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Nuclear membrane dysfunction underlying dementia

The Livesey and Jackson groups pooled expertise, studying patient-derived neurons in the lab to investigate how mutations in the tau gene cause frontotemporal dementia (FTD). They found that, in FTD neurons, microtubules deform the nuclear membrane and perturb nucleocytoplasmic transport, uncovering new links between different forms of dementia.

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Location, location, location: how IMP controls egg follicle development

Drosophila egg chamber development is finely tuned by the interplay of genes and proteins including the RNA-binding protein IMP. The St Johnston lab show that IMP controls the localisation of a protease in the follicle's apical domain, which cleaves Notch and sets the follicle cells on a path to differentiation.

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Cells lacking ATM gene offer insights into cancer drug resistance

The Jackson lab and collaborators have identified mechanisms by which drug sensitivities characteristic of ATM-deficient cells can be counteracted by changes in other genes. These results are important for both understanding cancer drug resistance in the context of sporadic cancers, as well as highlighting potential therapeutic targets for the genetic disease, ataxia-telangiectasia.

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Causes of neuronal dysfunction in Alzheimer's

Christy Hung and Rick Livesey's latest research using human cortical neurons in vitro shows that gene mutations that are causal for early onset Alzheimer's Disease lead to major defects in lysosome function and autophagy in these neurons. These pathways may represent potential therapeutic targets for ameliorating the disease.

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Rad53 recruited to replication complexes in budding yeast

The Zegerman lab show that the replication initiation and elongation factor Cdc45 targets Rad53 to inhibit origin firing and to stabilise stalled replication forks. This activity may be relevant to disease because a Cdc45 mutation found in patients with a rare genetic disorder also disrupts the functional interaction with Rad53 in yeast.

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Stem cell density regulation in an open niche

By combining functional studies with molecular profiling and biophysical modelling, a collaboration between the Simons lab and colleagues in Japan shows that spermatogenic stem cell density homeostasis is regulated by active competition for growth factors. This model is proposed as a general mechanism to support stem cell homeostasis in open niche environments.

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Gurdon Institute welcomes new Director

Julie Ahringer, a Group Leader at the Gurdon Institute for 20 years, is our new Director starting 1st January 2019. She has appointed Eric Miska as her Deputy Director. Julie takes over the reins from Daniel St Johnston, who served for 10 years and now continues as a Group Leader. Julie is our first female Director, and overall she is the fourth since the Institute was formed in 1991. Julie's research focuses on the regulation of chromatin architecture and function.

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Why do blue-skies research?

Group Leader Steve Jackson's talk provides compelling evidence of the importance of blue-skies research, where researchers pursue the questions that most interest them - and along the way can generate life-transforming discoveries. His own career story exemplifies the importance of researching with an open mind and then focussing resources at the right point, to translate important findings into patient benefits.

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Listen in to stem cell and cell fate discussions

Group leader Meri Huch, and PhD student from the Gurdon lab, Khayam Javed, both appear on the new 'Gurdon Institute special episode' podcast from Bluesci (the Cambridge University Science Magazine). Meri discusses stem cells and what it is like to become a Group Leader, while Khayam describes his work on transcription factors and how he finds working in a Nobel Laureate's lab.

Free iTunes podcast

In-house DNA sequencing and the Christmas Party

In our two most recent videos you can meet Research Assistant Kay Harnish, who runs our core Next Generation Sequencing service, and lap up the fun at the Children's Christmas Party.

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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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