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News from the Gurdon Institute

05.11.20 Revealing the short- and long-range interactions of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome

Omer Ziv, with the Miska lab and collaborators, has used his unique method for revealing the precise base-pairing patterns in the long RNA genome to describe both short- and long-range interactions. These are essential for viral function and provide potential targets for antiviral strategies

05.11.20 Revealing the short- and long-range interactions of the SARS-CoV-2 RNA genome - Read More…

22.10.20  Distinct gene regulatory architectures in germline and somatic tissues in C. elegans

22.10.20 Distinct gene regulatory architectures in germline and somatic tissues in C. elegans

The Ahringer lab profiled and compared transcriptional and regulatory element activities across five tissues of C. elegans, demonstrating fundamental differences in regulatory architectures of germline and somatic tissue-specific genes

22.10.20 Distinct gene regulatory architectures in germline and somatic tissues in C. elegans - Read More…

19.10.20 Congratulations to Hansong Ma who wins a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2020

19.10.20 Congratulations to Hansong Ma who wins a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2020

Gurdon Institute group leader Hansong Ma is one of this year's winners of a Philip Leverhulme Prize, awarded by the Leverhulme Trust

19.10.20 Congratulations to Hansong Ma who wins a Philip Leverhulme Prize 2020 - Read More…

12.10.20 Probing the role of environmental double-stranded RNA uptake

The Miska lab, with colleagues at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science, examine worms deficient in dsRNA uptake. These mutants grow faster and longer, but the effect appears independent of nutrition, and suggests environmental dsRNA uptake has a role in RNA communication

12.10.20 Probing the role of environmental double-stranded RNA uptake - Read More…

09.10.20 Trauma's epigenetic effect on progeny involves factors circulating in blood serum

09.10.20 Trauma's epigenetic effect on progeny involves factors circulating in blood serum

Miska lab and colleagues in Zurich show that exposure to postnatal trauma triggers metabolic changes later in life in mice and humans, and these are paternally transmitted via PPAR nuclear receptor signalling activated by serum factors.

09.10.20 Trauma's epigenetic effect on progeny involves factors circulating in blood serum - Read More…

07.10.20 Specification of pancreas islet alpha- and beta-cells in the mouse

07.10.20 Specification of pancreas islet alpha- and beta-cells in the mouse

Using lineage tracing and applying quantitative analyses, Ben Simons and colleagues show how alpha- and beta-cells of the pancreas islet are generated from progenitors during mouse development

07.10.20 Specification of pancreas islet alpha- and beta-cells in the mouse - Read More…

09.09.20 Drug developed for cancer, alpelisib, restores kidney function in Lowe syndrome and Dent disease

09.09.20 Drug developed for cancer, alpelisib, restores kidney function in Lowe syndrome and Dent disease

The Gallop Lab show that alpelisib alleviates actin defects, endocytic blockage and restores kidney function in the mouse model of Lowe syndrome and Dent disease 2, in a collaboration with the Devuyst lab at the University of Zurich

09.09.20 Drug developed for cancer, alpelisib, restores kidney function in Lowe syndrome and Dent disease - Read More…

04.08.20 Steve Jackson wins Royal Society Mullard Award for research contributing to national prosperity

04.08.20 Steve Jackson wins Royal Society Mullard Award for research contributing to national prosperity

The Royal Society Mullard Award 2020 is awarded to Professor Steve Jackson for his research that led to the discovery of olaparib, which has reached blockbuster status for the treatment of ovarian and breast cancers.

04.08.20 Steve Jackson wins Royal Society Mullard Award for research contributing to national prosperity - Read More…

29.07.20 Simons lab map out the mechanisms controlling stretch-mediated expansion of skin

29.07.20 Simons lab map out the mechanisms controlling stretch-mediated expansion of skin

Combining single-cell RNA-seq with clonal analysis in mouse epidermis, Ben Simons and colleagues define the step-by-step mechanisms that control stretch-mediated tissue expansion at single-cell resolution in vivo

29.07.20 Simons lab map out the mechanisms controlling stretch-mediated expansion of skin - Read More…

13.07.20 Sperm carry homogeneous set of methylated histones to programme embryo development

Jerome Jullien and colleagues provide evidence for epigenetic homogeneity in sperm, by analysing methylated histone distribution on the genome, across the sperm population in Xenopus and human

