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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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CRISPR screen used to study germ line development

Surani lab current and former members analysed an in vitro model of mouse germ cell development using a combination of reporters and a CRISPR screen. By deleting one gene at a time in stem cells and tracking the effect on development into primordial germ cells, the researchers identified the network of genes involved in this cell transition, and went on to explore the roles of two in particular.

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'Window into brain' tracks developing human neurons

The Livesey lab worked with the De Paola lab at Imperial College London to combine their in vitro engineered neural stem cells with in vivo 2-photon microscopy in live mice, to image human neural cell transplants developing over long time-scales in the mouse brain. The scientists discovered differences in the maturation of cells from Down syndrome patients and normal controls, showing the potential of this technique to explore neural function in other neurological conditions.

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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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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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'Experiments in Art & Science' comes to life in video

Our new short video documents the final event for our collaboration, 'Experiments in Art & Science'. Get a glimpse of the outputs, interviews with the three artists, and the public's reactions. A fascinating afternoon for all ages, whether artists, scientists or just plain curious!

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Meri Huch is Highly Commended!

At the Cambridge Independent's Science & Technology Awards on 1st November, Meri Huch scooped the Highly Commended award in the Researcher of the Year category, for her world-leading research on liver and pancreas organoids. Newspaper editor Paul Brackley told the crowd there had been a “phenomenal” standard and range of entries to the awards. He said: “Congratulations to all our winners. It was an extremely high quality field - a real showcase of the tremendous talent in this region.”

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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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