matters

6 May 2022 Drawing of two chromosomes in which a highlighted area is switched around.

Flip-flop genome

Science Researchers at EMBL Heidelberg found that inversions in the human genome are more common than previously thought, which impacts our understanding of certain genetic diseases.

2022

science

5 May 2022 Colourful vertical panels each show different microscopic images possible with the high-tech tools in EMBL's Imaging Centre

Enabling imaging across scales

Events EMBL’s first Imaging Centre Symposium will occur onsite at EMBL and include tours of the new Imaging Centre on 31 May, introducing participants to the facility and its staff and featuring talks on the rapid developments in imaging technologies that have led to notable biological and medical…

2022

events

28 April 2022 Microsocopy image of Pair of somites. Blue is a nuclear marker (DAPI) and red is an apical marker (ZO-1).

Unravelling the origins of the human spine

Science Scientists at EMBL Barcelona have created for the first time a 3D in vitro model that recapitulates the periodic formation of human somites – structures that give rise to the spinal column.

2022

science

27 April 2022 Portrait of Kristina Djinović-Carugo

Next Head of EMBL Grenoble appointed

Lab Matters Professor Kristina Djinović-Carugo has been appointed as the next head of EMBL Grenoble. She will join EMBL in July from the Max Perutz Laboratories at the University of Vienna, where she is currently Head of the Department of Structural and Computational Biology and full Professor of Structural…

2022

lab-matters

27 April 2022 Kristina Djinović-Carugo sitting at her desk.

Meet the next Head of EMBL Grenoble

Lab Matters Slovenian structural biologist Kristina Djinović-Carugo will join EMBL in July as the new Head of EMBL Grenoble. We spoke to her about her background, research interests, and plans for EMBL Grenoble.

2022

lab-matters

8 April 2022 a metaphor for the process of epigenetic inheritance

A metaphor for epigenetic inheritance

Science Recent studies from the Hackett group at EMBL Rome have revealed new insights on the mechanism regulating transmission of non-genetic information during embryonic development, and inspired a scientific illustration

2022

science

23 March 2022 Two Drosophila embryos stained with fluorescent dye on a purple background that indicates either solid or liquid state

From liquid to solid to drive development

Science Condensates are membraneless organelles that control specific functions within a cell. Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have shown how the physical state of condensates can influence biological function.

2022

science

20 March 2022 Portrait photo of EMBL Group Leader Judith Zaugg against a green background.

Judith Zaugg from EMBL Heidelberg receives ERC Consolidator Grant

Lab Matters Judith Zaugg, Group Leader at EMBL Heidelberg, has been awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant of €2 million funded under the European Union’s Horizon Europe research and innovation programme. Over the next five years, the grant will enable her group to study cellular interactions in the human bone…

2022

lab-matters

17 March 2022 EMBL statement visual

EMBL’s statement on the invasion of Ukraine

Lab Matters EMBL condemns in the strongest terms the unjustified military invasion of Ukraine by the Russian Federation, with the support of Belarus, and the resulting loss of life and human suffering. We express our deepest sympathy to the Ukrainian people and to all the victims of this war.  As an…

2022

lab-matters

4 March 2022 Science art expressing the concept of transcriptional neighbourhoods regulating transcript isoform lengths and expression levels.

Understanding genomes, piece by piece

Science Genomes are made up of thousands of individual pieces – genes – which are expressed at different levels. Researchers at EMBL have shed light on how the placement of a gene affects its expression, as well as that of its neighbours.

2022

science

4 March 2022 A gloved hand holds a slide with visible wells containing Matrigel immersed in culture medium. A magnified close-up shows a mouse embryo developing over the course of 48 hours

A 3D culture model to study embryo growth

Science A recent study by EMBL researchers proposes a new method to grow early embryos in the laboratory. With a 3D culture set-up, scientists can closely monitor the changes embryos undergo around the time of implantation.

2022

science

2 March 2022 Image composition showing a building with sun reflecting off the glass and microscopy images of microorganisms in multiple colours.

‘The World of Molecular Biology’ exhibition

Lab Matters The new permanent ‘The World of Molecular Biology’ exhibition will open in spring 2023 at EMBL’s headquarters in Heidelberg. It will encourage people to actively engage with science and its relevance for everyday life.

2022

lab-matters

25 February 2022 Three colourful overlapping circles arranged in a row, a fruit-fly embryo being visible within each. Small circles within the embryos represent cell lineages.

Converging lenses on embryo development

Science Researchers from the Furlong group at EMBL have come up with a way to observe the development of fruit-fly embryos simultaneously at the genetic and cellular levels, generating a high-resolution and integrated view of how different cell lineages form.

2022

science

23 February 2022 A photo of the campus of the Aarhus University buildings and green lawn.

Molecular medicine across borders

Lab Matters The 11th annual Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine meeting was hosted in virtual format by DANDRITE, the Danish node of the Partnership, from 31 January–2 February 2022. The programme included updates from all partnership nodes, discussions about opportunities for new collaborations,…

2022

lab-matters

23 February 2022 A male scientist in a white shirt stands at a walkway railing.

Welcome: Michael Dorrity

Lab Matters Michael Dorrity, one of EMBL’s newest group leaders, is studying how the environment influences early life stages in zebrafish.

2022

lab-matters

9 February 2022 The logos of EMBL and the Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre

EMBL and Latvia deepen collaboration

Events Agreement signed with Latvia’s Biomedical Research and Study Centre will boost academic exchange and collaboration on some of the largest challenges facing human and planetary health.

2022

events

1 February 2022 A photograph of the Amazonian lancehead snake Bothrops atrox

Decoding the secrets of snake venom

Science EMBL Hamburg’s Grzegorz Chojnowski from the Wilmanns Group developed software called findMySequence, which identifies proteins’ amino-acid sequences based on electron cryo-microscopy and X-ray crystallography data. It’s useful for identifying unknown proteins in samples from natural sources.

2022

science

21 January 2022 The cross-section of a cell expressing a green fluorescently tagged protein and illuminated by a blue laser is visible in the foreground, surrounded by a vortex of cells

Cell sorting enters a new dimension

Science EMBL researchers, in collaboration with BD Biosciences, have demonstrated a new technology that allows rapid image-based sorting of cells. The new technology represents a major upgrade to flow cytometry and has applications in diverse life science fields.

2022

science

14 January 2022 Woman standing next to a hedge

Welcome: Melissa Harrison

Lab Matters Melissa Harrison joins EMBL-EBI as the new Team Leader of Literature Services. We found out more about her plans for open access publishing and Europe PMC.

2022

lab-matters

3 January 2022 Mixture of life science symbols inside a circle set against background of green and blue

The start of a journey

Lab Matters This year marks the beginning of EMBL’s next programme ‘Molecules to Ecosystems’ to advance the understanding of life across scales and in the context of changing environments.

2022

lab-matters

22 December 2021 Scientific illustrations of MEG3, a very large RNA involved in cell proliferation. IAB and EMBL logos are located in the center of the illustration.

EMBL-IAB collaboration on the rise

Lab Matters The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between EMBL and the Institute for Advanced Biosciences (IAB) a year ago has already catalysed new grants for joint research projects related to cancer and infection biology, thereby deepening collaborative activities.

