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mouse

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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

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

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

19 November 2019

Formation of a brain

Picture of the week The brain is the most complex organ in the human body. Yet despite it being the organ that makes us conscious beings – and despite the fact that researchers have been studying it for generations – it’s still a constant source of surprise. To help lift the veil on some of its mystery, Lina…

2019

picture-of-the-week

2 February 2014

Making your brain social

Science In many people with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders, different parts of the brain don’t talk to each other very well. Scientists have now identified, for the first time, a way in which this decreased functional connectivity can come about. In a study published online today…

2014

science

10 November 2013

What are you scared of?

Science What do bullies and sex have in common? Based on work by scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, it seems that the same part of the brain reacts to both. In a study published today in Nature Neuroscience, the researchers found that – at least in…

2013

science

28 February 2013

DNA’s twisted communication

Science During embryo development, genes are dynamically, and very precisely, switched on and off to confer different properties to different cells and build a well-proportioned and healthy animal. Fgf8 is one of the key genes in this process, controlling in particular the growth of the limbs and…

2013

science

20 March 2012 A slice through the tails of mouse sperm.

Picture release: Spring tails

Picture of the week As spring arrives, flowers seem to bloom everywhere – even under the microscopes at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. But the ‘flowers’ in this picture actually help an animal, not a plant, to pass on its genes. The image, which has been false-coloured…

2012

picture-of-the-week

20 March 2011

The informant: a jumping gene

Science Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have developed a new method for studying gene regulation, by employing a jumping gene as an informant. Published online today in Nature Genetics, the new method is called GROMIT. It enables researchers to…

2011

science

25 August 2010

Freeze or run? Not that simple

Science 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…

2010

science

10 December 2009 These microscopy images demonstrate the effects of Notch signalling on the hearts of newborn mice (top) and of adult mice after a heart attack (bottom). In a normal neonatal heart (top left), the two major heart chambers (ventricles) are clearly separated by tissue (septum). But when Notch signalling was inactivated in an embryo’s heart muscle cells, the septum between the ventricles of the newborn mouse’s heart was incomplete (asterisk). The same defect commonly occurs in humans with congenital heart disease, often leading to circulatory distress. In the images of adult hearts (bottom), healthy tissue is shown in red and damaged tissue in blue. Normally (bottom left), a heart attack causes extensive tissue damage to the left ventricle (right-hand cavity), but mice in which Notch was re-activated after the heart attack had reduced tissue damage (bottom right) and improved cardiac function. Image credit: EMBL

From fruit fly wings to heart failure. Why Not(ch)?

Science Almost a century after it was discovered in fruit flies with notches in their wings, the Notch signalling pathway may come to play an important role in the recovery from heart attacks. In a study published today in Circulation Research, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)…

2009

science

21 September 2009 This microscopy image, taken ten days after injury, shows that the muscle fibres of normal mice (left) had re-grown, while in mice which couldn’t boost C/EBPβ production (right) there were still many fibres that had not regenerated (arrowheads), and the tissue had a number of scars (arrows).

To regenerate muscle, cellular garbage men must become builders

Science For scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Monterotondo, Italy, what seemed like a disappointing result turned out to be an important discovery. Their findings, published online this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), provide…

2009

science

13 September 2009 In normal skin (left), the stem cells at the base, shown in green, differentiate into skin cells, shown in red. In mice whose skin has neither C/EBPα nor C/EBPβ (middle), this differentiation is blocked: green-labeled stem cells appear in upper layers of skin, and there are no differentiated skin cells (no red staining). This also happens at the initial stages of basal cell carcinomas. In skin where C/EBPα is present but has lost its capacity to interact with E2F, a molecule that regulates the cell cycle (right), skin cells start differentiating abnormally, before they have properly exited the stem cell ‘program’ (yellow/orange). This is similar to what is observed in the initial stages of squamous cell carcinomas, a more aggressive and invasive skin tumour.

How stem cells make skin

Science Stem cells have a unique ability: when they divide, they can either give rise to more stem cells, or to a variety of specialised cell types. In both mice and humans, a layer of cells at the base of the skin contains stem cells that can develop into the specialised cells in the layers above.…

2009

science

20 July 2008

Pregnant mice block out unwelcome admirers to protect their pups

Science Mouse mothers-to-be have a remarkable way to protect their unborn pups. Because the smell of a strange male’s urine can cause miscarriage and reactivate the ovulatory cycle, pregnant mice prevent the action of such olfactory stimuli by blocking their smell. Researchers from the European…

2008

science

8 January 2008

Life savers in the gut

Science Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) have discovered that proteins that regulate the body’s iron household play a vital role in making sure enough nutrients and water are absorbed in the intestine. Mice lacking these proteins suffer from weight loss and…

2008

science

8 July 2007

A gene that protects from kidney disease

Science Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and the University of Michigan have discovered a gene that protects us against a serious kidney disease. In the current online issue of Nature Genetics they report that mutations in the gene cause nephronopthisis (NPHP) in humans and…

2007

science

5 June 2007

Uncovering the molecular basis of obesity

Science Why does the same diet make some of us gain more weight than others? The answer could be a molecule called Bsx, as scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the German Institute for Nutrition (DIFE), Potsdam, and the University of Cincinnati report in the current issue of…

2007

science

3 June 2007

New insights into the neural basis of anxiety

Science People who suffer from anxiety tend to interpret ambiguous situations, situations that could potentially be dangerous but not necessarily so, as threatening. Researchers from the Mouse Biology Unit of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Italy have now uncovered the neural basis for…

2007

science

14 March 2007

Researchers identify molecular basis of inflammatory bowel disease

Science Inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, severely impair the lives of more than four million people worldwide. The development of effective therapies against these diseases requires an understanding of their underlying molecular mechanisms. Researchers from…

2007

science

8 January 2007

Getting to the bottom of memory

Science Phone numbers, the way to work, granny’s birthday – our brain with its finite number of nerve cells can store incredible amounts of information. At the bottom of memory lies a complex network of molecules. To understand how this network brings about one of the most remarkable capacities of…

2007

science

2 November 2006

Helping muscle regenerate

Science Muscle wasting can occur at all ages as the result of genetic defects, heart failure, spinal injury or cancer. A therapy to cure the loss of muscle mass and strength, which has a severe impact on patients’ lives, is desperately sought. Blocking a central signal molecule, researchers from the…

2006

science

3 September 2006

Lost in the labyrinth

Science Blood cells have limited lifespans, which means that they must be continually replaced by calling up reserves and turning these into the blood cell types needed by the body. Claus Nerlov and his colleagues at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) unit in Monterotondo, Italy, in…

2006

science

10 April 2006

Getting to the heart of cardiovascular diseases

Lab Matters Today three research organisations announce the merging of their expertise to fight cardiovascular diseases, which are among the most common health problems and causes of death in the world. The Magdi Yacoub Institute (MYI) at the UK’s Harefield Heart Science Centre, Imperial College London,…

2006

lab-matters

25 January 2005

How do cells travel through our bodies?

Science One of the most basic yet least understood processes in our bodies is how cells crawl along tissues. This behavior is essential to the formation of an embryo and other processes, but it must be tightly controlled. A disturbance can lead to the spread of cancer cells or diseases like Spina…

2005

science

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