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Piddini lab uncover new way to fight tumours by preventing host cell death

A new paper from the Gurdon Institute's Piddini lab suggests that tumours can be prevented from growing if surrounding cells are protected from dying. This offers a potential new focus for fighting cancer by keeping host cells healthy as opposed to targeting the cancer cells to die.

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Epigenetic switch for obesity

A new study by a worldwide consortium of scientists, led by Andrew Pospisilik at the Max Planck Institute in Freiburg and including the Gurdon Institute's Azim Surani, has found that an epigenetic switch can cause genetically identical individuals to be either lean or obese - the first example of polyphenism in mammals. The researchers found that specific imprinted genes implicated in 'switching on' obesity in mice were similarly altered in lean and obese human 'identical' twins.

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Surani group's discovery of germ cell role for NANOG

The transcription factor NANOG is found in pluripotent cells in the embryo but also in germ cells, where its role was unknown. Researchers in Azim Surani's lab made an unexpected finding that expression of NANOG alone can induce germ cells to differentiate from epiblast-like cells. This finding of context-dependent activity of a transcription factor may be more widely applicable.

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Gurdon Institute Seminar Series: next date 1st March 2016

Our next speaker will be Giacomo Cavalli from the Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS, Montpellier, France. His talk is titled 'Genome regulation by Polycomb proteins, between epigenetic inheritance and dynamic gene regulation'.

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Gurdon Institute launches YouTube channel for 25th anniversary

Our first film is live on YouTube, featuring our Distinguished Group Leader, John Gurdon. Hear from John how and why he created the first animal clones, and where his research is heading now. More films are on their way very soon. It's all part of celebrating our 25th anniversary in 2016!

Watch and subscribe here

How close are we to successfully editing genes in human embryos?

The Gurdon Institute's Director of Germline and Epigenomics Research, Azim Surani, writes for The Conversation on whether germline research is sufficiently advanced to be combined with new gene editing technology.

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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.