2021

lab-matters

21 December 2021 A model of the doughnut-shaped nuclear pore complex. Individual molecules are marked in various colours.

Observing the secret life of molecules inside the cell

Science EMBL Hamburg’s Kosinski Group, the Beck Laboratory at the Max Planck Institute of Biophysics, and colleagues at EMBL Heidelberg recorded the nuclear pore complex contracting in living cells. They visualised the movement with an unprecedented level of detail with help of new software called…

2021

science

20 December 2021 Concentric circles and lines in different colours, representing fingerprints. Text: "Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy."

Fostering diversity and equality

Lab Matters Showing a continued commitment to providing a diverse and inclusive organisation for conducting leading molecular biology research, EMBL has launched an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) strategy.

2021

lab-matters

20 December 2021 A detailed structure map shows two proteins interacting in the foreground, each shown in a different colour. The background shows small green dots marking bacteria

Solving molecular puzzles to find the perfect fit

Science Using cryo-EM and structural biology techniques, EMBL researchers have shown how two proteins of Legionella pneumophila interact. This finding sheds light on a mechanism critical to the infection process and could lead to the development of new drugs to treat pneumonia.

2021

science

15 December 2021 An outline of Earth, covered with depictions of bacteria. The image of Earth is within a the frame of a computer window. There is an “Upload file” button on the bottom left, and a mouse cursor on the right.

Connecting the dots between bacterial genes around the world

Science Bork Group at EMBL Heidelberg analysed a new global gene database to study how genes emerge and spread across various habitats on our planet. In the future, the group will expand the database and use it for studying microbial gene evolution and dispersal at a finer-grained scale.

2021

science

9 December 2021 Colourful interwoven coils are displayed against a grid of small black and white photographic images.

A gallery of human RNA polymerases

Science New structural biology research provides fundamental information critical to understanding enzyme mutations connected to rare diseases and cancers.

2021

science

9 December 2021 Portrait photo of Eileen Furlong against blue-green background.

Eileen Furlong honoured with Leibniz Prize

Lab Matters EMBL Senior Scientist and Head of the Genome Biology Unit is among the researchers honoured for outstanding work by the German Research Foundation (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, DFG).

2021

lab-matters

8 December 2021 An illustration of the human gut, with coloured shapes representing bacteria. Three different drugs and drug combinations are shown affecting the bacteria, represented by changes in colour

The impact of drugs on gut microbes is greater than we thought

Science Researchers studying a massive cohort of European patients have found that commonly prescribed drugs for cardiometabolic disorders can have long-term effects on the gut microbiome. Such effects can complicate the understanding of how disease affects the microbiome and must be taken into…

2021

science

7 December 2021 A cartoon image showing a person's arm and a needle with a vaccine being injected into it. The text on the left reads: "EMBL research: How structural biologists at EMBL Hamburg help to develop and improve RNA vaccines"

How structural biology helps to make RNA vaccines

Science RNA vaccines, such as the ones for COVID-19, represent a new approach in vaccine technology. Cy Jeffries, faculty staff scientist at EMBL Hamburg, explains the clever technology behind RNA vaccines, and how structural biology contributes to its development. EMBL Hamburg collaborated on several…

2021

science

29 November 2021 Male scientist in front of blurred woodland background

Welcome: Niccolò Banterle

Lab Matters Using gene editing and three types of microscopy, one of EMBL’s newest group leaders is deciphering the functions of one of the smallest molecules involved in cell division, motility, and signalling, known as a centriole.

2021

lab-matters

25 November 2021 Female scientist in front of a background of green plants

Welcome: Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva

Lab Matters Maria Zimmermann-Kogadeeva is one of EMBL’s newest group leaders and a computational biologist whose research group applies computational modelling to better understand the metabolism of gut bacteria and their potential to have far-reaching impacts on other organs.

2021

lab-matters

24 November 2021 A man standing in front of hedges

Welcome: Tudor Groza

Lab Matters Tudor Groza joins EMBL-EBI as our new Phenomics Team Lead. We found out from Tudor exactly what this new role will entail

2021

lab-matters

15 November 2021 3D visualization of the vascularized placenta barrier model on-a-chip.

Building a 3D placenta on a chip

Lab Matters A new model could serve as a platform to investigate critical placenta barrier phenomena, including defence against bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

2021

lab-matters

9 November 2021 students looking a computer monitor and microscope

New horizons for the EIPP

Lab Matters EMBL's PhD and postdoc programmes evolve to the more multidisciplinary way of doing great molecular biology research.

2021

lab-matters

5 November 2021 A headshot photo of Ken Holmes from July 2021

Ken Holmes

Alumni Ken Holmes, outstanding pioneer of structural biology and founder of EMBL´s Hamburg site, died on 2 November 2021 at the age of 87.

2021

alumni

5 November 2021 Three-dimensional rendering of sponge neuroid cells (coloured orange) and sponge digestive cells (coloured green).

More than a gut reaction

Science What can sponges tell us about the evolution of the brain? Sponges have the genes involved in neuronal function in higher animals. But if sponges don’t have brains, what is the role of these? EMBL scientists imaged the sponge digestive chamber to find out.

2021

science

28 October 2021 female scientist sits in front of building

Welcome: Svetlana Dodonova

Lab Matters Svetlana Dodonova is one of EMBL's newest group leaders, leading a team of researchers who will study how genetic material is organised inside cells using structural biology approaches.

2021

lab-matters

25 October 2021 A collage of the visuals representing each of the three modules of the eSPC platform.

Biophysics analysis made easy with an online tool

Science EMBL Hamburg’s Sample Preparation and Characterisation (SPC) Facility has released eSPC, an online platform for analysing data from biophysical experiments. The platform enables the scientific community to analyse data from different experiments without the need to travel.

2021

science

22 October 2021 Oblong shape with two holes and coloured dots inside, representing phytoplankton cells and nitrogen-fixing bacteria

Analysis and sorting with flow cytometry

Lab Matters A technology around since the ‘60s, flow cytometry has increasing applications. New leadership at EMBL’s flow cytometry facilities is looking to ease use, expand training, and encourage more collaboration.

2021

lab-matters

15 October 2021 In the middle, there are two molecules of pUL21. One is blurred, to represent the molecule’s flexibility. In the background are two neuronal scenes. The one on the left is healthy and has a smooth surface. The one on the right is infected, which is represented by several green viral particles.

How herpes seizes proteins’ means of production

Science The Graham and Crump groups at the University of Cambridge and the Svergun Group at EMBL Hamburg have discovered a mechanism by which the herpes simplex virus takes control of the molecular machinery of human cells. Their work reveals how a dedicated viral protein hijacks key host proteins, forcing…

2021

science

13 October 2021 Illustration of a community of bacteria. Pills represent an antibiotic that can be used to treat an infection, and a second drug that could protect many gut bacteria from antibiotics.

