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Silenced genes in a cell

Export extravaganza

Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have conducted the first comprehensive census of human cells’ export workers. In a study published online today in Nature Cell Biology, they found an unexpected variety of genes involved in transporting molecules to the cell membrane and beyond. Using a combination of genetics and sophisticated […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Word cloud of proteins

The cell’s ‘New World’

In one of the most famous faux pas of exploration, Columbus set sail for India and instead ‘discovered’ America. Similarly, when scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, set out to find enzymes – the proteins that carry out chemical reactions inside cells – that bind to RNA, they too found more than […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Microglial cells

Locating ground zero

Like emergency workers rushing to a disaster scene, cells called microglia speed to places where the brain has been injured, to contain the damage by ‘eating up’ any cellular debris and dead or dying neurons. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have now discovered exactly how microglia detect the site […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Abstract image showing DNA code

A matter of priorities

Just as banks store away only the most valuable possessions in the most secure safes, cells prioritise which genes they guard most closely, researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have found. The study, published online today in Nature, shows that bacteria have evolved a mechanism that protects important genes from random […]

By Oana Stroe

Science

Need for speed

Like any law-abiding train passenger, a molecule called oskar RNA carries a stamped ticket detailing its destination and form of transport, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have found. They show that for this molecule, moving in the right direction isn’t enough: speed is of the essence. Their study, published online today […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Flying high in Europe

Today a consortium of leading IT providers and three of Europe’s biggest research centres (CERN, EMBL and ESA) announced a partnership to launch a European cloud computing platform. ‘Helix Nebula ‐ the Science Cloud’, will support the massive IT requirements of European scientists, and become available to governmental organisations and industry after an initial pilot phase. The […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Making the most of what you have

The bacterium Mycoplasma pneumoniae, which causes atypical pneumonia, is helping scientists uncover how cells make the most of limited resources. By measuring all the proteins this bacterium produces, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, and collaborators, have found that the secret is fine-tuning. Like a mechanic can fine-tune a car after […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

New distributed research infrastructure for structural biology

Breakthroughs in biomedical science are a step closer today, with the launch of a new distributed research infrastructure for the science of structural biology: Instruct. The launch of Instruct will give academic and commercial scientists across Europe access to a full portfolio of integrated technologies, thanks to the collaboration of fourteen of Europe’s leading structural […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Diagram of the Elongator protein

Trapped in a ring

In fairy tales, magic rings endow their owners with special abilities: the ring makes the wearer invisible, fulfils his wishes, or otherwise helps the hero on the path to his destiny.  Similarly, a ring-like structure found in a protein complex called ‘Elongator’ has led researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

Stretching helices help keep muscles together

In this video, a protein called myomesin does its impression of Mr. Fantastic, the leader of the Fantastic Four of comic book fame, who performed incredible feats by stretching his body. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg, Germany, have discovered that the elastic part of this protein can stretch to two […]

By Guest author(s)

Science

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