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Extrinsic signals control cell fate in the developing lung

The Rawlins lab with colleagues in Edinburgh have identified the signals in the developing lung that create the balance between branching structures (bronchioles) and gaseous exchange surfaces (alveoli), using a novel grafting assay in the mouse. Extrinsic glucocorticoid and STAT3-mediated signals independently control this process.

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Teasing out details of nuclease activity in DNA repair

Continuing their analysis of the intricate sequence of events involved in DNA repair pathways, the Jackson lab with colleagues in France show how mammalian cells counteract the nuclear protein Ku at single-ended DNA double-strand breaks so that homologous recombination can proceed.

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Prestigious Royal Society Professorship for Andrea Brand

The Gurdon Institute's Head of Wellcome Trust Laboratories, Andrea Brand FMedSci FRS, has been awarded the Royal Society Darwin Trust Research Professorship. This prestigious award provides research support for up to 10 years, and will allow Prof. Brand to focus on her work on development of the nervous system and neural stem cell behaviour.

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Imbalance in dividing cell fate drives oesophageal cancer in mice

In collaboration with Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute colleagues, the Simons lab has combined biophysical modelling with genetic lineage tracing to show that a ‘tipping of the balance’ in cell fate behaviour, rather than differences in the rate of cell division, leads to tumour development in the mouse oesophagus.

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Fruit flies land on the Cambridge Science Centre

Stephanie Norwood, PhD student in the Brand lab, has been working on public engagement activities with the Cambridge Science Centre, where special displays and events will be running over half term. On 24th October Stephanie will be giving a talk titled ‘Why the Fly?’, describing the use of fruit flies as a model organism in biomedical research.

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Biggest ever turnout at Big Biology Day

Around 2000 people arrived at Hills Road Sixth Form College on Saturday 15th October for Big Biology Day to visit a whole range of stands such as ours, pictured above. Our scientists were on hand with fun activities and lots of answers to questions about why we use fruit flies in our research. Judging from feedback comments, both the scientists and the visitors had a great time!

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Meet our Group Leaders and hear about their research

You can find out about Gurdon Institute research 'from the horses' mouths' in our Meet the Group Leader videos on the Institute's YouTube channel. Tony, Emma, Eric and Steve describe their work on chromatin, lung development, non-coding RNA and the DNA damage response, respectively, in the most recent additions to our channel.

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Studying development to understand disease

The Gurdon Institute is funded by the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK to study the biology of development, and how normal growth and maintenance go wrong in cancer and other diseases.