Grenoble, 20 August 2019 ‘Kissing loops’ in RNA molecule essential for its role in tumour suppression A team of researchers in the Marcia group at EMBL Grenoble, France, have discovered that the tumour suppressor MEG3 adopts a complex three-dimensional structure to fulfil its function. Furthermore, they were able to fine-tune its activity by targeted manipulation of this architecture. The results of this study, published in Molecular Cell, might help to advance diagnosis and treatment of certain types of cancer.
Hinxton, 14 August 2019 Understanding molecular mechanisms of ageing Researchers at EMBL’s European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), the Babraham Institute and collaborators have used the epigenetic clock to explore the molecular mechanisms that may drive ageing in humans. They found one gene, called NSD1, that seems to be closely linked to the process. This type of research could advance our understanding of ageing.
Heidelberg, 12 August 2019 Obituary: Bernd-Uwe Jahn Bernd-Uwe was EMBL Administrative Director from 2001–2009. He joined EMBL during a period of discord between personnel and management, and set about restoring the good relations that were, and are, the norm at EMBL. Bernd-Uwe’s efforts focused on an inclusive approach and the involvement of all categories of staff in EMBL’s life and decisions. This approach won him the respect of everyone at EMBL and of the EMBL Council, together with the friendship of all those who came into contact with him.
Heidelberg, 9 August 2019 Teaching science in your mother tongue Native Scientist organises science workshops to help children of migrant communities improve their performance in school and at the same time motivate them to choose careers in STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The project has grown continuously since it began in 2013, mainly because the idea behind it motivates a large number of volunteers. “Now we have workshops in many different languages like French, Italian, German, Spanish, Greek, Arabic and Estonian,” says Rafael Galupa, from the Crocker group at EMBL and an editor for Native Scientist.
General, 5 August 2019 EMBL in Australia: a strong alumni network EMBL alumni and collaborators will reconnect with old friends and forge new connections at the second EMBL in Australia event, on 2 September. The gathering will take place at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Brisbane, and is organised by the Institute’s Director, Frank Gannon. Here, Frank – a former head of EMBO and an EMBL Senior Scientist – discusses his time in Heidelberg, the strong links between Australia and EMBL, and his own involvement with EMBL Australia.
Hamburg, Heidelberg, General, 2 August 2019 We all come from the ocean While he was the head of EMBL’s Cell Biology and Biophysics Unit, Eric Karsenti read Darwin’s book The Voyage of the Beagle, and was fascinated by the story it told. Karsenti, a passionate sailor, dreamed of a sailing boat going around the world and popularising topics such as evolution, cell biology and the work of EMBL. But first, there were some obstacles to overcome.
Heidelberg, 31 July 2019 Slovakian teen scientist visits EMBL Janka Motešická from Vranov nad Topľou in Slovakia was only 16 years old when she started working on her own research project on improving cancer therapies. Two years later, through participation in last year’s EU Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Dublin, Ireland, she won a specially donated EIROforum prize. It entitled her to visit EMBL Heidelberg, where she attended her first scientific conference, met with staff of different departments and toured the animal and genomics facilities. Here, she explains her motivation for doing research and her views on pursuing a scientific career in Slovakia.
Heidelberg, 29 July 2019 The challenge of diversity LGBTSTEM Day, the international day of LGBTQ+ people in science, technology, engineering, and maths, took place on 5 July. The LGBTQ+ group at EMBL marked the day by organising various activities, including a talk and a diversity awareness workshop led by EMBL Alumnus Dr Cristian D. Magnus. During his PhD, Magnus worked at EMBL’s Human Resources department in the training and development program. Now he offers coaching and training for individuals and organisations as ‘the Queer Coach’. In an interview following the event, Magnus answered questions about his experience with scientific institutions
Heidelberg, 26 July 2019 EMBL Lab Day 2019 On 19 July, the EMBL Advanced Training Centre was turned into a gallery of vividly decorated booths, games and creative posters, all made by EMBL groups and teams. Visitors could venture into an escape room, test their knowledge about EMBL’s member states, or search for glowing nematode worms under the microscope.