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New 'tumouroids' model patient-specific liver cancers

Meri Huch's lab and colleagues have pioneered the creation of primary liver cancer organoids, termed tumouroids, from patient biopsies. The tumouroids faithfully model the specific characteristics of the original tumour and provide a platform for screening potential drugs. This breakthrough will offer a route to creating personalised treatments, and can contribute to reducing the number of animals used in drug testing.

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New type of highly potent embryonic stem cell created

The Surani lab have derived a novel cell type, the advanced stem cell (ASC), which is more stable than the naive embryonic stem cell and has the characteristics of the early postimplantation epiblast, expressing both pluripotent and somatic genes.

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Cyclin B1 is essential for mitosis

Many components of the cell cycle machinery exist in multiple forms, including different types of cyclins. Strauss et al. use a mouse knockout model to show in this paper that Cyclin B1 is essential for cell division to occur, and that intracellular spatial regulation of Cyclin B1 is essential for correct timing of mitosis.

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Reactivation of X-chromosome genes by different mechanisms

The Surani lab, Institut Curie and colleagues examine how different genes on the paternal X chromosome are reactivated in the inner cell mass of the developing blastocyst. They show that erasure of epigenetic memory or stimulation by transcription factors can play a role in different genes.

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Dynactin’s role in setting up oocyte polarisation

The St Johnston lab are teasing out details of the establishment of the body axis in Drosophila and find that dynactin’s role is to protect growing microtubules at the oocyte posterior, so that oskar mRNA can travel along these to localise at the cortex, and define the abdominal pole.

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Applications open NOW for PhD studentships

We have a number of opportunities for graduates to join us on PhD programmes, in both developmental biology and cancer biology. See our Studentships page for more information and make sure to send your application in good time.

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Seeking new Group Leaders

At the Gurdon Institute we wish to recruit new Group Leaders in developmental biology and cancer biology. This is a fabulous opportunity to join our world-leading, collaborative and friendly research institute in the heart of the historic city of Cambridge, in modern laboratories near to other biological sciences departments of the University.

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Gurdon Institute Seminars 27th & 28th November

There are two upcoming Gurdon Institute Seminars very close together: on Monday 27th November at 11.30am we host Ron Vale (UCSF) to talk on 'RNA aggregation in neurodegenerative disease' and then on Tuesday 28th November, also at 11.30am, we will hear from Sophie Jarriault (IGBMC) on 'Robustness and dynamics of natural direct reprogramming'.

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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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