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Chronic irradiation's epigenetic route to cell damage

The Jackson lab, in collaboration with Public Health England, have shown that histones are lost in human cells when DNA damage is continually inflicted by exposure to low levels of chronic radiation. They show that this has effects on chromatin and cellular responses that could lead to age-related diseases.

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PALB2's role in DNA damage response

BRCA1-deficient cells lose one of their DNA repair pathways, rendering them hypersensitive to PARP inhibitors, the drugs used for BRCA1/2-deficient cancers. The Jackson lab are investigating why some cancer cells develop resistance to chronic treatment with PARP inhibitors by piecing together a picture of protein interactions necessary for DNA repair, and have teased out the role of the PALB2 protein.

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How inflammation affects regeneration

The Gurdon lab has revealed why naturally-occurring regeneration-incompetent tadpoles cannot regenerate their tails. Their investigation shows the immune cells behave differently for regeneration-competent and -incompetent tadpoles. Successful suppression of inflammation is required for the multiple cellular mechanisms necessary for new tail growth.

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Integrin's role in shaping the fruit fly egg chamber

The St Johnston lab have used fruit flies (Drosophila) to examine the role of integrins, proteins that link cells and tissues to their underlying substrate. Their paper shows how the integrin Myospheroid helps to the define the architecture of the Drosophila egg chamber, a model for the processes involved in organ development.

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Fly gene provides clue to reversing mitochondrial disease

Hansong Ma's lab have identified a protein in fruit flies (Drosophila) that can be targeted to reverse the effects of disease-causing mutations in mitochondrial genes. The discovery could provide clues about how to counteract human mitochondrial diseases, for which there is currently no cure.

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Alternative DNA repair pathway for MDC1

Salguero and colleagues in the Jackson lab have found an alternative pathway to elicit the DNA-damage response that does not depend on the protein H2AX. They show that MDC1, which was previously believed to work only when interacting with phosphorylated H2AX, in fact retains its capacity to recruit repair factors to the site of DNA damage even when H2AX is absent. This may enable DNA repair in areas of the genome known to be depleted of H2AX.

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Aspiring Scientists Training Programme

Our Aspiring Scientists Training (formerly 'Work Experience') Programme invites applications for July 2020. Our aim is to enable students with an interest in pursuing a career or higher education in science to get first-hand knowledge of an academic research environment. This programme is for students in state (non-fee-paying) schools, ages 16+, who are currently pursuing A-level or IB qualifications in biology.

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Physical Biology centre launched

The newly launched Cambridge Centre for Physical Biology aims to support and facilitate multidisciplinary collaborations across the University of Cambridge. Gurdon Institute Group Leader Ben Simons is one of the main leaders of the project. The Centre has just launched an open call for their logo competition.

Logo competition

Ahringer honoured by Genetics Society of America

Prof Julie Ahringer, Director and Senior Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute, has been honoured with the Genetics Society of America's George W. Beadle Award "for outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers... beyond an exemplary research career".

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Spinouts from the Gurdon

Our final video in the series 'A Year in Institute Life' looks at two current examples of the many spinout companies and enterprises to come from the Gurdon Institute. In the clip shown, Prof Steve Jackson describes how fundamental research has led to more than one new concept to spin out from his lab.

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An artist's view of the Rawlins lab

Artist Caroline Walker was commissioned by Cambridge University Library to capture images of women working in the lab at the Gurdon Institute. After shadowing researchers in the Rawlins lab and taking photographs, Caroline created this large oil painting now on view at the UL's exhibition, 'The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge'.

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Studying development to understand disease

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

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Tissue-specific profiling reveals distinctive regulatory architectures for ubiquitous, germline and somatic genes

Tailless/TLX reverts intermediate neural progenitors to stem cells driving tumourigenesis via repression of asense/ASCL1

On growth and force: mechanical forces in development

Chronic irradiation of human cells reduces histone levels and deregulates gene expression

PALB2 chromatin recruitment restores homologous recombination in BRCA1-deficient cells depleted of 53BP1

Activin A and BMP4 Signaling Expands Potency of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells in Serum-Free Media

The myeloid lineage is required for the emergence of a regeneration permissive environment following Xenopus tail amputation

Filopodia and their links with membrane traffic and cell adhesion

Ancestral Hybridisation Facilitated Species Diversification in the Lake Malawi Cichlid Fish Adaptive Radiation

Mapping and editing animal mitochondrial genomes: can we overcome the challenges?

The role of integrins in Drosophila egg chamber morphogenesis

A Genome-wide Screen Reveals that Reducing Mitochondrial DNA Polymerase Can Promote Elimination of Deleterious Mitochondrial Mutations

Genetic predisposition to mosaic Y chromosome loss in blood

MDC1 PST-repeat region promotes histone H2AX-independent chromatin association and DNA damage tolerance

Checkpoint inhibition of origin firing prevents DNA topological stress

Small Molecule Inhibition of UBE2T/FANCL-mediated Ubiquitylation in the Fanconi Anemia Pathway

Link to full list on PubMed