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, People & Perspectives 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.



14 July 2020 The image shows a larva of Platynereis dumerilii, a marine worm. The body of the worm is shown in grey. Muscle strands are coloured in red. The muscles of one individual strand are highlighted in different, brighter colours.

Muscular worm larva

Picture of the week, Science & Technology The image shows a larva of Platynereis dumerilii, a marine worm. The image here was produced by Constantin Pape, a visiting predoctoral fellow in the Kreshuk group at EMBL Heidelberg.



23 July 2019

Muscle games

Picture of the week, Science & Technology Every single moment of our life we use our muscles – most of the time without even thinking about it. Some muscles, like our heart, we cannot even control at all. How our brain communicates with our muscles is still not fully understood. The communication between our brain and our skeletal…



18 June 2019

A no-brainer

Lab Matters, Picture of the week Have you ever wondered what reflex testing is about? Why does your doctor tap the space below your knee with a hammer to see if your leg kicks forward? At the centre of this involuntary reaction is the muscle spindle, of which you can see a close-up in today’s Picture of the Week. Muscle spindles…



14 February 2012

Stretching helices help keep muscles together

Science, Science & Technology Myomesin stretching to 2.5 times its length. Credit: EMBL/Wilmanns. 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…



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)…



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…



17 December 2007

An ambulance man for muscle damage

Science It does not take much to injure a muscle. Sometimes one sudden, inconsiderate movement does the job. Unfortunately, damaged muscles are not as efficient at repair as other tissues such as bone. Researchers of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory’s Mouse Biology Unit (EMBL), Italy, and…



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…



11 January 2006

The giant protein titin helps build muscles

Science Imagine grabbing two snakes by the tail so that they can’t wriggle off in opposite directions. Scientists at the Hamburg Outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and collaborators from King’s College in London have now discovered that something similar happens to a…



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