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Assembling the microtubule array that specifies A-P axis in the fly

The St Johnston lab has found that a complex of two proteins, Patronin and Shot, is crucial for organising polarised microtubules. These provide the framework for setting up asymmetry in polarised Drosophila oocytes, leading to body axis formation of the developing larva. The same microtubule system underpins polarisation in other cell types.

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Super-high resolution 3D imaging opens the door to address previously unanswerable questions

Two Gurdon Institute imaging experts working with colleagues at Yale University School of Medicine reveal a new technique allowing high-resolution fluorescence microscopy in samples the thickness of mammalian cells. The researchers demonstrate how this powerful technique can image entire subcellular organelles and the distribution of proteins across them.

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Identification of the 'cell of origin' in skin cancer

Ben Simons' group, in collaboration with Cédric Blanpain at the Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium, have used a transgenic mouse model combined with mathematical modelling to prove that stem cells - rather than progenitor cells - are the specific cell-type of origin in the most common form of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma.

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An inside view on cancer cells squeezing through tiny vessels

Postdoc Christine Schmidt from Steve Jackson's group, working with colleagues in the US and at the Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, have studied how cancer cells divide and move through rolled-up transparent nanotubes. The structures are designed to mimic blood capillaries, making this a useful tool for studying metastatic cancer.

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Gurdon Institute fruit flies draw the crowds

Our stand in the Fun Lab tent on Parker's Piece was a popular destination for members of the public attending the BIG weekend on 9th July. With over 2000 people in total visiting the tent, we had several hundred stopping to look through our microscopes at fruit flies and engage in conversations about how this model organism supports our research.

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Kicking up a Storm with RNA epigenetics

Tony Kouzarides and Eric Miska at the Gurdon Institute have just sealed the deal on £12 M of venture capital investment for their new spinout company, Storm Therapeutics. The company was created to commercialise their findings on the role of RNA modifications in cancer, which present potential new therapeutic targets.

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VC’s Impact Award 2016 for Steve Jackson

The Gurdon Institute’s Steve Jackson has won the University of Cambridge Vice Chancellor’s inaugural Impact Award for the School of Biological Sciences. The award recognises the impact of his research on DNA damage repair pathways, leading to the identification of PARP inhibitors, a new class of anti-cancer drug.

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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.