13.07.20 Sperm carry homogeneous set of methylated histones to programme embryo development - Read More…

12.06.20 Transcription factor Ascl1's long residency on chromatin is likely to stabilise cell fate commitment

John Gurdon's group used a binding competition assay to show that the nerve cell determinant Ascl1 has a long-term association with its chromatin binding site, stabilising gene expression and cell fate commitment

12.06.20 Transcription factor Ascl1's long residency on chromatin is likely to stabilise cell fate commitment - Read More…

23.05.20 Assessing the impact of cellular p53 status on CRISPR-Cas9 screen performance

23.05.20 Assessing the impact of cellular p53 status on CRISPR-Cas9 screen performance

In this Elife paper, the Jackson lab show functional p53 status negatively affects identification of significantly depleted genes in a CRISPR-Cas9 screen in human RPE cells, and suggest how to optimise screen design to overcome this

23.05.20 Assessing the impact of cellular p53 status on CRISPR-Cas9 screen performance - Read More…

08.04.20 Miska lab probe mechanism of a heritable adaptation to infection in C. elegans

08.04.20 Miska lab probe mechanism of a heritable adaptation to infection in C. elegans

In this Nat Comms study using nematode worms, the Miska lab and collaborators show that parental exposure to a pathogen can increase the future offspring's resistance to infection, in a process mediated by two cysteine synthase enzymes.

08.04.20 Miska lab probe mechanism of a heritable adaptation to infection in C. elegans - Read More…

25.03.20 Gallop lab use antibody technology to identify role for SNX9 in filopodia

Conducting a phenotypic screen by phage display, Jarsch, Gadsby and colleagues use antibodies to identify the actin regulator SNX9 as an essential component of filopodia-like structures in vitro and its localisation to filopodia in human cells

25.03.20 Gallop lab use antibody technology to identify role for SNX9 in filopodia - Read More…

19.02.20 Brand lab use lineage tracing to identify brain tumour cell of origin

19.02.20 Brand lab use lineage tracing to identify brain tumour cell of origin

In their new study, Hakes and Brand show that high levels of Tailless/TLX drive tumour initiation by reverting intermediate progenitors to neural stem cells. In addition to identifying the cell fate changes that occur upon high expression of Tailless/TLX, they were able to prevent tumour formation and restore neurogenesis by re-expressing the proneural gene asense/ASCL1. Their results potentially implicate intermediate progenitors as one of the cells of origin in TLX-positive glioblastomas, an aggressive and lethal brain tumour.

19.02.20 Brand lab use lineage tracing to identify brain tumour cell of origin - Read More…

03.03.2020 A dot-stripe mechanism proposed for joint patterning provides new unifying theory

03.03.2020 A dot-stripe mechanism proposed for joint patterning provides new unifying theory

Cornwall Scoones and Hiscock propose a dot-stripe Turing mechanism that can account for joint patterns in creatures ranging from extinct reptiles and whale fins to mammalian paws, providing a unifying framework to study joint development

03.03.2020 A dot-stripe mechanism proposed for joint patterning provides new unifying theory - Read More…

09.03.20 PRDM14 activity in human primordial germ cells differs from development in mouse

09.03.20 PRDM14 activity in human primordial germ cells differs from development in mouse

Sybirna et al. in the Surani lab reveal the role of PRDM14 in human germ cell differentiation using special method for specific and rapid depletion of protein as cells develop in vitro

09.03.20 PRDM14 activity in human primordial germ cells differs from development in mouse - Read More…

26.02.20 Pancreas organoids pave the way for researching diabetes, cancer and cystic fibrosis

26.02.20 Pancreas organoids pave the way for researching diabetes, cancer and cystic fibrosis

The Huch lab and collaborators share their system for growing and maintaining pancreas organoids in culture, providing an abundant source of pancreas ductal cells that retain the characteristics of the tissue-of-origin

26.02.20 Pancreas organoids pave the way for researching diabetes, cancer and cystic fibrosis - Read More…

10.02.20 Role of the protein PALB2 in the DNA-damage response

10.02.20 Role of the protein PALB2 in the DNA-damage response

The Jackson lab are piecing together the puzzle of how cancer cells become resistant to the PARP inhibitors designed to target BRCA1/2 deficient cells. They describe the role of PALB2 in protein interactions that form the DNA damage response

10.02.20 Role of the protein PALB2 in the DNA-damage response - Read More…

10.02.20 Jackson lab show that chronic irradiation induces histone loss in human cells

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.

