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A key protein in cellular transport is sequenced

Researchers at Barcelona’s Institute for Biomedical Research have, for the first time, sequenced the three-dimensional structure of a carrier protein, a variant of Adic ( N101A), which plays a key role in cellular transport. This knowledge promises to help advance the treatment of various diseases

STAFF | February 24th, 2011

New information on Alzheimer's

Scientists at Barcelona’s Institute for Biomedical Research and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center have identified 200 new interactions between proteins that could be linked to Alzheimer's. The new found molecular and functional data could help improve future treatments

STAFF | DECEMBER 17th, 2010

A study identifies functional repetitive motifs in human proteins

A new study comparing the human genome with the genomes of other vertebrate species to determine which of the repetitive motifs found in human proteins are important for the proper functioning of the body and which could correspond to the so-called “junk” fraction of the genome has just been published in the online journal Genome Research. The study was carried out entirely by the research group in Evolutionary Genomics, within the Computational Genomics group of GRIB at the University of Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona and was led by Mar Albà, ICREA researcher.

4 june 2010

Big Bang in the protein universe

Almost 100 years ago Edwin Hubble observed that distant galaxies are moving away from Earth faster than those that are closer. This relationship between distance and velocity is widely cited as evidence of the origin of the Universe from a Big Bang. Researchers at the Centre for Genomic Regulation copied his approach to investigate the divergence between protein sequences.

20 may 2010

New data on the regulation of a protein that is altered in all cancers

In all cancers, whether in kidney, breast, lung, colon, skin or any other tissue, cells show high Myc protein levels. Excess Myc causes cells to multiply in an exaggerated manner, giving rise to the development of tumours. One of the most pressing questions about Myc is how healthy cells keep the expression of this protein in check. In a study using the ‘Drosophila’, researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) headed by ICREA scientist Marco Milán have discovered that the microRNA machinery controls the levels of Myc through the molecule Mei-P26, thereby conferring microRNAs unexpected importance. The study is published this week in ‘EMBO Journal’, a scientific journal of high impact in basic biomedical research that belongs to the Nature group.

The protein Scarface establishes order in the 'Drosophila' epithelium

Epithelia are tissues formed by one or several layers of cells that cover the surface and internal cavities of organisms, such as the digestive tract. One of their differential features is that the cells from which they are formed are packed tightly together and are anchored at their basal part to the basement membrane, a specialised extracellular matrix. Although this anchoring is determinant for the maintenance of epithelial organisation and structure, little is know about the mechanism responsible for the development of the basement membrane. The group led by Marco Milán, ICREA researcher at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), provides new data about the elements that organise epithelial cells in tissue. The study is published this week in the journal 'EMBO Reports', part of the 'Nature' group. The journal also devotes a 'highlight' section in the same issue to this study, thereby reflecting the novelty of its findings and their potential applications in biology and biomedicine.

15 APRIL 2010

Minnesota researchers discover how electricity moves through cells

Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a molecular image of a system that moves electrons between proteins in cells. The achievement is a breakthrough for biology and could provide insights to minimize energy loss in other systems, from nanoscale devices to moving electricity around the country. The research has been published in 'Science'.

Staff | 12 March 2010

How the wild chicken became the modern broiler

An international team of researchers led by scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden have achieved a breakthrough in genetic studies of domestic animals by demonstrating the genomic evolution of the modern chicken. The results are published in the journal 'Nature'.

A.R. | 12 march 2010

Opposing functions of a molecule found in the development of living beings

Scientists from the Institute of Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have identified a new function of the Notch protein, opposite to the one already known. Such protein is located in the membranes of cells and triggers a cascade of signals that regulate the expression of genes that makes the cell divide, grow, migrate, specialize, or die. Now, researchers have discovered that the protein is also required to inactivate the signalling pathway. The work was published in the journal 'Current Biology'.

Staff |12 March 2010

A single gene may be sufficient to induce asexual reproduction of plants

Researchers at Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) have reported in the journal 'Nature' of the progress to make sexually reproducing plants to reproduce asexually. This would mean, reducing the need to conduct cross mating to get, generation after generation, seeds that are robust and resilient. The discovery could have important implications for farming, especially in economic terms.

A.R. | 9 March 2010

Establishing the relationship between oxidative stress and loss of muscle mass

Researchers from the Institut Municipal d’Investigació Mèdica (IMIM-Hospital del Mar) have shown the relationship between oxidative cellular stress and loss of muscle mass that occurs at the final stage of some diseases, such as cancer. According to their final hypothesis, oxidative stress increases the susceptibility of degradation of proteins. It is the first time we have conducted a comparative experimental study between different muscles of the limbs and myocardium in animals with cachexia cancer.

Staff | 9 March 2010

Antifreeze proteins to prevent ice from melting

The same antifreeze proteins that allow organisms not freeze in cold environments may also prevent the ice melts in warmer temperatures, according to a new study of the new queen of Queen's University. The findings were published in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences'.

A.R. | 4 March 2010

Amyloid-beta protein, associated with Alzheimer, may be part of the innate immune system

A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers have described the evidence that amyloid-beta protein (A-beta) is an antimicrobial peptide. These small proteins are part of the innate immune system, which provides broad defense against a wide range of pathogens. They have published the study in 'PLoS One'.

A.R. | 3 march 2010

iPHACE from the UPF, a tool to see the interactions of drugs with proteins

On 15 February, the international journal Bioinformatics, specializing in the field of mathematics and computational biology, published an article about a web application developed by the Laboratory of chemogenomics, directed by Jordi Mestres, within the Research Group on Biomedical Informatics ( GRIB) at the UPF-IMIM. Entitled "iPHACE: integrative navigation in pharmacological space" the article describes the features of this new tool with which one can graphically explore a space generated by the interactions of drugs with proteins for which they have an affinity.

2 March 2010

The cellular membrane molecules do not move in such a chaotic way

Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC) and the Technical University of Munich (Germany) have discovered that molecules that are part of the cellular membrane do not move at random as it was thought until now, but respond to moving currents, as some computer simulations had suggested. The discovery is of great importance in the regeneration of cellular membranes and biological mechanisms involving membrane proteins, and can be applied in the development of new medicines. The finding was published in the 'Journal of the American Chemical Society'.

Staff | 26 February 2010

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