Tackling the collateral damage from antibiotics

Science Researchers from EMBL’s Typas group and collaborators have analysed the effects of 144 antibiotics on the wellbeing of gut microbes. The study improves our understanding of antibiotics’ side effects and suggests a new approach to mitigating the adverse effects of antibiotics therapy on gut…

2021

science

7 October 2021 SARS-CoV-2 and planet Earth are merged together in this illustration

Six Ways to Protect the Planet Against Pandemics*

Events EMBL will host a conference to look at the state of the pandemic, lessons learned, and ways to improve pandemic preparedness. Here’s a sneak peek into what promises to be another interesting and informative EMBL conference.

2021

events

5 October 2021 Illustration of a globe with colourful shapes and symbols superimposed.

A cellular atlas of an entire worm

Science EMBL scientists and colleagues have developed an interactive atlas of the entire marine worm Platynereis dumerilii in its larval stage. The PlatyBrowser resource combines high-resolution gene expression data with volume electron microscopy images.

2021

science

4 October 2021 Logos of University of Tartu and EMBL with text: “memorandum of understanding”. Illustrations of microorganisms in the background.

EMBL strengthens links with Estonia

Lab Matters A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between EMBL and the University of Tartu, a leading centre of research and training. The MoU aims to strengthen cooperation between EMBL and the life science research community in Estonia.

2021

lab-matters

29 September 2021 Female scientist working at a biosafety cabinet, wearing a yellow protective gown and black gloves.

Transferable skills

Lab Matters In the lab, Diënty Hazenbrink works with microbes that live in our guts. In her free time, she enjoys wildlife photography. A shared set of skills facilitates both activities.

2021

lab-matters

23 September 2021 Pink and blue dominate a blurry image against a black background that is actually a global image of a 30-day-old Octopus vulgaris

The secret life of baby octopuses

Science Some of the most amazing creatures live in the deep blue sea. The Mesoscopic Imaging Facility (MIF) at EMBL Barcelona was recently involved in studying one unique feature of the octopus: the ephemeral structures on the surface of their skin called Kölliker’s organs.

2021

science

22 September 2021 Logos of EMBL and Helmholtz Association on white background, over a green-and-blue pattern in the background.

EMBL and Helmholtz Health join forces

Lab Matters EMBL and Helmholtz Association have signed a memorandum of understanding. The expanded collaboration of both institutions will focus on research related to health.

2021

lab-matters

15 September 2021 A dark blue classic star map view is overlaid upon scientific data

Charting a multi-omic universe

Science A research collaboration used machine learning to map tumour molecular make-up, potentially paving way to more customised cancer treatment.

2021

science

9 September 2021 Portrait of former EMBL Director General Iain Mattaj

German Cross of Merit for former EMBL Director General

Alumni Former EMBL Director General Professor Iain Mattaj was awarded the German Cross of Merit (‘Verdienstkreuz 1. Klasse des Verdienstordens der Bundesrepublik Deutschland’) at a ceremony held at EMBL Heidelberg on 9 September 2021.

2021

alumni

8 September 2021 Illustration of two halves of a pill, which releases chemical molecules that are taken up by gut bacteria in the vicinity.

Common medications accumulate in gut bacteria

Science A new collaborative study led by EMBL group leaders Kiran Patil, Nassos Typas, and Peer Bork has found that common medications accumulate in human gut bacteria. This process reduces drug effectiveness and affects the metabolism of common gut microbes, thereby altering the gut microbiome.

2021

science

7 September 2021 Close up of the interior of a light-sheet microscope, featuring optical equipment and a transparent cube.

A flip book for biological systems

Science In the Mesoscopic Imaging Facility (MIF) at EMBL Barcelona, researchers study the details of biological systems in the context of organs, body parts, or entire organisms. This image shows OPTiSPIM1, one of the custom light-sheet microscope setups available at the facility.

2021

science

20 August 2021 Liz Duke in front of the PETRA III synchrotron.

Welcome: Liz Duke

Lab Matters The new team leader at EMBL Hamburg talks about her plans to establish biological X-ray imaging and high-throughput tomography.

2021

lab-matters

3 August 2021 illustration of health care providers around a big heart

All heart

Alumni A community of scientists is looking at the estimated three billion heart muscle cells in a human heart to better understand heart disease.

2021

alumni

13 July 2021 From right to left, Ilaria Piazza and Ken Holmes’ portraits are side by side in circles on a greenish background

EMBL Alumni Awards 2021

Alumni EMBL alumni Ilaria Piazza and Ken Holmes have been recognised for their outstanding contributions, and will receive their awards as part of the celebrations for EMBL World Alumni Day.

2021

alumni

9 July 2021 Melissa Graewert stands in front of steely machine

From antibodies to nanoplastics

Science EMBL’s Melissa Graewert and colleagues are taking a structural biologist’s approach to better understanding nanoplastic particles.

2021

science

8 July 2021 Two men stand outside in front of a building, holding a document and looking at it.

A hidden medal

Alumni We all like a story about rediscovering treasures, right? Well, that’s just what happened recently at EMBL Grenoble!

2021

alumni

22 June 2021 Woman stands at brown railing in front of trees

Welcome: Anna Erzberger

Lab Matters Anna Erzberger, one of EMBL’s newest group leaders, will provide unique perspective as a theoretical biological physicist.

2021

lab-matters

8 June 2021 Two scientists in lab coats working on an instrument in the lab.

EMBL external research community survey

Lab Matters EMBL is conducting an Impact Assessment of our experimental services to understand the value these services have for our external user community. If you have accessed EMBL experimental services at one or more of our facilities to support the conduct of your research, we would like to hear from you.

2021

lab-matters

4 June 2021 Man in white shirt and blue jeans standing on a terrace in front of trees, facing the camera.

The power of community

Lab Matters EMBL Director Matthias Hentze describes the Environmental Research Initiative: a community effort to solve global environmental challenges.

2021

lab-matters

3 June 2021 Illustration of a rocky coastline with sailing boat, mountains, underwater organisms, bridge and factory in the background.

Living laboratories

Science Under the innovative Planetary Biology research theme, EMBL scientists aim to understand life in the context of its environment.

2021

science

21 May 2021 Image of a mosquito on a clear surface

EMBL scientists support malaria research

Science EMBL scientists support research on malaria by providing freely available data resources and using innovative experimental approaches. Our Course and Conference Office facilitates the exchange of knowledge in the field by hosting the annual BioMalPar conference.

2021

science

5 May 2021 Woman sits at desk in office setting

After the lecture: Zehra Sayers

Alumni Zehra Sayers explains what makes the SESAME synchrotron special, why we should not fear failure, and why curiosity is her biggest driver.

2021

alumni

28 April 2021 Artistic representation of brain and DNA

Uniting strengths to expand research

Lab Matters The European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Italian Institute of Technology have signed an agreement to expand the scope of their collaboration to include areas of mutual interest and in the context of EMBL’s 2022-2026 Programme “Molecules to Ecosystems”.

2021

lab-matters

30 March 2021 Ana Boskovic sitting in her office

Welcome: Ana Boskovic

Lab Matters The new group leader at EMBL Rome will study how embryos can inherit non-genetic information from their parents that causes stable and heritable effects

2021

lab-matters

4 March 2021 An illustration of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq)

Induced pluripotent stem cells reveal causes of disease

Science Scientists in the Stegle group and colleagues have studied induced pluripotent stem cells from around 1,000 donors to identify correlations between individual genetic variants and altered gene expression. They linked more than 4,000 of the genetic variants responsible for altered expression…

2021

science

26 February 2021 Woman with long brown hair stands in front of snow scene with arms crossed in front of her.

Welcome: Sinem Saka

Lab Matters As one of EMBL’s newest group leaders, Sinem Saka will combine multiple technologies, such as microscopy and single-cell omics, to solve biological puzzles.

