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Neural stem cell fate transitions regulated by dynamic Notch signalling

The Brand lab report that dynamic regulation of Notch signalling promotes the transition of symmetrically dividing neuroepithelial cells to asymmetrically dividing neural stem cells in the Drosophila optic lobe. The optic lobe shares many parallels with the developing mammalian cortex and so provides a good system for studying stem cell division patterns and regulation by Notch signalling.

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Histone regulation of DNA damage checkpoint recovery

The Kouzarides and Jackson labs pooled expertise to identify a DNA-damage-regulated histone modification in yeast. In response to DNA damage, cells activate a signal transduction cascade, the DNA damage checkpoint, which results in a temporary cell-cycle arrest. The teams show that phosphorylation of histone H4T80 regulates recovery from the arrested state.

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Mapping accessible regulatory elements across the C. elegans lifespan

The Ahringer lab and colleagues present the first map of regulatory elements across the development and ageing of an animal, identifying > 40,000 elements each accessible in at least one C. elegans developmental / adult stage. This provides a platform for understanding how transcription controls development and ageing.

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Gut cells polarise by a different mechanism from other epithelia

Recommended by F1000! The St Johnston lab have discovered that the cells of the midgut epithelium polarise by a fundamentally different mechanism from other epithelia in Drosophila, disproving the idea that the same conserved system establishes apical-basal polarity in all epithelia. Their results show that the midgut is more similar to mammalian epithelia, suggesting that it will be a good model for studying how polarity arises and how it is perturbed in cancer.

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Long RNA molecules in sperm mediate epigenetic effects

Early life trauma is a risk for development of neuropsychiatric disorders, and can even affect susceptibility in the following generations. The Miska lab have been probing the mechanisms for this epigenetic inheritance of trauma effects in mice, and find that changes in sperm long RNA contribute in addition to previously identified short RNA species, adding another piece to the puzzle of potential intervention targets.

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Next Gurdon Institute Seminar: 27th November

'Towards in vivo structural biology: solving protein structures using deep mutagenesis' is the topic of our next seminar, to be given by Ben Lehner from the Centre for Genomic Regulation, Barcelona, Spain. Back to the usual day and time, 11.30am on Tuesday 27th November. All welcome.

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EMBO welcomes Meri Huch as a Young Investigator

Meri Huch is one of 26 new EMBO Young Investigators announced on 20th November. These competitive four-year awards are for recent group leaders, and provide various types of funding and other support to help them establish their research groups. Past recipients include Eric Miska and Philip Zegerman; also in the list for this year are Institute alumni Ross Chapman (ex Jackson group) and Peter Sarkies (ex Miska group).

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Apply now for PhD studentships to begin October 2019

There are several routes to securing a funded PhD studentship with one of our group leaders, whether in Developmental Mechanisms, Cancer Biology or Biochemistry. Check out our page on Studentships and note that the deadlines on all these programmes are coming up fast.

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What is genomic imprinting? Azim Surani explains

Azim Surani discovered and named the phenomenon of genomic imprinting in the 1980s. In our video he describes what led to this research, and his subsequent findings, which kick-started the field of epigenetics.

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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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