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structural biology

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

20 April 2021 Black-and-white sphere with coronavirus spike protein structures and a two-layered ring of virus membrane superimposed.

Variations on a spike

Picture of the week What does coronavirus’s spike protein look like in 3D? EMBL scientists and colleagues used cryo-electron tomography and molecular dynamics simulations to find out.

2021

picture-of-the-week

30 March 2021 A close-up photo of a shiny droplet of liquid that has been placed into one of the wells of a crystallisation plate.

Droplet beauty

Picture of the week Scientists at EMBL Hamburg use droplets of protein solution to grow protein crystals. By exposing the crystals to X-rays, they are able to determine the protein’s molecular structure.

2021

picture-of-the-week

9 March 2021 This photo shows the European Photon and Neutron (EPN) science campus on the peninsula at the confluence of the Isère and Drac rivers, where EMBL Grenoble is located.

Touch of springtime in Grenoble

Picture of the week This photo shows the European Photon and Neutron (EPN) science campus where EMBL Grenoble is located. A delightful spring breeze in the air melts the last remaining patches of snow in the mountains.

2021

picture-of-the-week

9 February 2021 Crystal cubes seen through a microscope

Purity, beauty, and perfection

Picture of the week The regular structures of crystals are a source of inspiration and fascination to us humans. While the crystals in this picture were not grown in nature, but instead by Petra Drncova from EMBL Grenoble, they share the same attributes as those found in nature.

2021

picture-of-the-week

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 A metallic tool.

Homage to a vital tool

Picture of the week Structural biologists want to study proteins at the atomic level. The device shown in this Picture of the Week is essential for this.

2021

picture-of-the-week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

24 November 2017 Cryo-electron tomograms of intact cells reveal molecular landscapes.

Welcome: Julia Mahamid

Science The Mahamid group studies meso-scale molecular assemblies in intact cells and model organisms at molecular resolution

2017

science

30 August 2016

Atomic proportions

Science EMBL and ESRF scientists and mechanics work together on upgrade for one of Europe’s big X-ray sources

2016

science

16 June 2016 Emiko Uchikawa in her lab at EMBL in Grenoble. IMAGE: Isabelle Kling/EMBL

Found in translation

Science Studying at EMBL in Grenoble helps Japanese postdoc see her native country through different eyes

2016

science

21 April 2016 Jozef Ševcik at the X13 beamline at the DORIS ring in Hamburg. PHOTO: Rostislav Skrabana

Slovakian synergies

Alumni Meet a driving force behind collaborations with the Slovak Republic, alumnus Jozef Ševčik

2016

alumni

11 February 2016 The 3D structure shows how two transcription factors influence one another’s binding to a specific stretch of DNA – an interaction that is crucial for a heart to develop healthily. IMAGE: EMBL/C.Müller

True Love

Science How transcription factors interact to create a heart

2016

science

24 November 2015

Awards & Honours

Lab Matters EMBL scientists regularly receive prestigious awards – meet the latest honourees.

2015

lab-matters

23 November 2015 More than 600 'diplomas' were awarded to budding crystallographers for successfully fishing crystals! PHOTO: DESY 2015

High-throughput event

Events Energy, enthusiasm and endurance on tap as thousands attend 12-hour Hamburg Night of Science.

2015

events

23 September 2015

Checkpoint architecture

Science A nuclear pore riddle: how can you use the same number of pieces to form two rings that fit inside each other?

2015

science

22 September 2015

MASSIFly efficient

Science MASSIF-1 processes its 10,000th crystal, less than one year after the beamline became operational.

2015

science

24 August 2015

Molecular momentum

Alumni Andrew Miller, first head of EMBL Grenoble, reflects on four decades at the Outstation.

2015

alumni

24 August 2015

Awards & Honours

Lab Matters EMBL scientists regularly receive prestigious awards – meet the latest honourees.

2015

lab-matters

21 May 2015

It runs in the family

Science Detailed structural study shows distantly related viruses share a common machinery for replication.

2015

science

7 May 2015

Taking out the trash

Science Unveiling the shape of... the 'molecular bin man' – cryoEM helps reveals p62 polymer in 3D.

2015

science

6 April 2015

Bypassing errors

Science Coin toss inspires CorMap: a new statistical test that sidesteps need for error estimation.

2015

science

27 January 2015 Building blocks TAF8 (blue), TAF10 (green) and TAF2 (not shown) form a module in the cytoplasm before entering the nucleus to form TFIID. IMAGE: EMBL/I.BERGER

Come together

Science First experimental proof that a key cellular machine forms by uniting pre-assembled modules.

2015

science

26 January 2015

Light years ahead

Science As EMBL Hamburg celebrates 40 years, we explore the past, present and future of crystallography.

