Work carried out by Michael Hastings’ group in the LMB Neurobiology’s Division, together with collaborators at Leicester, Bangor and Aberystwyth Universities has combined expertise in molecular genetics and marine biology to address a long-standing question about tidal behaviour in marine organisms. They were interested in whether these animals are driven by a dedicated internal tidal clock or are controlled by a system based on a modified 24-hour circadian clock.
Work carried out by Melina Schuh’s group in the LMB’s Cell Biology Division has provided new insights into how the spindle is asymmetrically positioned in oocytes, which is a vital step in the development of a fertilizable egg in mammals.
The oocyte is stored in the ovary in meiotic arrest until ovulation. At ovulation, the primary oocyte completes meiosis I and discards half of its chromosomes in a small cell termed the polar body.
While fully sequenced genomes are available for many important experimental organisms, a major challenge has been to identify the functions of the genes identified. A method for phenotyping that is both high-throughput, so all an organism’s genes can be phenotyped, and high-content, so inferences about gene function can be made with precision, has been required.
The nematode worm, C. elegans, is a major experimental model for neuroscience, as well as aging and development.
New research from Leon Lagnado’s group in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division shows how food-related smells ‘re-tune’ zebrafish vision by making the retina more sensitive to moving objects, such as the prey that zebrafish eat.
The way the brain processes information from one sense depends on the activity of other senses. For instance, we all know that to listen closely to some music, it often helps to shut one’s eyes.
Recent work carried out by David Komander’s group in the LMB’s Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry Division, and published in two separate papers, has provided insight into human disease and the role played by ubiquitination, a process that affects many fundamental cellular processes.
Work in David’s group aims to understand the cellular machinery for specific ubiquitin (Ub) assembly, disassembly, and binding on a structural and biochemical level.
Work published in the journal Structure by Kiyoshi Nagai’s group in the LMB’s Structural Studies Division, has provided further detailed information on the structure and role of proteins at the active site of the spliceosome, and may also help to explain the molecular pathology of the eye disease, retinitis pigmentosa type 13 (RP13).