2021

lab-matters

22 February 2021 A scientist (only their hand is visible) inserting a 96-well plate into a sample dispensing device in the Sample Preparation and Characterisation Facility in Hamburg.

SPC Facility in Hamburg supports a new pan-European consortium

Lab Matters The Sample Preparation and Characterisation (SPC) Facility at EMBL Hamburg is one of the founding members of the Molecular-Scale Biophysics Research Infrastructure (MOSBRI). Within this new European initiative, the SPC Facility will offer services related to membrane proteins, protein complexes,…

2021

lab-matters

19 February 2021 New group leader Gautam Dey looks smiling towards the camera,

Welcome to EMBL: Gautam Dey

Lab Matters Gautam Dey is fascinated by the evolutionary origins of the nucleus, and is looking forward to making the most of EMBL's infrastructure.

2021

lab-matters

16 February 2021 Microscopy images of coronavirus-infected cells in blue and red, arranged on a clockface. Illustrations of virus particles.

Finding coronavirus’s helper proteins

Science A team of EMBL scientists and colleagues have analysed how the novel coronavirus affects proteins in human cells. They identified several human proteins as potential drug targets to prevent viral replication.

2021

science

11 February 2021 Maria-Theresa Licka holding a smartphone displaying an app she developed. Vineyards, houses and hills in the background.

Coding between the vines

Lab Matters EMBL Teen Maria-Theresa Licka shares how female scientists guided & inspired her to develop an app to ID vine disease.

2021

lab-matters

9 February 2021 An artistic representation of how bioinformatics allows study of the SARS-CoV-2 infection process. On the left, coronaviruses are approaching a human face contour. On the right, protein structures and a network of connections represent bioinformatic analysis.

Protein sequences provide clues to how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells

Science Researchers at EMBL Heidelberg have identified sequences in human proteins that might be used by SARS-CoV-2 to infect cells. They have discovered that the virus might hijack certain cellular processes, and they discuss potentially relevant drugs for treating COVID-19.

2021

science

29 January 2021 Flags of EMBL, Italy and CNR

Strengthening collaborations in Italy

Lab Matters EMBL and CNR have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen scientific cooperation. The agreement will foster collaborative projects and integrate them within the European and global scientific landscape.

2021

lab-matters

27 January 2021 Nicoletta Petridou looks towards the camera smiling, whilst standing in a science laboratory

Welcome: Nicoletta Petridou

Lab Matters New group leader Nicoletta Petridou explains her fascination with the complexity of early embryo development, and how the interdisciplinary nature of EMBL will aid her research.

2021

lab-matters

20 January 2021

The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7 lineage

Science A note on the coronavirus variant B.1.1.7, which has first been described in the U.K. and has spread to 57 countries. The note summarises epidemiological information about the spread of B.1.1.7 in the U.K. collated and in part conducted by researchers from EMBL-EBI.

2021

science

20 January 2021 Logos of EMBL and the DKFZ

DKFZ and EMBL intensify cooperation

Lab Matters EMBL and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg are increasing their already existing collaborations with a Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions.

2021

lab-matters

18 January 2021 man wearing sweater and glasses stands in front of snow and glassy building

Welcome: Timo Zimmermann

Lab Matters The EMBL Imaging Centre is scheduled to open in 2021 with Timo Zimmermann as Team Leader for advanced light microscopy technology development and service provision.

2021

lab-matters

15 January 2021 young man with beard and mustache stands in front of window with blurry background

Welcome: Olivier Duss

Lab Matters One of EMBL’s newest group leaders, Olivier Duss, will explore how RNA folds into functional structures and how it works with proteins to control a diverse range of activities in the cell.

2021

lab-matters

14 January 2021 An electron microscopy photo shows two bacterial cells surrounded by several white fibrils of the amphibian peptide.

Toadlet peptide transforms into a deadly weapon against bacteria

Science Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology and EMBL Hamburg, in collaboration with scientists in Israel and Spain, have discovered remarkable molecular properties of an antimicrobial peptide from the skin of the Australian toadlet. The discovery could inspire the development of…

2021

science

12 January 2021 Three images showing close-ups of different EMBL facilitites.

EMBL becomes newest Instruct Centre

Lab Matters EMBL’s sites in Grenoble, Hamburg, and Heidelberg form the newest Instruct Centre. The new centre offers users access to a broad range of state-of-the-art facilities.

2021

lab-matters

18 December 2020

Stronger together

Science Gene activation requires the cooperative activity of multiple transcription factors. Until now, the mechanism used by these factors to coordinate their actions has been poorly understood. EMBL’s Krebs group presents a DNA footprinting method that makes it possible to determine whether…

2020

science

7 December 2020 Female scientist stands in front of electron microscope that is taller than she is

Seeing deeper inside cells

Science While cryo-electron tomography (cryo-ET) was first envisioned in 1968, the advances the Mahamid group are bringing to this 3D method for studying molecules directly inside cells are new, and are likely to greatly expand its use.

2020

science

2 December 2020 The image is a green coloured cell, with a wild and textured surface which is composed of many different shapes and shadows.

Scratching the surface on cell differentiation

Science Scientists in the Diz-Muñoz group at EMBL Heidelberg are working to build understanding of the role that mechanical properties play in affecting cell behaviour – a young and rapidly developing field of study. They have developed and successfully used a highly specialised technique to manipulate…

2020

science

2 December 2020 Curly-shaped trypanosomes, grey with bright specks of green fluorescent protein, against a grey background.

Tackling tropical diseases

Science Members of the EMBL community are working to improve our understanding of the parasites that cause malaria and sleeping sickness

2020

science

23 November 2020 Tube-like structures of a cell at sub-cellular level in red and grey.

Replication cycle of SARS-CoV-2 in 3D

Science Researchers have studied SARS-CoV-2 replication in cells and obtained detailed insights into the alterations induced in infected cells. This information is essential to guide the development of urgently needed therapeutic strategies for suppressing viral replication and induced pathology.

2020

science

20 November 2020 The Reichstag building (left) and Paul-Löbe-Haus (right) in Berlin, as seen in daylight from across the Spree river.

Sharing our vision for the future

Lab Matters EMBL Director General Edith Heard introduced EMBL’s future plans during a parliamentary event at the Paul-Löbe-Haus of the German Bundestag in Berlin. She shared examples of EMBL’s research and outlined how EMBL’s activities will develop.

2020

lab-matters

4 November 2020 SARS-CoV-2 is represented as a sphere with spike proteins poking out of its surface, which give it a corona-like appearance. The spike proteins resemble triangular ‘bushes’ with three tips at the top. In the background, a cell surface is visible with ACE2 proteins poking out of it in many places. The virus is about to attach to the cell surface. The sybodies, represented as tiny V-shaped structures, bind to the viral spike proteins at their tips.

