Category Archives: Insight on Research

How the brain orchestrates head movement

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,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on How the brain orchestrates head movement

New cell death pathway in tuberculosis indicates potential use of commonly used drugs

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,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on New cell death pathway in tuberculosis indicates potential use of commonly used drugs

Characterisation of recombinant human proteasome complexes

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.

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Characterisation of recombinant human proteasome complexes

Germ cells need DNA crosslink repair to develop normally

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,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Germ cells need DNA crosslink repair to develop normally

Activation of lysosomes allows worms to live longer and may protect against neurodegenerative diseases

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.

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Activation of lysosomes allows worms to live longer and may protect against neurodegenerative diseases

Insights into how KAP1 silences viral origin DNA in our genomes

Our genome contains DNA from ancestral retroviral infections. These stretches of DNA are not usually harmful unless the cell’s normal ability to regulate them is lost, then their expression can potentially lead to disease. Yorgo Modis’ group, in the University of Cambridge Molecular Immunity Unit at the LMB,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Insights into how KAP1 silences viral origin DNA in our genomes

Functionalized graphene sheets on gold grids aid structure determination by electron cryo-microscopy

With the ‘resolution revolution’ of recent years, it should in principle be possible to determine atomic resolution structures of any proteins using electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM). However, in practice, preparation of frozen samples that are suitable for high resolution imaging is a barrier to progress.

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Functionalized graphene sheets on gold grids aid structure determination by electron cryo-microscopy

Decoding how detection of odours leads to diverse behaviours in flies

We, and all animals, sense things in our surroundings and react to them, but how a sensory input reaching the brain is transformed into behaviour is still unknown for all but the most simple reflexes. To better understand this, Greg Jefferis’ group in the LMB’s Neurobiology Division in collaboration with researchers at the Janelia Research Campus have performed the first deep and comprehensive functional analysis into the innate odour processing pathway of a behaviourally complex animal,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Decoding how detection of odours leads to diverse behaviours in flies

A novel mode of RNA recognition based on structure not sequence

Our genetic code is translated from DNA into proteins through an intermediate molecule: messenger RNA (mRNA). One major way in which synthesis of proteins can be regulated is through turnover of mRNA; less protein is produced from a short-lived mRNA molecule.

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on A novel mode of RNA recognition based on structure not sequence

Creating an entire bacterial genome with a compressed genetic code

Jason Chin’s group in the LMB’s PNAC Division have, for the first time, synthesised the entire genome of a commonly used model organism, the bacterium E. coli. There has only been one previous example of synthesis of an entire genome: for the Mycoplasma bacterial genome,

Posted in Insight on Research | Comments Off on Creating an entire bacterial genome with a compressed genetic code