Press releases 2014
Bats are a possible source of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa
HEIDELBERG, 30 December 2014 - The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease occurring in West Africa may have originated from contact between humans and virus-infected bats, suggests a study led by researchers from the Robert Koch-Institute in Berlin, Germany. The report, published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, identifies insectivorous free-tailed bats as plausible reservoirs and expands the range of possible Ebola virus sources to this type of bats. The results also reveal that larger wildlife are not the source of infection.
Molecular network identified underlying autism spectrum disorders
HEIDELBERG, 30 December 2014 - Researchers in the United States have identified a molecular network that comprises many of the genes previously shown to contribute to autism spectrum disorders. The findings provide a map of some of the crucial protein interactions that contribute to autism and will help uncover novel candidate genes for the disease. The results are published in Molecular Systems Biology.
Protection of the mouse gut by mucus depends on microbes
HEIDELBERG, 18 December 2014 – The quality of the colon mucus in mice depends on the composition of gut microbiota, reports a Swedish-Norwegian team of researchers from the University of Gothenburg and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences in Oslo. The work, published in EMBO reports, suggests that bacteria in the gut affect mucus barrier properties in ways that can have implications for health and disease.
Eight scientists awarded EMBO Installation Grants
HEIDELBERG, 10 December 2014 – EMBO announces the selection of eight scientists as recipients of the 2014 Installation Grants. The grants will help the scientists to relocate and set up laboratories in the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal and Turkey.
Twenty-seven researchers named as EMBO Young Investigators
HEIDELBERG, 12 November 2014 – EMBO announced today the selection of 27 young researchers as EMBO Young Investigators. The scientists join a network of 342 current and past Young Investigators who represent some of the best young group leaders contributing to research in Europe and beyond.
Autophagy helps fast track stem cell activation
HEIDELBERG, 14 October 2014 – Researchers from Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered a link between a protective mechanism used by cells and the activation of muscle stem cells. Cells use autophagy to recycle cellular "building blocks" and generate energy during times of nutrient deprivation. The scientists report in The EMBO Journal that when this protective mechanism is operational it also seems to assist in the activation of stem cells.
2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
Professor John O’Keefe, Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London, Edvard Moser, Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and May-Britt Moser, Director of the Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have been awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
John O’Keefe became an EMBO Member this year. Edvard and Britt Moser joined the EMBO membership in 2011 and 2012, respectively. The award was made in recognition of their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.
From their work, John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have elucidated how the brain of larger organisms creates a map of the space surrounding themselves and how these organisms can navigate their way through a complex environment. This problem has vexed philosophers and scientists for centuries.
Researchers reveal transcription factor’s likely role in human intestinal cancer
HEIDELBERG, 8 October 2014 – Researchers in Spain have determined how a transcription factor known as Mirror regulates tumour-like growth in the intestines of fruit flies. The scientists believe a related system may be at work in humans during the progression of colorectal cancer due to the observation of similar genes and genetic interactions in cultured colorectal cancer cells. The results are reported in the journal EMBO reports.
Dendritic cells affect onset and progress of psoriasis
HEIDELBERG, 12 September 2014 – Different types of dendritic cells in human skin have assorted functions in the early and more advanced stages of psoriasis report researchers in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine. The scientists suggest that new strategies to regulate the composition of dendritic cells in psoriatic skin lesions might represent an approach for the future treatment of the disease.
Counting down to FEBS-EMBO 2014 in Paris, France
PARIS, 29 JULY 2014 – With thirty days to go and almost 2500 registered participants, the final preparations for the FEBS-EMBO 2014 Conference are well underway. Theevent, a joint venture between the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS), EMBO, and the French Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (SFBBM),will take place from Saturday, 30 August to Thursday, 4 September at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France.
EMBO and EMBL to host anniversary science and policy meeting
HEIDELBERG, 01 July 2014 – Scientists, politicians and policy makers met at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany, on Wednesday 2 July and Thursday 3 July for the EMBO-EMBL Anniversary Science and Policy Meeting. The event featured scientific talks from researchers, the participation of European science ministers and secretaries of state, and sessions on policy issues such as excellence and inclusion.
Hearing protein required to convert sound into brain signals
HEIDELBERG, 17 June 2014 – A specific protein found in the bridge-like structures that make up part of the auditory machinery of the inner ear is essential for hearing. The absence of this protein or impairment of the gene that codes for this protein leads to profound deafness in mice and humans, respectively, reports a team of researchers in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.
