Jason Chin’s group, in our PNAC Division, has created cells with a synthetic genome and instructed them to make novel polymers from artificial building blocks for the first time. These new bacteria have also proved resistant to viral infections.
Insight on Research
AMPA receptors mediate fast excitatory signal transmission and are created from combinations of subunits in a tissue-specific manner. Ingo Greger’s group provides the first visualisations of a hippocampal AMPA receptor involved in memory formation, with two auxiliary subunits.
Ubiquitylation is a process that marks cell-invading pathogens and non-functional organelles for autophagy. Felix Randow’s group has shown that RNF213 catalyses the ubiquitylation of LPS on invading bacteria. This is the first example for ubiquitylation of a non-protein substrate.
Andres Floto’s group has defined the necessary steps for M. abscessus bacteria to evolve into a human pathogen, suggesting the importance of identifying and treating infections quickly, before more virulent strains can arise.
People infected with SARS-CoV-2 experience a large range in severity of infection. Menna Clatworthy’s group has taken part in the largest study of its type to investigate differences in the immune response that could explain this variation.
Telomerase is a vital enzyme which synthesizes telomeric repeats at eukaryotic chromosome ends to compensate for loss generated by incomplete genome replication. Kelly Nguyen’s group has produced the first atomic structure of the complex and revealed histones as novel subunits.