Under a new grant from the EU, Marina Chekuleava of the MDC will lead a multinational consortium to find common mechanisms in diverse motor neuron diseases
The Landthaler lab at the MDC and their collaborators discover that a herpes virus triggers the production of over 1,000 “antisense” transcripts in the genomes of cells it infects – hinting at a new mechanism by which viruses overcome cellular defenses.
Ana Pombo’s lab discovers a mechanism that silences genes but keeps them continually poised for action – even though they may never be used.
Where proteins are localized within a cell is crucial to their proper function, especially in cells like neurons. It affects neuronal development and even learning and memory. A research team led by Marina Chekulaeva has for the first time systematically analyzed how this localization comes about. Their article appeared in Nature Communications.
After the summer break, the MDC welcomes new scientists in leading positions: Darío Lupíañez is a junior group leader at the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology (BIMSB) and Philipp Mertins is the new head of the Proteomics Platform of MDC and BIH.
In a technological tour de force, Berlin scientists have created a virtual model of an early fly embryo. Its interactive interface allows researchers to explore the blueprint that underlies development at unprecedented spatial resolution and predict which cells express which genes.
For some applications – such as in developmental biology – the genome cannot just be chopped up into tiny pieces before decoding. Instead, long read lengths of several thousand bases are needed. A recent paper in Nature shows what the PacBio sequencer at the Scientific Genomics Platform at the MDC can do.
For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.
With April 1st, systems biologist Markus Landthaler of the MDC has been appointed Professor for “RNA Systems Biology” at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
A group of scientists in Israel and Germany, led by Prof. Sebastian Kadener from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have discovered a protein-encoding function for circular RNA. This kind of RNA molecule is highly active in brain cells and could play an important role in neurodegenerative diseases.