Researchers identify link between colon cancer and metabolism
HEIDELBERG, 13 May 2014 – More than 60 years ago Otto Warburg recognized that cancer cells differ from normal cells in the metabolic pathway they use for the oxidation of sugar. Rather than the typical series of oxidative steps that take place in the citric acid cycle, cancer cells metabolize sugar via the glycolytic pathway irrespective of whether oxygen is present or not. In The EMBO Journal, researchers in the United States report that the reason for this difference in colon cancer is changes in the Wnt signaling pathway, an essential communication pathway operating in these tumours.
Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function
HEIDELBERG, 12 May 2014 – A plethora of endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with human sperm function in a way that may have a negative impact on fertilization. These are the findings of a German - Danish team of researchers from the Center of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, and the University Department of Growth and Reproduction, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark. The work, which is published in EMBO reports, suggests that endocrine disruptors may contribute to widespread fertility problems in the Western world in a way that hitherto has not been recognized.
EMBO enlarges its membership for 50th anniversary
Heidelberg, 07 May 2014 – EMBO announced today that 106 outstanding researchers in the life sciences were newly elected to its membership. One hundred of the scientists reside in Europe and neighbouring countries; six Associate Members were elected from China, Japan and the United States. The EMBO Membership currently comprises more than 1600 life scientists.
Reconstructed ancient ocean reveals secrets about the origin of life
HEIDELBERG, 25 April 2014 – Researchers from the University of Cambridge have published details about how the first organisms on Earth could have become metabolically active. The results, which are reported in the journal Molecular Systems Biology, permit scientists to speculate how primitive cells learned to synthesize their organic components – the molecules that form RNA, lipids and amino acids. The findings also suggest an order for the sequence of events that led to the origin of life.
EMBO Gold Medal 2014 awarded to Sophie Martin
In recognition of her research to understand the organization and development of the cell
Heidelberg, 23 April 2013 – EMBO today announced Sophie Martin of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, as the winner of the 2014 EMBO Gold Medal. The award acknowledges her work to understand the molecular events that define the organization and development of the cell.
Some long non-coding RNAs are conventional after all
HEIDELBERG, 4 April 2014 – Not so long ago researchers thought that RNAs came in two types: coding RNAs that make proteins and non-coding RNAs that have structural roles. Then came the discovery of small RNAs that opened up whole new areas of research. Now researchers have come full circle and predicted that some long non-coding RNAs can give rise to small proteins that have biological functions. A recent study in The EMBO Journal describes how researchers have used ribosome profiling to identify several hundred long non-coding RNAs that may give rise to small peptides.
2014 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award honours Pascale Cossart
Heidelberg, 18 February 2014 – EMBO and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies (FEBS) announce Pascale Cossart, a world renowned bacteriologist and Professor at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, France, as the winner of the 2014 FEBS | EMBO Women in Science Award.
Small non-coding RNAs could be warning signs of cancer
HEIDELBERG, 17 February 2014 – Small non-coding RNAs can be used to predict if individuals have breast cancer conclude researchers who contribute to The Cancer Genome Atlas project. The results, which are published in EMBO reports, indicate that differences in the levels of specific types of non-coding RNAs can be used to distinguish between cancerous and non-cancerous tissues. These RNAs can also be used to classify cancer patients into subgroups of individuals that have different survival outcomes.
Quality control of mitochondria as a defense against disease
HEIDELBERG, 20 January 2014 – Scientists from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in Canada have discovered that two genes linked to hereditary Parkinson’s disease are involved in the early-stage quality control of mitochondria. The protective mechanism, which is reported in The EMBO Journal, removes damaged proteins that arise from oxidative stress from mitochondria.
Stem cells overcome damage in other cells by exporting mitochondria
HEIDELBERG, 16 January 2014 – A research team has identified a protein that increases the transfer of mitochondria from mesenchymal stem cells to lung cells. In work published in The EMBO Journal, the researchers reveal that the delivery of mitochondria to human lung cells can rejuvenate damaged cells. The migration of mitochondria from stem cells to epithelial cells also helps to repair tissue damage and inflammation linked to asthma-like symptoms in mice.
Researchers propose alternative way to allocate science funding
HEIDELBERG, 8 January 2014 – Researchers in the United States have suggested an alternative way to allocate science funding. The method, which is described in EMBO reports, depends on a collective distribution of funding by the scientific community, requires only a fraction of the costs associated with the traditional peer review of grant proposals and, according to the authors, may yield comparable or even better results.
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