Scientists identify synthetic mini-antibody to combat COVID-19

Science By screening hundreds of sybodies (synthetic mini-antibodies), scientists have identified one that might stop SARS-CoV-2 from infecting human cells. This work, which holds promise for treating COVID-19, was conducted by EMBL Hamburg and collaborators from the Centre for Structural Systems Biology…

2020

science

22 October 2020 An artistic image of colorful wires connected to a could database.

EOSC: shaping Europe’s digital future

Lab Matters EMBL’s Rupert Lück is engaged in developing the European Open Science Cloud (EOSC): the infrastructure that will support the future of data sharing and analysis in Europe.

2020

lab-matters

16 October 2020 Abstract graphic with big waves of black, white and grey somewhat like yin and yang, with two brain-shaped leaves in the upper right and lower left quadrants, one of which is green and more leafy-looking.

Taking charge by seeking ways to achieve gender balance

Events A three-day virtual conference, ‘Gender Roles and their Impact in Academia’, explored how biology, social structures, and unconscious bias shape gender roles, and discussed ways to achieve equal opportunities for men and women in academia.

2020

events

16 October 2020 Meytal Landau is standing next to a lab bench. On the bench, laboratory equipment is visible, such as pipettes, flasks, bottles with reagents, a calculator, and more.

Welcome: Meytal Landau

Lab Matters New associate group leader at EMBL Hamburg investigates the structure of functional amyloids in bacteria and in human disease

2020

lab-matters

15 October 2020 Four blue circular objects are surrounded with green structures, and the central blue circle with pink structures. The blue circles are human cell nuclei, and pink and green structures are proteins.

Repurposing drugs for a pan-coronavirus treatment

Science Scientists from the Beltrao Group at EMBL-EBI and collaborators identified drug targets common to SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV-1, and MERS-CoV, three pathogenic coronaviruses. They also found potential drugs that could be repurposed as COVID-19 treatments, and against emerging coronavirus strains in the…

2020

science

15 October 2020 Dr. Maria Arruda looks towards the camera with a serious but kind expression

Respecting diversity: the role of the scientist

Events Maria Arruda is on a mission to make scientists think more about the role they play in society. After a career in academia and the life sciences, she is trying to help others see the bigger picture when it comes to the responsibility of the scientist.

2020

events

13 October 2020 Molecular structure of essential light chain protein in Plasmodium glideosome. The atoms connected by bonds are symbolised by short connected lines. They are surrounded by electrons – the electron density is depicted as shapes resembling clouds. Water molecules are visible in several places as red spots. The data used to create this 3D model were obtained using X-ray crystallography at Petra III beamline, at EMBL Hamburg.

How deadly parasites ‘glide’ into human cells

Science A group of scientists led by EMBL Hamburg’s Christian Löw provide insights into the molecular structure of proteins involved in the gliding movements through which the parasites causing malaria and toxoplasmosis invade human cells.

2020

science

8 October 2020 Alvaro Crevenna, heads EMBL Rome’s Microscopy Facility. Credit: EMBL

Beyond the lens – microscopy at EMBL Rome

Lab Matters Research facilities play a crucial role in the advancement of science by supporting scientists with specialised expertise and state-of-the-art equipment. The Microscopy Facility at EMBL Rome exemplifies this role by making a wide variety of light microscopy technologies available to its researchers…

2020

lab-matters

6 October 2020 A series of images demonstrates the cell cycle trajectory, the first frame in each row shows a cell’s nucleus in grey. As it moves through its life cycle and enters new phases, markers change colour from red to green to pinpoint progression.

Deep learning captures cell cycle

Science Members of an EMBL-led research group with collaborators in Estonia and Russia have built and trained a deep learning model to better understand how cells grow and divide.

2020

science

5 October 2020 EMBL and Vilnius University logos on a background of genomic data

New partnership in Lithuania

Lab Matters On 8 September, EMBL and Vilnius University Life Sciences Center signed a framework agreement for the establishment of the VU LSC–EMBL Partnership for Genome Editing Technologies.

2020

lab-matters

1 October 2020 A group of people in an office are holding a videoconference. Some of the participants are wearing masks and gloves

Boosting the life sciences through alumni networks

Events EMBL’s network of alumni plays a vital role in advancing the life sciences globally. EMBL provides research, services, and infrastructure that help former staff to do this effectively. For several years EMBL has been discovering more avenues to help the life sciences across Europe. A key part of…

2020

events

29 September 2020 Oliver Billker, Director of MIMS, is standing at the podium in front of a microphone. Behind him, a projected slide says “Welcome to Umeå University”.

The Nordic EMBL Partnership: supporting national research

Events The partnership between EMBL and four Nordic research institutions aims to stimulate scientific exchange and inspire scientific collaborations. This year’s conference of the Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine included many talks by EMBL researchers and a presentation by EMBL’s…

2020

events

24 September 2020 The conference key visual shows a variety of species engulfed by fire, reflecting the conference title, ‘Our House Is Burning: Scientific and Societal Responses to Mass Extinction’.

Dinosaurs, dodos, and the future of life on Earth

Events EMBL’s 21st Science and Society Conference will address scientific and societal responses to mass extinctions. Ahead of his keynote speech, renowned palaeontologist Mike Benton explains how looking into the deep past can give us vital insights into the future of life on Earth.

2020

events

18 September 2020 Composite image of mouse cells and human cells showing different levels of luminescence, indicated as different colours.

Human and mouse cells run at different speeds

Science The internal clock that governs the development of embryos ticks slower for humans than for mice. Differences in the speed of biochemical reactions underlie the differences between species in the tempo of development.

2020

science

17 September 2020 Colorful illustration conveys the balancing act women in science face, going between family and work responsibilities and wanting to succeed in both roles.

Indirect impacts of a pandemic on women in science

Events The EMBL conference that explored direct and indirect impacts from the current pandemic on women in science allowed for information and story sharing both in the form of lectures but also via online platforms like Slack and social media that included Twitter.

2020

events

10 September 2020 Two researchers at EMBL's state-of-the-art Electron Microscopy Core Facility (EMCF). A female scientist is using a binocular microscope, a male scientist is standing next to her.

Level up!

Lab Matters ARISE fellowships to offer first-ever comprehensive training for bioscience infrastructure operations

2020

lab-matters

7 September 2020 Human silhouette showing internal organs including oesophagus and stomach. Circle with DNA bases A,T, C and G superimposed.

Genome sequencing accelerates cancer detection

Science The Gerstung Group at EMBL-EBI and collaborators have developed a statistical model that analyses genomic data to predict whether a patient has a high or low risk of developing oesophageal cancer.

2020

science

7 September 2020 science diplomacy

Looking forward

Lab Matters Two EMBL speakers gave presentations that looked toward the future and at ways to trailblaze on the endless frontier of science.

2020

lab-matters

4 September 2020 Portrait picture of Erin Tranfield, member of the EMBL Alumni Association Board, against a blue-green background.

Supporting the alumni community

Alumni Erin Tranfield recently joined the EMBL Alumni Association Board as one of 15 newly elected members. Here, she talks about her new role on the board and reflects on how a life-changing event made her refocus her perspective on work and life.