10.02.20 Jackson lab show that chronic irradiation induces histone loss in human cells - Read More…

27.01.20 Gurdon lab reveal the interaction between immune response and regeneration in tadpoles

27.01.20 Gurdon lab reveal the interaction between immune response and regeneration in tadpoles

Can Aztekin of the Gurdon lab and colleagues identify the cells of the immune response that are involved in creating the conditions for regeneration in the tadpole

27.01.20 Gurdon lab reveal the interaction between immune response and regeneration in tadpoles - Read More…

29.01.20 Julie Ahringer honoured with the Beadle Award from the Genetics Society of America

The GSA today announced the 2020 recipients of its annual awards for distinguished service in the field of genetics. Gurdon Institute Director Julie Ahringer receives the George W. Beadle Award for outstanding contributions to the community of genetics researchers.

29.01.20 Julie Ahringer honoured with the Beadle Award from the Genetics Society of America - Read More…

29.11.19 Role for the integrin Myospheroid in defining egg chamber architecture in Drosophila

29.11.19 Role for the integrin Myospheroid in defining egg chamber architecture in Drosophila

Integrins are proteins that link cells and tissues to their underlying substrate. New research from the St Johnston lab shows how these proteins help to define the architecture of the Drosophila egg chamber, a model for organ development.

29.11.19 Role for the integrin Myospheroid in defining egg chamber architecture in Drosophila - Read More…

27.11.19 Gene discovery in fruit flies could help guide new treatments for mitochondrial disease

27.11.19 Gene discovery in fruit flies could help guide new treatments for mitochondrial disease

The Ma lab have identified several nuclear genes in fruit flies that influence mitochondrial DNA transmission, providing potential leads for drug discovery to treat human mitochondrial diseases

27.11.19 Gene discovery in fruit flies could help guide new treatments for mitochondrial disease - Read More…

15.11.19 MDC1 retains capacity to recruit repair factors to sites of DNA damage in absence of H2AX

15.11.19 MDC1 retains capacity to recruit repair factors to sites of DNA damage in absence of H2AX

Salguero et al. from Steve Jackson's lab show that DNA-damage response protein MDC1 unexpectedly retains its capacity to recruit repair factors to sites of damage in the absence of H2AX. This represents an alternative pathway to promote DNA repair.

15.11.19 MDC1 retains capacity to recruit repair factors to sites of DNA damage in absence of H2AX - Read More…

16.09.19 Discovery of first selective inhibitors of the Fanconi anaemia pathway that mediates chemotherapy resistance

Galanty and colleagues in the Jackson lab identify two small-molecule inhibitors of the Fanconi anemia pathway, necessary for cancer cells that are - or become - resistant to DNA cross-linking therapeutics. These provide leads for development of drugs to re-sensitise tumours to cross-linking agents such as cisplatin.

16.09.19 Discovery of first selective inhibitors of the Fanconi anaemia pathway that mediates chemotherapy resistance - Read More…

01.11.19 Checkpoint inhibition of origin firing prevents DNA topological stress

01.11.19 Checkpoint inhibition of origin firing prevents DNA topological stress

Morafraile et al. from the Zegerman lab with UK colleagues reveal that the role of limiting the number of DNA replication initiation events is to prevent DNA topological stress, which may be relevant for cancer treatment with both topoisomerase and checkpoint inhibitors.

01.11.19 Checkpoint inhibition of origin firing prevents DNA topological stress - Read More…

04.11.19 Regeneration mechanism uncovered in adult mouse liver tissue provides target for drug design

The Huch lab and collaborators have uncovered a novel molecular mechanism in mice that allows damaged adult liver cells to regenerate, paving the way for design of drugs to boost regeneration in conditions such as cirrhosis or other chronic liver diseases where regeneration is impaired.

04.11.19 Regeneration mechanism uncovered in adult mouse liver tissue provides target for drug design - Read More…

11.10.19 ERC Synergy Grant for Jackson lab in European collaborative project on DNA damage response

Steve Jackson's lab is the first in Cambridge to be awarded a new European Research Council Synergy Grant under the Horizon 2020 funding programme from the European Union. Steve's research collaborators are in Switzerland and Austria.

11.10.19 ERC Synergy Grant for Jackson lab in European collaborative project on DNA damage response - Read More…

09.10.19 Rawlins lab researchers are captured in oils for The Rising Tide exhibition at UL

Artist Caroline Walker watched and photographed researchers at the bench in the Rawlins lab at the Gurdon Institute and created a stunning, large-format oil painting for the University Library's upcoming exhibition, 'The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge'.

09.10.19 Rawlins lab researchers are captured in oils for The Rising Tide exhibition at UL - Read More…