LMB In The News


Brain cartography: the fly mating dance neurons mapped

“How the bundles of neurons in the brain controls behaviour remains an ongoing mystery. Researchers from the Institute of Molecular Pathology (IMP), in Vienna, Austria, and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB/MRC), Cambridge, United Kingdom, have mapped neurons of the fruit fly, Drosophila, that controls sexual behavior. “We literally untangled the mess of wires in the fly brain and laid the ground plans for investigating a complex behavior in a simple organism,” says Jai Yu, whose doctoral work is published in Current Biology.&rdquo More…

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Biography captures Sydney Brenner’s unflagging scientific curiosity and lively personality

“From helping to decipher the genetic code to establishing the worm C. elegans as a model organism, and from directing the Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge to advising research institutes around the world, Nobel Prize winner Sydney Brenner has had a long and impressive career. Few scientists have achieved as much as Brenner in both research and administration of science, and he has done so while enjoying a well-deserved reputation for iconoclasm and irreverent wit. The new book Sydney Brenner: A Biography, written by Errol C. Friedberg and published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press, documents Brenner’s game-changing discoveries in the field of molecular biology, all brightened by his entertaining personality.” More…

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Life’s cold start

“The hot spot for life on early Earth may have been a very cold place. Tiny pockets and channels that form inside ice can contain and protect replicating molecules, researchers report September 21 in Nature Communications. The paper suggests that life could have sprung from icy slush covering a freshwater lake, rather than a broiling deep-sea hydrothermal vent or the “warm little pond” proposed by Charles Darwin. And perhaps the frigid, icy surfaces of other planets are not as barren as they appear, proposes the research team from the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, England.” More…

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Life on earth may have had an icy start

“Cracks in ice could have served as a safe environment — much like a cell — for the first life on Earth to replicate and evolve. A new study adds plausibility to the ‘RNA World’ hypothesis that argues life began with a single stranded molecule capable of self-replication. “I always thought that the idea of an RNA world was exciting, but that RNA was a perverse choice of primordial material because it was hard to imagine chemical conditions under which they could survive on the early earth,” said biologist Philipp Holliger of MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the United Kingdom, who led a study in Nature Communications Sept. 21.” More…

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Expanding the genetic code

“The best career advice Jason Chin ever received came from an organic chemistry professor, biological chemist John Sutherland, who joined Chin recently as a colleague at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge, U.K. Chin, who was studying for a B.A. in chemistry at the University of Oxford, was fascinated with the idea that a set of principles could explain how the world is built up from its constituent elements.” More…

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‘Topping out’ of MRC Laboratory in Cambridge

“Work on the RMJM designed new building for the Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) in Cambridge has reached the first major stage of completion with its topping out on Friday 10 September… The new 30,000 m2 LMB building, being built by BAM Construction Ltd with RMJM working in partnership with BAM design practice, will cost around £200 million and provide space and facilities for more than 400 researchers. The laboratory has approximately twice the size of the current building. The design of the new LMB is reminiscent of paired chromosomes, with two long laboratory wings joined by a spacious atrium, encouraging interaction and easy navigation and containing seminar rooms and a lecture theatre.” More…

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1st patient treated with BAN2401

“First Alzheimer’s patient treated with BAN2401, a novel antibody targeting the neurotoxin believed to cause Alzheimer’s disease… Antibody humanization, also known as CDR-grafting (CDR is a synonym for complementarity determining region) was first invented at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in the UK by Dr. Sir Greg Winter and patented by the MRC in the late 1980’s.” More…

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BBC Look East ‘Topping out’ of MRC Laboratory in Cambridge

“The coverage of the ‘Topping Out’ ceremony shown on BBC Look East can be seen by clicking on the more link.” More …

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Cambridge research key to UK economy, says Minister

“The Minister also attended a topping out ceremony at the new £200m building for the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge. The new building, due to open in 2012, will provide first class facilities to some of the world’s leading scientists and stands as the flagship building for the extension of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. The lab will provide space and facilities for more than 400 researchers. David Willetts said: “This super-lab will be the global site for a new age of research collaborations aiming to alleviate human suffering. The MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology has already made great strides towards this goal, ploughing back more than £300m of commercial income generated by its discoveries into the life-saving science of the future. This new facility will build on that success.”” More…

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Secrets of the shaking palsy

“Parkinson’s disease might have much in common with Alzheimer’s disease, prion diseases and other protein-aggregation disorders… Like many other researchers, Goedert [LMB] now suspects that α-synuclein aggregation is the primary event in Parkinson’s disease — perhaps triggered by toxins or other environmental factors inside the intestines and sinuses. Most of the pathology in the brain appears typically to emanate from the dorsal motor nucleus, which is connected to intestinal neurons via the vagus nerve. In principle, α-synuclein aggregation could spread up this nerve and thereafter into most of the other affected regions.” More…

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