Chronic kidney disease affects more than 500 million patients worldwide, but there are no specific treatments that prevent disease progression. A lack of tissue availability has limited research into human kidney function and animal research hasn’t translated into treatments for human patients.
While reaching for our morning cup of coffee, we experience the movement of our arm as continuous and smooth. It is natural then to think that the representation of these movements in our brain would also be continuous and smooth. Studying how such target-oriented movements are controlled, Marco Tripodi’s group in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division reveal for the first time that the representation of these actions in the brain is instead granular and discontinuous.
Macrophages are a critical part of our immune system. They patrol our tissues, and when they encounter debris or invaders such as bacteria and parasites, they engulf the particles and destroy them. But if, in the course of tuberculosis, these infected macrophages die through a process called necrosis, in which the cells burst open, then the engulfed bacteria are released back into the extracellular environment where they can grow unrestricted.
Proteasomes are the main protein recycling centres in all eukaryotic cells. Apart from their role in maintaining a healthy protein population, these complex molecules are critical as they also control key signals that determine the onset of crucial cellular events, including cell division. However, proteasomes are difficult to study. There are many different proteasome forms in a cell, which are difficult to separate biochemically.
Germ cells face a significant threat to their genetic integrity during embryonic development. Ross Hill and Gerry Crossan, of the Crossan Group in the LMB’s PNAC Division, have recently found that these cells need a specific form of DNA repair, known as crosslink repair, in order to develop normally. The findings have been published online in Nature Genetics on July 31, 2019.
Germ cells (sperm and eggs) constitute the pipeline that passes on the genetic instructions to make a new organism.
Ageing is a growing problem for society, particularly because of the associated increased risk of developing disease. Understanding how we might be able to live healthier for longer is a key goal of medical research. The nematode worm C. elegans is a commonly used model for studying the changes that take place as animals age.