2020

alumni

3 September 2020 Left: Slice of a cell in grey. Right: Two 3D reconstructions of parts of the slice, showing the internal structure.

Nuclear pores in their natural context

Science Scientists from the Beck group have studied the 3D structure of nuclear pores in budding yeast. They show how the architecture of the nuclear pore complex differs inside cells compared to its form observed in vitro studies.

2020

science

31 August 2020 3D image of plant cells. The ones identified by the algorithm are brightly coloured.

Intelligent software tackles plant cell jigsaw

Science Starting with computer code and moving on to a more user-friendly graphical interface called PlantSeg, the Kreshuk Group at EMBL and collaborators built a simple open-access method to provide the most accurate and versatile analysis of plant tissue development to date.

2020

science

26 August 2020 Colorful illustration conveys the balancing act women in science face, going between family and work responsibilities and wanting to succeed in both roles.

COVID-19’s indirect attack on women

Events More than 500 people have registered for an EMBL conference, "The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on women in science: Challenges and solutions." Scheduled for 9 September, the conference is free and open to all. Pre-registration is still available and required to attend.

2020

events

25 August 2020

Training the next generation of molecular biologists

Lab Matters The EMBL International PhD Programme is one of EMBL’s flagship training programmes. It forms part of our efforts to train and inspire talented scientists to become skilled and creative future leaders. Submission of applications for the current PhD student recruitment round is now possible.

2020

lab-matters

24 August 2020 Simone Mattei, the new team leader in electron microscopy service and technology development

Welcome: Simone Mattei

Lab Matters The new team leader offering services in electron microscopy discusses his hopes and plans for the forthcoming EMBL Imaging Centre

2020

lab-matters

20 August 2020 A portrait photo of Geetika Malhotra, new Head of Web Development at EMBL-EBI.

Welcome: Geetika Malhotra

Lab Matters The Web Development team provides a central source of web design and development for EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI). In July, Geetika Malhotra joined the team as their new Head.

2020

lab-matters

7 August 2020 Black and white photo of Phil Avner sitting in his office and looking at his smartphone. a large stack of papers on his desk

Arrivederci Phil!

Lab Matters As he enters retirement, Head of EMBL Rome Phil Avner reflects on his scientific career and memories from his time as Head of EMBL’s site in Italy

2020

lab-matters

3 August 2020 A woman with glasses holds a book. The book cover says "Gene naming rules". Thought bubbles float around her head and display gene symbols like BRCA1.

Bagpipe and Pokemon, or how not to name a human gene

Science The human genome harbours about 19 000 protein-coding genes, many of which still have no known function. As scientists unveil the secrets of our DNA, they come across novel genes that they need to refer to using a unique name. The Human Genome Organisation’s Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) at…

2020

science

21 July 2020 Top row: The evolution of tumour cells (green) within a normal organoid (grey) shown in three panels. Lower row: Surface rendition of tumour cells and labels new cells that arise from a single cell in the same colour.

A tool to improve cancer research

Science EMBL scientists have created a new, realistic 3D testbed that could help achieve the goal of stopping cancers before they start by studying cancer cells as they first form.

2020

science

20 July 2020 A magnifying glass hovers over the human gut, revealing its biodiversity.

Unparalleled inventory of the human gut ecosystem

Science An international team of scientists has collated all known bacterial genomes from the human gut microbiome into a single large database. Their work will allow researchers to explore the links between bacterial genes and proteins, and their effects on human health.

2020

science

16 July 2020 A collage of portrait photos of Jessica Vamathevan, Jan Korbel, and Nassos Typas.

Changes in senior roles at EMBL

Lab Matters Three changes in senior staff positions have been confirmed at EMBL today. Jessica Vamathevan becomes Head of Strategy, Jan Korbel becomes Head of Data Science for EMBL Heidelberg, and Nassos Typas becomes Senior Scientist.

2020

lab-matters

13 July 2020 scientists teaching about the microbiome

Applications for virtual learning lab open

Lab Matters The European Learning Laboratory for the Life Sciences (ELLS), EMBL’s education facility, invites secondary school science teachers to participate in a virtual training course this autumn entitled ‘Introducing your microbiome’.

2020

lab-matters

8 July 2020 Alexander Aulehla on the left and Paul Flicek on the Right

Two EMBL scientists become EMBO Members

Lab Matters This year, EMBO elected 63 new members, including Alexander Aulehla, Group Leader and Senior Scientist at EMBL Heidelberg, and Paul Flicek, Associate Director of EMBL-EBI Services, Senior Scientist, Group and Team Leader at EMBL-EBI.

2020

lab-matters

8 July 2020 The Logo of the ALPX company.

ALPX – smart crystallography

Lab Matters The CrystalDirect® technology, combined with the web-based CRIMS software enable a fully automated, remote-controlled protein-to-structure pipeline.

2020

lab-matters

8 July 2020 Artwort illustrating various aspects of infection research. The centre of the image shows a cartoon representation of a coronavirus. The spheric shape has been overlaid with a map of the world to illustrate the global spread of viruses. The edges of the artwork feature images of potential virus hosts (bats, poultry, dromedary), a group of humans, a microscope, pills, a syringe and vaccine vial, protein structures, and an illustration of a human lung. The background is set in yellow and red colour.

What COVID-19 is teaching us

Events The virtual EMBL Conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’ explored the importance of fundamental research, collaboration, and data science in containing the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, and discussed opportunities to improve our response to pandemics in the future.

2020

events

6 July 2020 EMBL Director General Edith Heard standing at a laboratory work bench, facing the camera. Edith Heard on the left side, lab bench with pipettes and equipment on the right. Photo taken by érôme Brébion at Institut Curie, Paris.

Edith Heard elected senator of the Max Planck Society

Lab Matters EMBL Director General Edith Heard has been elected a senator of the Max Planck Society, one of Germany’s leading scientific research organisations. She joins the Senate along with Nobel Laureates and EMBL alumni Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard and Stefan W. Hell, as well as nine additional new…

2020

lab-matters

3 July 2020 stem cells neurons differentiation

From stem cells to neurons

Science Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have investigated stem cells and how they differentiate to become neurons. Their approach included an assessment of the complex interplay of molecules during the differentiation process and generated fundamental new insights into the role of a protein called Sox2 in…

2020

science

2 July 2020 epigenetic reprogramming, epigenetic memory, Hackett group

Unravelling epigenetic reprogramming

Science A study conducted by the Hackett group at EMBL Rome has identified key factors controlling the complex system of gene regulation during early embryo development, shedding new light on the mechanisms behind these events and on their evolutionary implications. Their findings are published in Nature…

2020

science

29 June 2020 Gene Editing and Embryology Facility at EMBL Rome

Editing the mouse genome to study SARS-CoV-2 infection

Science To study how SARS-CoV-2 infects cells, the Gene Editing and Embryology Facility (GEEF) at EMBL Rome will generate mice that express a human version of a protein called ACE2. The mouse line will be shared with preclinical research collaborators carrying out vaccine and antibody trials, and with the…