2015

science

11 December 2014

Lighting the way

Events EMBL Hamburg celebrates four decades of vision, pioneering research and beamline services.

2014

events

5 December 2014

Four decades at EMBL

Alumni Employee number 47 retires, leaving behind a legacy that intricately linked her life with EMBL.

2014

alumni

28 November 2014

MASSIF step forward

Science In two months, 2.3 million diffraction images collected on new, fully automated ESRF/EMBL beamline.

2014

science

19 November 2014

20 years in the making

Science First complete picture of flu virus polymerase. A story of two decades of blood, sweat and sneezes.

2014

science

18 November 2014 Kyung-Min Noh. PHOTO: EMBL/M.SCHUPP

Welcome: Kyung-Min Noh

Science The important thing is forming good biological questions, says new group leader in Genome Biology.

2014

science

18 November 2014

On a SAXS quest

Events Course attendees go hunting (protein) aliens in a quest for optimal SAXS data.

2014

events

20 October 2014

Breaking boundaries

Science How Nobel-winning work by alumnus Stefan Hell shapes and inspires current EMBL scientists' research.

2014

science

20 August 2014

Binding bracelet

Science Vasa protein preserves pieces of 'enemy' DNA to help protect the genes of future generations.

2014

science

1 July 2014 Illustration: Aad Goudappel, Rotterdam

Five for the future

Lab Matters Scientists from EMBL's five sites reflect on the opportunities and challenges that might lie ahead

2014

lab-matters

25 June 2014

Chain reactions

Science Scientists determine the structure of auxin response factors: daisy-chains that regulate gene expression

2014

science

13 October 2013

Choreographed origami

Science An important step in building ribosomes – the cell’s protein factories – is like a strictly choreographed dance, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany, have discovered. To build these factories, other ‘machines’ inside the cell have to…

2013

science

6 January 2013

Protein production: going viral

Science A research team of scientists from EMBL Grenoble and the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France, have, for the first time, described in molecular detail the architecture of the central scaffold of TFIID: the human protein complex essential for transcription from DNA to mRNA. The study, published today…

2013

science

2 August 2012 Different inhibitors (yellow, grey) fill the cave-like active site of the cap-snatching protein (the endonuclease, in green) differently, even though they all bind to the active site’s two metal ions (magenta).

Catching the cap-snatcher

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

2012

science

23 February 2012

New distributed research infrastructure for structural biology

Science 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…

2012

science

21 July 2011 Model of the inner ring (green) of the nuclear pore, showing its components.

A hot species for cool structures

Science A fungus that lives at extremely high temperatures could help understand structures within our own cells. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Heidelberg University, both in Heidelberg, Germany, were the first to sequence and analyse the genome of a heat-loving fungus,…

2011

science

12 December 2010 This cryo-electron microscopy image shows the 3D structure of the ribosome (yellow/blue) bound to the signal recognition particle (SRP) and the SRP receptor (both in red). Below it is an atomic model of SRP (green-yellow/orange) and its receptor (pink). Image credits: EMBL/Schaffitzel.

How cells export and embed proteins in the membrane

Science Like an overprotective parent on the first day of school, a targeting factor sometimes needs a little push to let go of its cargo. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Grenoble, France, have visualised one such hand-over. They were the first to determine the structure…

2010

science

26 January 2010 This image shows the three-dimensional structure of Death-Associated Protein Kinase (green and yellow) when bound to calmodulin (violet and blue). It was obtained by X-ray crystallography. Image credit: Mathias Wilmanns / EMBL

How to shoot the messenger

Science Cells rely on a range of signalling systems to communicate with each other and to control their own internal workings. Scientists from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Hamburg, Germany, have now found a way to hack into a vital communications system, raising the possibility of…

2010

science

30 September 2009 In the centre, a structural model determined by X-ray crystallography shows how the two tags (attached to a short section of the histone protein – all in cyan) fit neatly into the Brdt pocket (purple). In the background image, hypercompaction by Brdt causes relatively diffuse chromatin (stained blue inside the nuclei of two cells on the top left) to compact and clump together (two on the bottom right).

Putting the squeeze on sperm DNA

Science In the quest for speed, olympic swimmers shave themselves or squeeze into high-tech super-suits. In the body, sperm are the only cells that swim and, as speed is crucial to fertility, have developed their own ways to become exceptionally streamlined. Scientists at the European Molecular Biology…

2009

science

11 July 2006

Mapping the protein world

Lab Matters In the early days of X-ray crystallography obtaining a three-dimensional model of a protein required wire models, screws, bolts and years of tedious calculations by hand. Today macromolecular models are built by computers – thanks to sophisticated software and in particular a package called…

2006

lab-matters

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…

2006

science

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