2020

science

25 June 2020 Scientists in the Hackett group at EMBL Rome doing lab work

Silencing the SARS-CoV-2 receptor with epigenetic modifications

Science EMBL scientists develop a new molecular tool to prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection in mice. This tool is able to cause targeted epigenetic modifications of specific genes in specific cell populations. They will use it in mice to target airway cells that express the ACE2 protein – the receptor that…

2020

science

23 June 2020 EMBL's Equality and Diversity Officers. Zac O'Sullivan (left) and Luisa Vieites Rodrigues (right)

Equality and diversity at EMBL

Lab Matters EMBL is striving to make its labs and offices a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. To achieve this goal, EMBL's Equality and Diversity Officers, Luisa Vieites Rodrigues and Zac O'Sullivan, are working closely with leadership and the EMBL community. In this interview, they share their…

2020

lab-matters

18 June 2020 Illustration of gender balances in academia

Closing the gender gap

Events To explore the origins of gender imbalances in academia and possible ways of overcoming them, international experts will meet for the virtual EMBL | EMBO | HHMI conference ‘Gender Roles and their Impact in Academia’ from 13–15 Oct 2020. The conference’s outcomes will be integrated into a…

2020

events

17 June 2020 Crystal selection for X-ray diffraction experiments.

Investigating the structure and mechanisms of coronavirus biomolecules

Science While global research on coronaviruses has shed light on the function of many SARS-CoV-2 proteins, the role of some crucial components remains unknown. Researchers at EMBL Grenoble will use a range of structural biology methods to try to solve some of the puzzles of the molecular mechanics of…

2020

science

16 June 2020 Tissue culture plates in an incubator.

Understanding how SARS-CoV-2 behaves in the gut

Science Scientists at EMBL and Heidelberg University Hospital are studying how the novel coronavirus behaves in the gut to try to better understand its epidemiology and prevent its spread. To do this, they are combining advanced imaging and sequencing technologies to study coronavirus in human intestinal…

2020

science

15 June 2020 Arise logo

Life sciences open their doors for engineers

Lab Matters The European Molecular Biology Laboratory has secured 6.8 million Euros funding from the European Commission to launch a unique training programme. The ARISE Programme will train and develop Europe’s next generation leadership for research infrastructures in the life sciences.

2020

lab-matters

15 June 2020 Key visual for the virtual EMBL conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’. Credits: Aleksandra Krolik/EMBL

Improving our response to emerging pandemics

Events The emergence of previously unknown pathogens, such as the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, raises many questions. To explore these questions in an international scientific forum, EMBL will host the virtual conference ‘SARS-CoV-2: Towards a New Era in Infection Research’ on 3 July. Invited…

2020

events

9 June 2020 This image shows the structure of a bacterial group II intron

Genetic cut and paste at atomic resolution

Science Researchers in the Marcia group at EMBL Grenoble and the De Vivo lab at the Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa have obtained some of the most detailed ever snapshots of the splicing process in systems known as group II self-splicing introns. The new insights will help scientists to develop…

2020

science

9 June 2020 Beamline Hamburg

Shining high-brilliance beams on coronavirus structure

Science EMBL researchers are studying COVID-19-related molecules by exposing them to high-brilliance X-ray beams. The Svergun group at EMBL Hamburg is using biological small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) as part of a global effort by scientists to elucidate the structural organisation of SARS-CoV-2…

2020

science

8 June 2020 Microscopic image showing a macrophage that has been infected with Salmonella (green), causing cellular cathepsins (red) to locate to the nucels (blue).

Re-trafficking proteins to fight Salmonella infections

Science Scientists including members of EMBL’s Typas group have investigated how immune cells called macrophages respond to infection by the intracellular pathogen Salmonella enterica. They discovered that Salmonella causes newly produced cathepsins to accumulate in the nuclei of infected cells to…

2020

science

1 June 2020 An illustration of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq)

Enabling functional genomics studies in individual cells

Science Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have developed a new method, called Targeted Perturb-seq (TAP-seq), which increases the scale and precision of functional genomics CRISPR–Cas9 screens by orders of magnitude. Their method overcomes limitations in previous applications of single-cell RNA sequencing,…

2020

science

27 May 2020 Automated sample changer and diffractometer at the ID30B X-ray crystallography beamline at ESRF Grenoble.

Facilitating COVID-19 structural biology research

Science EMBL and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) restart the activities of the Joint Structural Biology Group in Grenoble to support coronavirus-related projects. A new initiative will allow users to be granted access to the High-Throughput Crystallisation (HTX) lab at EMBL and to a…

2020

science

22 May 2020

The hunt for neutralising antibodies against SARS-CoV-2

Science Scientists hope that a legacy of the novel coronavirus in recovered COVID-19 patients – antibodies in their blood – could lead to drugs to treat others. The Merten group at EMBL Heidelberg has pivoted its microfluidics platform to support the search for neutralising antibodies that could…

2020

science

22 May 2020

EMBL scientists investigate rare lung disease

Science Researchers in EMBL’s Zaugg group have studied the causes of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), a rare disease that causes high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs. The study, carried out in collaboration with Stanford University School of Medicine, compared lung cells of patients…

2020

science

19 May 2020 EMBL group leader Georgia Rapti

Welcome: Georgia Rapti

Lab Matters The nervous system has fascinated Georgia Rapti ever since her first introduction to biology. Her research group in the Developmental Biology unit will focus on understanding the early biological events involved in the nervous system’s formation.

2020

lab-matters

15 May 2020 Cell division

Tracing the origins of cells

Science Researchers from the Sharpe group at EMBL Barcelona have published a method to track the developmental history of a cell using the gene editing tool CRISPR–Cas9, but without the need to create transgenic organisms.

2020

science

13 May 2020 Close-up photograph of servers at EMBL Heidelberg's data centre.

Understanding the role of our genes in SARS-CoV-2 infections

Science EMBL scientists will contribute to the new German COVID-19 OMICS Initiative to study the biological mechanisms contributing to coronavirus infections. EMBL group leaders Jan Korbel and Oliver Stegle, who is also affiliated with the DKFZ Heidelberg, will coordinate the set-up of IT infrastructures…

2020

science

11 May 2020

EMBL SPC facility supports COVID-19 projects

Science The Sample Preparation and Characterisation Facility (SPC) at EMBL Hamburg reopens to support scientists working on Covid-19 research. The SPC Facility is one of the best equipped facilities in Europe is therefore in high demand from external users. Re-opening the facility also allows experts at…

2020

science

29 April 2020 The Influenza virus

Understanding the influenza virus

Science The infectious disease commonly known as flu is caused by the influenza virus. It spreads around the world in seasonal outbreaks, causing millions of infections and hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Stephen Cusack, Head of EMBL Grenoble, has been studying different aspects of the influenza…

2020

science

28 April 2020 Close-up view of the interior of a protein analytics system

Exploring synthetic antibodies to stop coronavirus

Science Scientists at EMBL Hamburg and Karolinska Institutet Stockholm aim to find synthetic antibodies – known as nanobodies – that bind a surface protein of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Nanobodies could prevent the virus from entering human cells and causing COVID-19.

2020

science

24 April 2020 Collage of images representing wet and dry lab research and healthcare

Why share data during a pandemic?

Science In March 2020, planes were grounded, streets went quiet, and our lives changed forever. But while the world came to a halt, many scientists were ramping up their efforts to understand the new virus.

2020

science

23 April 2020 Key visual for the EMBO | EMBL symposium ‘The Four-Dimensional Genome’

EMBL hosts its first virtual conference

Events The virtual EMBO | EMBL symposium ‘The Four-Dimensional Genome’ brought together 470 participants. Here, Jürgen Deka, Head of External Scientific Training, discusses how he and his team overcame the organisational challenges.

2020

events

22 April 2020 Portrait photo of Brendan Rouse, EMBL's Environmental Officer

Welcome: Brendan Rouse

Lab Matters Brendan Rouse came to Heidelberg in March as EMBL’s Environmental Officer, tasked with monitoring the organisation’s environmental impact and promoting sustainable practices. Here, he discusses his plans for the new role.

2020

lab-matters

16 April 2020 Micropipette tips in a liquid-handling robot

Helping to scale up coronavirus testing

Science Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg are contributing their expertise in a community effort to develop large-scale testing methods for coronavirus. Their goal is to increase the capacity and speed of testing, which is crucial for containing the pandemic.

2020

science

15 April 2020 Purified proteins on an SDS-polyacrylamide gel

Producing proteins for coronavirus research

Science The Protein Expression and Purification Core Facility at EMBL Heidelberg will produce proteins for several coronavirus-related research projects, to assist the development of new strategies to fight the virus.

2020

science

1 April 2020

Understanding brain tumours in children

Science The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumours affecting children – are hereditary. These are the findings of a recent genetic analysis carried out by scientists from EMBL and numerous colleagues around the world.

2020

science

31 March 2020 Portrait of Bastian Drees, Head of Library

Welcome: Bastian Drees

Lab Matters Bastian Drees is a biophysicist turned librarian, who joined EMBL in January as the new Head of Library. Here, he discusses the changing role of libraries and how they can help scientists organise and share their results.

2020

lab-matters

11 March 2020 Leukaemia stem cells are located in a patient’s bone marrow (shown here in blue) in the so-called stem cell niche. The green structure is the bone itself. Credit: Dr. Raphael Lutz, Haas Lab

€2.45 m to investigate leukaemia causes and therapies

Science The Heidelberg-based LeukoSyStem consortium investigates leukaemia stem cells in acute myeloid leukaemia. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research financially supports this collaboration between Heidelberg University Hospital, HI-STEM gGmbH, the German Cancer Research Center and EMBL.

2020

science

19 February 2020 Claire Deo

Welcome: Claire Deo

Science New group leader at EMBL Heidelberg employs synthetic chemistry to develop novel tools for biology

2020

science

5 February 2020

Protecting data in the cloud

Science Cloud computing offers unprecedented opportunities for global-scale research collaborations. It also presents a unique set of challenges in terms of data protection and the ethics of data sharing.

2020

science

5 February 2020

Cancer mutations occur decades before diagnosis

Science Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) and the Francis Crick Institute have analysed the whole genomes of over 2600 tumours from 38 different cancer types to determine the chronology of genomic changes during cancer development.

2020

science

5 February 2020

Analysis of human genomes in the cloud

Science Scientists from EMBL present a tool for large-scale analysis of genomic data with cloud computing. Main advantages of the new tool, called Butler, are continuous system monitoring and its ability to self-heal in case of failure, allowing for 43% more efficient data processing than previous…

2020

science

5 February 2020

Chromothripsis in human cancer

Science Researchers at Harvard Medical School and EMBL-EBI have carried out the largest analysis across cancer types of the newly discovered mutational phenomenon chromothripsis.

2020

science

5 February 2020

Finding genetic cancer risks

Science Using the data from the Pan-Cancer project EMBL scientists describe how our genetic background influences cancer development.

2020

science

31 January 2020

Statement on Brexit

Lab Matters Today marks the next chapter in the UK’s relationship with Europe. While we wait to see what a future relationship brings, researchers will continue to work across borders to tackle society’s most pressing problems, such as climate change, ageing, and disease.

2020

lab-matters

27 January 2020 Maria Bernabeu

Welcome: Maria Bernabeu

Science New group leader at EMBL Barcelona is investigating how malaria affects the human circulatory system

2020

science

21 January 2020 Janet Thornton EMBL Insight Lecture

Ageing and disease

Events Dame Janet Thornton presents the 2019 EMBL Insight Lecture: Ageing and disease – what is the link?

2020

events

13 December 2019

Graduation Ceremony 2019

Lab Matters Forty-seven PhD students from all of EMBL’s six sites were celebrated during EMBL’s 2019 Graduation Ceremony on Friday 13 December

2019

lab-matters

9 December 2019

New chair of EMBL Council

Lab Matters Professor Eiríkur Steingrímsson will commence his initial one-year term as Chair of EMBL Council on 1 January 2020.

2019

lab-matters

29 November 2019 Choanocyte chamber of sponge, with neuroid cell

Neural pathways

Science Exploring the diverse routes by which EMBL scientists are driving forward neurobiology

2019

science

9 October 2019

Science for everyone

Events During the Nacht der Forschung 2019, everyone was able to become a scientist for a day at EMBL

2019

events

26 September 2019 The Old Port of Marseille.

EMBL and Tara: Marseille

Events From 27–30 September, Tara will be docked in the port of Marseille, France’s second largest city.

2019

events

23 July 2019 Manfred Lautenschläger

The donor’s code

Events The main funder of the EMBL Lautenschläger Summer School reflects on codes of conduct around giving

2019

events

15 July 2019 The pyramids represent chromatin domains in the wild-type situation. The reflection in the water below represents the rearrangements in the mutant fruit fly chromosomes. At first glance the (regulatory) landscapes look very similar, but there are lots of changes to the topology, and yet these have little impact on the nature of the landscape (gene expression). IMAGE: Beata Edyta Mierzwa in collaboration with EMBL.

Rearranging chromosomes

Science Does rearranging chromosomes affect their function? EMBL scientists reveal uncoupling of 3D chromatin organisation and gene expression.

2019

science

11 July 2019 Structure of the Elongator complex

A tRNA modifier at work

Science Using cryo-EM, scientists have determined the structure of a large protein complex called Elongator.

2019

science

1 July 2019 The dynamic process of cell division.

Drawing knowledge

Science A conversation about art-science collaborations and the importance of drawing in biology.

2019

science

17 June 2019 A photo of the Hamburg harbour at dusk

EMBL and Tara: Hamburg

Events EMBL Hamburg and Tara raise awareness of the risks of microplastic pollution and global infection

2019

events

31 May 2019 EMBL scientists in a bar for the event Pint of Science

A thirst for science

Events EMBL got together with the global science festival Pint of Science to explain and celebrate science.

2019

events

29 April 2019 This illustration, based on real data shows the heart of a Japanese rice fish. The green and blue laser beams demonstrate how the newly developed 3D imaging microscope is scanning the heart.

New 3D microscope

Science A newly developed 3D microscope visualises fast biological processes better than ever.

2019

science

21 February 2019 Tanmay Bharat and Patrick Baeuerle, winners of the EMBL's 2019 alumni awards

2019 alumni awards

Alumni Scientists honoured for contributions in cancer immunotherapy and structural biology

2019

alumni